Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
In late 2013, Re:Gender completed its strategic planning process. In preparation for the full rollout of the new plan this winter, we have been busy developing new projects and programming. I am pleased to present a snapshot of this work to you and show how our new network structure and programmatic initiatives connect research, policy and practice to promote and realize gender equity. This overview provides an opportunity to see the breadth of Re:Gender's work and to understand how our initiatives in your particular sector and field are an important piece of a greater whole.
I look forward to sharing more of the new with you in the coming months.
If you have not already, we recommend reading and sharing "Invisible Child," an excellent series by the New York Times’ Andrea Elliot. Chronicling the daily struggles and hopes of a young homeless girl and her family in New York City, this series puts a face to the statistics we hear and read about and brings them to life.
Are mean girls a product of evolution? In New York Magazine’s Kat Stoeffel discusses a recent paper that argues women “evolved” into mean girls in order to ensure the propagation of their genetics by weakening their sexual rivals. The theory proposes that women use indirect aggression (i.e., calling one another “slut”) to make the targeted woman “too sad and anxious to compete in the sexual market,” thus lessening competition for male attention.
Family is one of the most often revisited themes on television. In sitcoms and dramas, mother and father figures reflect society’s prevailing attitudes and expectations about parenting, gender and gender roles in the home. Past representations of motherhood on television upheld mothers as ‘naturally nurturing’ figures (LaRossa, 1988) able to give their children everything they need. Fathers, on the other hand, were assigned the roles of ‘breadwinner’ and ‘disciplinarian,’ typically incompetent and inept in the domestic realm (LaRossa, 1988).
“I will never vote and I don’t think you should either.” That is how Russell Brand—yes, Katy Perry’s ex-husband—launched his guest editorship with the New Statesman, a British political and cultural magazine. He also advised enacting a utopian revolution to uproot the current social-political-economic system responsible for environmental destruction, growing wealth gap and global exploitation of the underclass.
Are women perpetuating the stereotype that they are less capable than men through their own language and actions? Felena Hanson writes that when women use language like “female entrepreneur” instead of “entrepreneur, it immediately puts them in the “other” category. Using language in this way, Hanson challenges, signals that women should be categorized as different from their male colleagues. Instead she wants women to “come to the table, sit down and speak up.”