Category Archives: Equality and behaviour

When Leaders say that Women are Not Equal to Men we need to stay viligant!

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Turkey President Erdogan: Women Are Not Equal To Men

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has encouraged every woman to have three children and wants to limit abortion rights and access to the morning-after pill© AFP/File Ilmars ZnotinsTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has encouraged every woman to have three children and wants to limit abortion rights and access to the morning-after pill.

Read more:  http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-women-not-equal-to-men-turkeys-erdogan-2014-11#ixzz3K8NZveGC

She’s Upset but he’s Annoyed – more language talk

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This is an interesting one, why was I seen as upset by a couple of women  when complaining about a service this week and not plain annoyed?  I’m sure if I was a man, my complaint would have been seen as me being annoyed or even angry, but you don’t hear that a man is upset when he is complaining about something?

Recently, I found this happened to me during a conversation with three women at my Daughters school where I was complaining about the difficulty getting a response from the accounts area to check the school fee bill.   I was complaining about the service and the lack of ability of someone to take a message and return a call.  Instead of my complaint being relayed correctly, or even half correctly to the person in charge, the first thing that they said to me when getting on the phone to me this morning was, ” I believe you are upset”.  You have got to be joking!  After I expressed annoyance and the request for a meeting with who ever was in charge I got that I was upset.  This female to female mode of operation just devalues us all.  Why are women afraid to call it as it is? I was plain angry, annoyed and somewhat pissed off at the efforts that I, as a paying customer had to go to in order to get a response.  I was not  merely ‘upset’?  But upset is a term that is easily equated with a woman.  When I was young, people would describe some women as ‘nervy’ or ‘highly strung’ meaning that they were most likely frustrated with the limitations of their life and expressing this frustration in a ways that were not acceptable.  Instead of addressing these issues, particularly men choose to negate the feelings of these women by labelling them with belittling terms like nervy.  Other women bought into this and the women who was ‘upset’ was pacified with a Bex powder or sedative to get them back to peaceful submissiveness.
Recently I saw the movie, “hysteria”‘ which is about the events that lead up to the invention of the vibrator around the time at the first female suffragettes were speaking out about the injustice of inequitlty for women and were demanding the right to vote.  These women were clearly annoyed, they were frustrated with the lack of opportunity open to them to have self determination in their own lives and agitated for change.  The display of annoyance, defiance and outspokenness was at odds with the norm of the day and the view that women should defer to men in all things.  Their accepted role in society at that time was to be supporter and carer, a mere object of a man’s desires, not having the ability to shape their own lives.  This must have been incredibly frustrating and many women would surely have been angry without fully understanding the reasons for their anger.  Unfortunately for many women at the time, this annoyance and anger was seen as abnormal and something that needed to be treated by the medical profession.  They were seen as having a mental illness and society at that time just couldnt accept that women could experience the same feelings of annoyance, frustration and anger as men.  The condition became medicalised and an illness called hysteria was created.  Women who’d persisted in trying to assert their rights were seen as difficult and very often committed to mental institutions suffering appalling conditions as a result.
The film deals with this period in a light hearted way and describes one doctors search for a cure to hysteria.  Surprisingly he did this by providing a ‘medical procedure’ that today we would call masterbation, abiet administered by a male doctor in a surgery.  At the time females were not considered to be sexual and it was just not even considered that they would need to be satisfied sexually.  The treatment worked to relieve the symptoms of hysteria by ‘releasing’ a build up of stress and ‘nerves’.
So lets stop treating each other like nervy, upset women.  Lets stop playing into the stereotype of frail, emotional women and as other women, lets start treating each other as individuals that should be respected and acknowledged for the people we  sometimes display justifiable annoyance!  The whole ‘upset’ tag just serves to put us back in our place of disempowerment – so lets stop doing it to each other.

No Ms, Mrs or Miss

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Very often when I am filling out a form I am asked if my title is Mrs, Miss or Ms. I don’t like to put Ms because it carries the connotation of feminist which I don’t consider myself to be.

I am a person and don’t want to be labeled as anybodies anything. I want to be me. I just want to have Susanne Moore with no title because my name is my title. I am me.

Harmless fun or something more? Branson picking up women

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Branson picking up women

Branson picking up women

Call me a prude, say I have no sense of humor, but isn’t there something wrong with this picture?  See the slide show here.  It seems that Richard Branson picks women up like this on a regular basis as a media exercise, but one wonders where this is coming from.  Sure it looks like fun and the women seem to be OK with it, but is he also picking up older women like this and is he picking up men as well?  And what does it mean to pick up someone like this when chances are you barely know them? I think it means he is attracted to them on some level and thinks that they are not his equal, so compliant.  Can’t see him picking up Hilary Clinton can you?

It says to me that he see’s these women as objects, trophies, prizes and something that he can have and do with as he likes in the name of advertising.  Possibility the most disturbing is the way that he picks up his female staff!  If you or I did that or had it done to us by one of our co workers or managers it would be assault.  I think there is a little sexual thing going on with this picking up stuff as well.  You see men pick up women in movies and take them into the bedroom, men used to pick women up in this way to take them across the threshold when they got married so I think there is some sort of sexual/ownership stuff going on here.

Ok, Ok, so you think I am being over the top?  Let me tell you about the time when I was about 26 and worked for a guy that looked a lot like Tom Selleck.  Big tall good looking guy who could have any women he wanted.  Was good at his job, ex army and an in control type of guy.  Great guy.  Problem was that I had to work with him but didn’t report to him.  Even so, he thought it Ok to tell me to get coffee for him and shout orders at me like I was his slave.  Well I was having no of that and refused, and told him way in no uncertain terms.  One day, he couldn’t get me to do what he wanted me to so he picked me up in the same way as Branson is pictured picking up these women and held me over the stair well to the dock floor – a good 15 feet below.  He was basically (in a good natured way, ha!), trying to get me to do what he wanted.  Basically, he was bullying me to do what he wanted by using his physical strength to try and dis-empower me,and force his will on me.  I told him that he was assaulting me and if didn’t want a court case he had best put me down pronto.

He did, but the other guys in the office who were truck drivers thought the whole thing incredibly funny.  Of course it was not and I made my point known in no uncertain terms.  This was about 1982 and things have changed slightly, but then maybe Branson has some cave man in him still?

 

More Language Talk – Content is KING and Gender Stereotyping Ads

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King chess

King chess (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isn’t it interesting how we don’t stop and think often enough about the language that we use and what that language actually says about what we are saying, in terms of the underlying meaning to the words and phrases.  The term “Content is KING” is a very male and one that is not gender inclusive.

So if content is King, then what are we actually saying?  Is it that content management and the success of good content is based on masculine terminology or is it simply that a King is the most powerful?  Media advertising often uses very macho descriptions of things like ‘feel the power’, ‘stand out from the pack’ or ‘win that race’, etc to make a point about their products ability to stand out from the rest.  Its slightly aggressive but can serve to be a differentiator.  It would be great to get our marketers to think more about the terms that they are using because I think that this underlying exclusivity portrays a bias and continues to promote gender stereotypes.  It is subtle, but it is there none the less.

I also think that if women really sat down and thought about what they are hearing, they would see that much of the masculine vernacular doesn’t appeal to them. I am not saying that women need to have things expressed in ‘feminine’ ways, but what I am saying is that the language could be more inclusive and less based on old expectations of how men and women behave, and what their aspirations are.

I find that many advertisements on television and many television programs still actively promote a female gender stereotype that plays into the masculine view of women as supporters.  Changing Women can do something about these types of gender biased marketing campaigns by simply not buying the products.  Consumer’s have real power and since women are usually treated as mere consumers, let’s use this power and make an impact.  I regularly tweet about advertisement that I find are gender stereotypical, here are a couple of examples;

14 Aug @NESCAFE perpetuating the stereotype of older man much younger women in their latest ads #gendersterotypingads

 11 Aug @VirginAtlantic can we have an ad with a female pilot in the front next time? #gendersterotypingads