Ouch – it would be funny if it wasn’t true!!
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?
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.
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;
- Content is king (visiofair.wordpress.com)
- Content is king: Still true in the mobile era? | Socialmedia.biz (socialmedia.biz)
- Content King, Social Queen, SEO Knight (business2community.com)
Something I was told by an older woman when I was just started out has stuck with me ever since and it is the way that women often refer to their husband or partner ‘helping out’ with childcare, (as mentioned in this article) or housework. This woman said to me that by saying that you want your partner to ‘help’ you with something assumes that it is your job when in fact, it is a parents job to raise children, not just a mothers. Similarly, when you are asking your partner to ‘help you’ with the housework, it translates to him as it being ‘your job’ and he is just ‘helping you’ on this occasion. Given our propensity to speak like this, it is not surprising that women then take this underlying internal and external commentary into their workplaces.
I have heard many women ask a male colleague to “help with the minute taking in this meeting”, and then the same women wonder why they end up doing the minutes again and again. Its because the male thinks that he was ‘helping’ you do ‘your’ job! This is one of the internal barriers that many women put up for themselves and then their language just embeds the ‘external barrier’ even more.
Perhaps it stems from an underlying belief by women ( I would say through socialisation) that it is their job to do the housework, the bulk of the childcare and the support work at the office. Whatever the cause, this is one barrier that we can all break ourselves by changing our language and how we feel about it.
See this article I have referred to by Natalie Bickford
Today I received the usual WordPress update into my email in box and I must say I look forward to receiving these because they always contain some great handy hints that I can use on my blogs. So this one was no different, except in the language that it uses. See if you can pick up the difference.
by Jeff Bowen
For all of you stats junkies — you know who you are! — we’ve added some holiday cheer to your WordPress.com Stats Page. In addition to the number of views your site receives, you can now keep tabs on how many unique visitors come to your site, all on a single, easy-to-read chart.
A visitor is a unique user or browser/device that views one or more posts or pages on your site. When your friend checks out your site from her laptop and then again from her phone, that’s two visits. If she clicks on four different posts, that’s four views.
read the rest of the article here
From Jody, via Changing Women on LinkedIn
Let’s change “stay at home mom” to “stay at home parent“. I am a mom and the working parent in my household. This makes the title applicable to dads as well as moms and helps us change the attitude that if one parent stays home with the kids it doesn’t automatically mean its the mom.
Good idea Jody, “Stay at home PARENTS – I will add this to the list! You are so right. The current term discriminates against men who choose to stay at home and will help to change attitudes. Interestingly, I am in correspondence with a men’s group in India who are trying to ‘change women’ by getting them to accept that men can do traditional female roles! We take this for granted in the western world, but fathers and husbands in India are having a tough time convincing women to share the traditional feminized roles of carer, primary parent and stay at home manager. They argue (and rightly so I think) that women need to accept that men can do these roles as well as women and this action will help the fight for the equality of women because men will start to accept their own ability and responsibility. They currently feel hindered by the enormous cultural pressure and history of women as carers, supporters and primary parents and feel that men that choose to express themselves in using the stereotypical (soft) ‘female attributes’ are being discriminated against by feminists. It’s an interesting discussion and I am currently encouraging them to join our Changing Women.org site so we can start to discuss each issue one at a time. It is vitally important, I think for those of us who have a voice to help those who want a voice to be heard.
- More language talk – changing Maternity (changingwomen.org)
- What will the new paternity rules mean for parents? (confused.com)
- Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! and the state of parental leave (mnn.com)