Did You Read...?

By Eliza Wierzbinska, Intern

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.”  


In fact, some women, like Vanessa Garcia, have rejected Sheryl Sandberg’s advice to lean in. While she agrees with Sandberg on the many irrefutable injustices women endure, it is on the solution side that they diverge. For example, there is no dispute that women are still paid less than men for the same position. But Garcia argues that the solution to such problems may not be to “sit at the table” as much as refuse to yield to a corporate culture and its rules, both of which were created by men.

Muslim feminist, Shelina Zahra Janmohamed, says it is time for Western women to end the debate on the niquab. A niquab is a veil worn by some Muslim women in public, covering all their body and face, apart from their eyes. Not only does she see the argument as shortsighted, it ensures that the women’s right movement misses the big picture. Janmohamed suggests that everyone “Stop fighting over what I wear, and start addressing who I am. I am neither burqa nor bikini. I am woman.”

Julia Serano’s new book attacks the popular notion in feminist and queer theory that gender is a social construct. As a biologist and a transsexual woman, Serano asserts that gender is both a performance (something that you do) and existence (something that you are).  

In New York Magazine, Ann Friedman asks the provocative question, What Does Manhood Mean in 2013? Men may be more comfortable breaking masculine gender stereotypes in recent times. Whether this results in something revolutionary or retrograde, Friedman wonders aloud if this is the moment when American society will engage in the same kind of conversation about men that feminism forced it to have about women.  

Are fashion commentators more concerned about body-shaming women than focusing on their attire? Euphemisms such as “curvy” or “voluptuous” are common but did Ruth La Ferla take it to a different level when she juxtaposed Claire Danes’ “skeletal” frame with Lena Dunham’s “sloppy curves”?

If you are a sports fan and a woman hopefully it means more to you than marketing clichés. Team logo lingerie and pink sporty gear available for purchase cannot be the only way women interested in sports fandom can participate, but you might not know that from merchandising. Is this a missed opportunity that ignores real reason women watch sports?

Data from the 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that only one in six full time farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers in the U.S. is a woman.  What effect would it have on the food industry if more women held these positions?



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