Friday, March 23, 2012

March For Women.

International Women's Day was a few weeks ago, but here's the thing: I think that one day to reflect on the status of women in particular and gender dynamics in general is laughably brief. So I do a month of it, if I can. Here are four articles that have challenged and inspired me this month:

1. Are women people? Oh dear.
2. Do women make better leaders? The old debate gets quantified. Properly.
3. What does development know about gender issues? Not much, apparently.
4. Oh, for God' sake! #obvious.

Got these from links from friends who have the interest- hey Mavis, Steve!- and other wanderings about the web. Trying to build up an article about feminism, in the hopes of opening up a discussion again or at least thrusting the topic in the face of as many East Africans as I can before the month is out.

The article about women's leadership qualities in particular is interesting, as this is an age-old question which tends to change answers based on current assumptions about gendered character traits. I treated myself to a viewing of the Iron Lady last week, because how could I possibly resist Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher? Seriously. It was as toothsome as promised, and has given me a temporary fetish for blue suits, but what really made the movie interesting was that it didn't pull punches in its portrayal of Thatcher's character. I have never subscribed to the notion that women necessarily make better leaders than men, and it's nice to see a study that more or less confirms this. The point is simply to get more kitten heels clacking down the corridors of power, for the benefit of us all.


  1. Bourgeois kitten heels, presumably, if one is to follow the logic from your earlier post.

    ps. Glad to have inspired, even though my "interest" is rarely feminism!

  2. The notion that women need to work harder than men to prove themselves is often overlooked. I agree that resting on their laurels is not a privilege that women have. This study is interesting because it proves the competence of women as leaders. Any leader, whether male or female, needs strong work ethic and leadership skills and through this study women have proved their strong qualifications to be leaders. I can not wait until there are more women with the opportunity to be strong, effective leaders.

  3. @Steve: tsk tsk. kitten heels are classless, darling. it's all about the woman wearing them... shopkeepers's daughter or not ;) The pearls, though. different story there.

    @Evelyn: I cannot wait either. but i think it is precisely because we often have to work harder than men to succeed in much of what we do that we have an advantage. this century is going to herald a radical change, i think, from what we've known before. watch this space.

  4. So I was going through those 4 articles and I am personally blown away by some of the events described in the article "women are people too? oh dear..." In particular, the court case against Lynn Hughes and how she was allegedly fired for asking to bring a breast pump to work. In fact, my aunt had the same problem with this, just not to the same extent. When my cousin Max was born, she was asked to leave work for that day and to keep the pump at home. My aunt, being the passionate free spirit she always has been, made sure all her co-workers knew about the event and needless to say she was allowed the use the pump from then on out. As a man myself, I do not understand why it is that natural bodily functions of a female actually seem to cause problems to employers (and there is a lot more I could go into about maternity leaves and all the discrepancies surrounding that, but I would be typing an essay rather than a comment). I just believe employers need to be more considerate and take into account that their female employees are not just holding a job, as they are usually running an entire household as well!

  5. @ bloggerboy- thanks, nice response. i think you hit the nail on the head with this sentence: "why it is that natural bodily functions of a female actually seem to cause problems to employers..." entire dissertations could be written about the topic.


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