Barry Spurr, an expert on T. S. Eliot and the Virgin Mary, is Australia's first Professor of Poetry and Poetics. Appointed as one of two English subject specialists to the new Australian Review of the National Curriculum PDF, his concerns that "the Western literary canon" has been neglected and "the impact of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on literature in English in Australia" overemphasized in the existing curriculum are quoted liberally in the final report, which recommends that: "There ... needs to be a greater emphasis on dealing with and introducing literature from the Western literary canon, especially poetry," in Australian schools. The report has met with approval in the right-wing Australian press. Now, emails leaked to the New Matilda show that Spurr has spent the past several years sending messages from his University of Sydney email account referring to Native Australians as "Abos" and human "rubbish" and Asians as "chinky poos," calling Nelson Mandela a "darkie," Desmond Tutu a "witch doctor," and his own Vice Chancellor "an appalling minx," comparing Methodists to "serpents," and referring to women generally as "whores." Now, in the wake of the New Matilda exposé, the University of Sydney is investigating the emails and the Australian Education Minister is denying that the Abbott administration had anything to do with Spurr's appointment. Spurr, meanwhile, maintains that the emails were nothing more than "a whimsical linguistic game" and "repartee" shared with friends, which went right over the heads of the New Matilda journalists. There is also a petition to dismiss Spurr from the Review Commission.
12-year-old calls out Dick's Sporting Goods chain for being sexist. We might never have known about her exceptional letter, but one of her parents is a reporter.
Microsoft CEO to women: Don't ask for a raise. CEO Satya Nadella spoke at the Grace Hopper Celebration and told women to use their "super powers" to get raises. [more inside]
When words fail: women, science, and women-in-science – [Trigger warning for this and all following links] by Jacquelyn Gill (@JacquelynGill):
The seminars, workshops, blogs, op-eds, research, policy papers, luncheons, and happy hour discussions are all valuable, and important, and they need to continue. But when the beer is drunk, and the pizza gone cold, and the printed articles relegated to the recycling bin, we are left with words: words written by us and about us, spoken in confidence, tossed like poisoned barbs in the comments sections, smoldering as craters in our in-boxes, pounding in our ears when we run it out at the gym.[more inside]
I’m sorry, you guys, but words are not enough. Not anymore.
"In my experience, the reminder that the sexual fantasy isn’t real, that the women who perform availability aren’t ACTUALLY available, that we aren’t ACTUALLY clamouring to be sexualized by men, that we control when the fantasy starts and stops, and that our performance is just that, a performance that requires compensation… well, some men find that hard to swallow." [more inside]
The Herculean Effort Taken By One Group To Show Hollywood Is Sexist. "In dissecting the top 100 grossing films each year, Smith and her team have analyzed a total of 26,225 characters in 600 films for gender, body type, age, race and more. In their most recent annual review, released in July, they found that in 2013, only 29 percent of characters were female, and a mere 28 percent of the films had a female lead or co-lead." [more inside]
♫ Are Video Games Sexist? ♫ Auto-Tune Rebuttal. Jonathan Mann responds to a recent video by Christina Hoff Sommers on sexism in video games. [Via]
This is Science Magazine; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter", by Jia You. The list has 46 men and 4 women. [more inside]
According to Kathy Griffin, when she expressed interest in hosting The Late Late Show, she was told they were "not considering females at this time." This is especially ironic considering that the current Late Late Show host, Craig Ferguson, stated that he thought the next host should "unquestionably be a female." Even worse, there was some talk about David Letterman's Late Show hosting spot going to a woman after he stepped down, but no dice. [more inside]
It's a sex crime. "It is not on the (usually, but not always, female) victim to take 'enough' measures to protect herself but rather on the (usually, but not always, male) victimizer to choose not to commit said sex crime. That notion was lost on the Disney Channel back in 2007. They treated Vanessa Hudgens like a sinful child after personal nudes were leaked and stated that 'Vanessa has apologized for what was obviously a lapse in judgment. We hope she’s learned a valuable lesson.' "
"The abrasiveness trap: High-achieving men and women are described differently in reviews" A study of 248 performance reviews of 180 people found that women received a much higher ratio of critical feedback than men. Moreover, the reviews of women were much more likely to contain criticisms of their personalities in addition to constructive criticism. According to the article: "This kind of negative personality criticism—watch your tone! step back! stop being so judgmental!—shows up twice in the 83 critical reviews received by men. It shows up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women."
Flowchart: Should you catcall her? From playboy.com. Flowchart designed by @sheastrauss. Link is NSFW (images) if you scroll all the way to the footer, or drawn silhouettes of women in the flowchart are problematic. Slightly NSFW text.
You’re allowed to make art with male gaze. But please call a spade a spade. "I don’t think I’ve seen a single page of Dresden Codak that doesn’t feature a woman posed in a male-gazey way, with loving focus on her ass or cleavage, or wearing a sexual costume, or in some situation that puts her in a compromising position (like the most recent page in which Kimiko’s clothing is burned off of her body, which has happened at least twice in the series’ run.) I have a very hard time believing that these details are accidental." [more inside]
A profile of classicist Mary Beard, and, among other things, her decision to confront sexist detractors online. "The real issue, she suggested, is not merely guaranteeing a woman’s right to speak; it is being aware of the prejudices that we bring to the way we hear her. Listening, she implied, is an essential element of speech."
If pop culture treated men the same way it treats women. I know you're all way too cool for Cracked but I thought this was both hilarious and on point.
Robot Hugs: a comic on harassment Leigh Alexander: But what can be done? to combat online sexism [more inside]
Why Silicon Valley Needs The Coder Grrrls Of Double Union, The Feminist Hacker Space
The lack of women in the tech world isn't just a pipeline problem--it's one of rampant sexism. Enter the haven of Double Union.[more inside]
The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry. "It’s telling that men in the gaming industry, or simply commentators, refuse to listen to the reality of these situations and try to help. They’d rather talk over women and convince themselves of a fictional reality that’s more comforting."
Meet Scarlett, North America's Top ranked Starcraft player. A complex, real-time strategy game with exquisitely balanced opposing forces, Starcraft is so popular that men can and do make a career out of playing the game. All but one of the top 20 ranked players in the world live and play in Korea. And all of them are men. So maybe it is not surprising that Scarlett, a 20 year-old transgender woman from Canada , is making huge waves in the gaming community.
This Woman Has Been Confronting Her Catcallers — And Secretly Filming Their Reactions The videos aren’t meant to highlight specific dramatic confrontations, but the “cumulative daily impact” of street harassment, Lindsey said. Since she began filming, the “only interactions I haven’t been able to capture are car honks.” Earlier this summer, Lindsey began handing out cards to Minneapolis men, explaining what’s wrong with street harassment. (via Buzzfeed). [more inside]
True Lies is a 1994 action comedy film directed by James Cameron and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Tom Arnold. The film was a huge hit, and is noteworthy in that it featured visual special effects considered impossible only a few years prior. It's been 20 years since it was released. Time for a revisit, then. [SPOILERS if you haven't seen this movie.] [more inside]
Gamasutra describes one indie game developer's experience of creating a game (Redshirt) that satirizes social networking, and includes a playable race of 'sexy alien babes' who can suffer sexist comments from NPCs. When a player complained that this was unwanted and triggering, and the developer apologized and added a trigger warning tothe game, the developer received criticism as if she'd compromised her creative vision. [more inside]
Sexist 60's embellish-your-own-suggestively-posed-women notepads, subverted. David Jablow takes vintage novelty doodle pads with the outlines of nude women and gives them awesome contexts. (Original image is arguably NSFW)
A microaggression is defined as "a question, a comment, even an intended compliment, sometimes, that nevertheless suggests something demeaning." (More from NPR.) The Microaggressions Tumblr publishes experiences with all kinds of microaggressions. [more inside]
Ride like a girl. Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a woman? Go get your bike. All set? Great. Go ride to work. Ride everywhere. [...] No matter where you are, you know that the cars around you could really mess you up if something went wrong. Welcome to being vulnerable to the people around you. Welcome to being the exception, not the rule. Welcome to not being in charge.
Hollywood is tough on older women -- it's like they're filed away in a folder simply marked "old" — and it’s a problem their male counterparts rarely have to contend with. To prove it, we’ve rounded up some recent examples of age-inappropriate casting, then imagined what would happen if some of these believability-busting pairings got a gender flip. [more inside]
The Ping Pong Theory of Tech Sexism by Ariel Schrag. A web comic about the subtleties of workplace sexism in male-dominated industries.
"At one point, Whitney Wolfe was promoted as Tinder’s “inventor” and co-founder in fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar. She named the app, and her marketing savvy was often cited as the reason it found an audience among young women. Her role in the company was widely touted as an exception to male-dominated startup culture. According to the lawsuit, [Justin] Mateen told Wolfe, who was 24 years old at the time, that “he was taking away her ‘Co-Founder’ title because having a young female co-founder ‘makes the company seem like a joke’ and ‘devalues’ the company.” Mateen had also been designated a co-founder of the company despite joining after the fact, and argued that Wolfe’s title undermined him." Tinder Co-founder files sexual harassment lawsuit. [more inside]
35 Practical Tools for Men to Further Feminist Revolution: "This list entails suggestions for some practical tools all men can apply in their day-to-day lives to foster equality in their relationships with women, and to contribute to a culture where women feel less burdened, unsafe, and disrespected." [more inside]
A new study suggests that dads who equally divide household chores with their wives tend to have daughters whose career aspirations are less gender-stereotypical. The study results suggest that even when fathers publicly endorse gender equality, when there is a traditional division of labor at home daughters are more likely to see themselves in traditionally female-dominant jobs.
With a vague promise to support more women in the workplace as one of the key points of pushing an economic recovery, the reality is much more bleak for working women in Japan. Yesterday, while delivering a speech on the importance of supporting working mothers, Ayaka Shiomura, a member of the Tokyo government assembly was heckled, with jeers from other lawmakers demanding to know why she hadn't gotten married, and demanding to know if she was able to bear children. The Liberal Democratic Party has so far refused to reprimand the members responsible, and while members of Shiomura's party point out that Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe (with his own history of outright sexism) was evidently laughing as Shiomura at first laughed in disbelief, then was quickly reduced to tears (Japanese link, no English subtitles).
Anita Sarkeesian has released the third video in her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. It's an exhaustive (and exhausting) look at how women have been used as background decorations in video games for the last three decades. [previously]
Hurricanes with feminine names kill more people because people are sexist. Or it could be bad (social) science.
University Study on Sexism In BBC’s Doctor Who (Infographic). It examines and compares episodes from the first seven seasons of the revival through the departure of the Ponds. The major metrics are the Bechdel Test and companion speaking time. [more inside]
Yesterday, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson - the first woman to hold that position for the paper - was unexpectedly fired, reportedly because she attempted to bring on a new co-managing editor without consulting the managing editor already at the paper or the publisher, though there is also a persistent rumor that it was because she addressed a pay gap between herself and her predecessor. Today, the first woman managing editor for French paper Le Monde resigned, claiming that she was being undermined, drawing more attention to journalism and media's woman problem. [more inside]
So when someone like John C. Wright holds up Heinlein as the best SF writer ever, I have to wonder what world they’re living in. An important writer in the genre, absolutely. The best ever? Really? Way to declare the race over before everyone’s even gotten to the starting line, buddy.Natalie Luhrs is unhappy about John Wright's invocation of Robert Heinlein to bolster claims of witch hunts against rightwing science fiction writers. [more inside]
Because that’s what he’s doing, right? He’s trying to draw a line around SF. In Wright’s world, there’s no room in SF for people who aren’t like him and, furthermore, no one’s work can ever come close to that of a man who died in 1988. That’s just. No. I don’t want to read that kind of SF anymore. I did my time there and it’s well past time to move on.
We are comics. When former DC Comics editor Janelle Asselin wrote a scathing critique of the art on the company's new "Teen Titans" book, the response she got was depressingly predictable; a deluge of insults, some anonymous rape threats and even one (less predictable) attempt to hack her bank accounts. But after much of the online comics community rallied around Asselin, a tumblr-based project to show off the true diversity of comics creators and fans took off. [more inside]
Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain. "The pain of women turns them into kittens and rabbits and sunsets and sordid red satin goddesses, pales them and bloodies them and starves them, delivers them to death camps and sends locks of their hair to the stars. Men put them on trains and under them. Violence turns them celestial. Age turns them old. We can’t look away. We can’t stop imagining new ways for them to hurt." [more inside]
Jared Rosen offers a postmortem of GAME_JAM, a failed reality show about game development produced by Maker Studios and sponsored by Pepsi. Contestants Adriel Wallick, Robin Arnott, and Zoe Quinn also offer their perspectives.
Julianne Ross asks: Must Every YA Action Heroine Be Petite? Amy McCarthy asks a similar question: Why do all our young adult heroines look the same? Mandy Stewart also offers up her own advice: Be Divergent and Other Lessons for My Daughter. Interview with Veronica Roth on her book 'Insurgent' and feminism. [more inside]
Since winning government in September 2013 (previously) Australia's conservative Coalition Government has been causing controversy, recently leading to nationwide protests (previously). Undaunted, this week the Coalition voiced support for the rights of bigots (more on that issue here), and reintroduced Knights and Dames. So, where's a depressed politics junkie to turn? To comedy, of course! After a successful crowdfunding campaign, satirical political comedy collective A Rational Fear are producing a 10 week season of Australian political comedy. [more inside]
Hettienne Park writes a thoughtful response to recent events in Brian Fuller's Hannibal (link to Nerdist Writer's Panel podcast), specifically the most recent episode, Takiawase (link to AV Club Review). Spoilers ahoy in all links.
Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex [more inside]
Julie Ann Horvath has left Github, claiming a strong culture of sexism and intimidation. Github is investigating the claims, and has suspended two employees.
The fascinating thing about the sexist Dutch slur kenau -- aimed at women deemed too aggressive or bossy -- is that it originated as the given name of a heroine of the Eighty Years War, Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer who during the 1573 Siege of Haarlem led a monstrous regiment of women in defence of her home town against the Spanish oppressor. Last week a movie was released retelling her legend, which prompted the Haarlem Frans Hals Museum to create a short documentary about her, Kenau: heroine or harridan, looking at the historical truth of Kenau Hasselaer's life, which has been subtitled in English.