Feminism and a world designed for men

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by friendofdorothy, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Engels would have had no concept of female CEOs because - and I'd have thought you'd know your feminist history on this - women were still chattels/property at the time he was writing.
    If he was living now, I've no doubt he'd remark that only a vanishingly-tiny number of women have made the upper tier of power in business, compared to men, and that men still exercise far more oppression, and that women are still more oppressed against both through productive and reproductive labour, than men. Engels, as with Marx, favoured analytical thought, not "what if?" bollocks.
  2. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Now, if he'd picked me up on being a member of a party that seems kind of in love with 3rd wave feminism, that would have been legit. The Green Party, as with the other political parties, seems more attached to liberal feminism, than to anything that came before.
  3. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Gah! Women are discriminated against NOT because they identify as, or are identified as women (gender), but because they are women. It's sex equality (material lived reality), not gender! :p
  4. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Sadly, "trickle down" with regard to women, and to others who are oppressed, and with regard to economics, is just piss-weak incrementalism. The sort of crap that says "things will incrementally change", but the "trickle" part tells you how slow it'll be, and how easily the trickle can dry up.
    friendofdorothy and Gramsci like this.
  5. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Engels was my fault. I stated that he mentioned what we'd now call the "double whammy" on women - productive AND reproductive labour - way back more than 170 years ago.
  6. mango5

    mango5 Endeavour era

    Aw fellas pipe down. This is clearly getting under the skin of a lot of people. As Poot says, this is excruciating.

    I am learning about a bazillion new ways I am experiencing the shitty end of the stick, many of which I had not considered in that way before. The nasty social side effects of male violence and default man and medicalised contempt for women's lives and bodies.

    A world designed for men touches so many nerves. You can't even conceive of some of them. Stop telling us about your thinking for a while and everyone else can continue evolving theirs.

    ETA not ViolentPanda I get why you sometimes post in flurries :)
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  7. Poot

    Poot Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk

    There's often a sort of 'trickle sideways' within your own family to deal with, too. If you have to rely on a breadwinner because you are caring for someone, your status becomes almost insignificant. Having to ask your partner for cash utterly, utterly sucks.
  8. Poot

    Poot Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk

    It actually wasn't directed at you. A feminist thread isn't the best place for a Victorian gentleman of course, but at least your post was coherent and relevant. Topcat's imagined what he might say in order to back his own argument up which was really, really not helpful.
    scifisam and ViolentPanda like this.
  9. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't disagree with most of this. Your putting it more bluntly than I have.

    ( Foster was in charge for a long time. So things like development plans for the adventure playground were taking place under her watch. )

    And I would agree on your Engels comment. I need to have another read of the Condition of the working class in England and also the origins of family, private property and the state.

    For his time Engels was progressive in relation to women.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    Pickman's model likes this.
  10. Poot

    Poot Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk

    That's nice of him.
  11. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    And that's kind of the point, isn't it? Individuals being nice doesn't advance the state of female equality, not when a majority of men are either wilfully ignorant about the oppression of women, or actively collude in that oppression. :(
    friendofdorothy and Poot like this.
  12. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Perhaps Im not being clear enough. Getting equal numbers of men and women is something I have actually in practice argued for. In relation to an organisation I was in. Successfully.

    Here is quote from post I noticed you liked ,not a post by me btw:

    Pickman's model likes this.
  13. 8ball

    8ball Hetero Sapiens

    This might not be popular in the context of a couple of previous posts, but my team at work (doing something pretty obscure in the tech-pharma area) is about 5-strong and has had maybe 12 people pass through over the years, with only 2 women, both of which have been seriously excellent (one has moved on to another company, and the other is on maternity leave atm).

    Thing is, we actually *do* have trouble getting women to apply, and I think a part of it is that there's a reticence (which I guess in some ways is understandable), to join a largely male team. Also, I don't know to what extent the subject matter has a bearing.

    I'd welcome any thoughts (from the women reading this thread especially) on what might help us with this, because with a small team doing what we do, it's really valuable to have a decent range of perspectives.
  14. Winot

    Winot I wholeheartedley agree with your viewpoint

    Why don’t you ask the woman in the team (when she is back from ML)?
  15. 8ball

    8ball Hetero Sapiens

    We've spoken to both of them about this (and I'm friends with both, so if you have any insights I could run them past both of them, which I intend to do anyway). We're a pretty close-knit bunch. I'm interested in the opinions of people on here, though. Different perspectives and that.
    Winot likes this.
  16. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    In my Coop the way we did it was only allowing women to apply. Once we had got the numbers equal we kept it that way.

    But that was old Coop. I'm not really sure in regular employment terms you can do that. Tbh I'm not sure if its really allowed in any circumstances. Unless for a few exceptions.

    Its also difficult as for most of us we are paid to do a job. We aren't paid to suggest things like equal numbers of men and women. The old " you aren't paid to think" thing.

    Its like getting women into non traditional jobs like construction. Ex partner of mine learnt to be carpenter. But that was through local "loony left" Council in 80s. Thats all gone now. She liked it. And was good at it.

    Private construction companies aren't going to do it. They can't be bothered.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  17. 8ball

    8ball Hetero Sapiens

    Thing is, we get very few applications as it is (the role is seen as kind of intimidating, which is a shame because it's the least boring role I can think of in the company). And I'm not sure we'd be able to specify women-only in any case. It's also hard to recruit from outside the company because its *really* specialised. We've had people from outside who seemed promising based on their CV, but who faltered at interview (almost entirely male applicants in this case too).

    But anyway, thoughts welcome. :)
    Pickman's model and Gramsci like this.
  18. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat Santa is an evilous man

    again, i'm starting from the perspective of not being a woman, so can't offer any direct first hand thoughts

    to the best of my knowledge, UK equalities law generally prohibits 'positive discrimination' (not to be confused with 'genuine occupational qualification') so i'm inclined to think (subject to the usual disclaimers) that advertising a post for 'women only' would be legally on a par with advertising for 'men only' even if the motive is to try and get a more balanced workforce.

    although there is a concept of 'positive action' which isn't illegal - don't know a lot about it - this was about the first thing i could find on the subject, and may be worth further research here.

    I have certainly seen job adverts that aim to encourage women applying for what is traditionally seen as a 'mans job'- some less cringingly awful than others. (e.g. the operational end of the transport business - some trying to tackle ideas that might put women off applying, like saying that the physical effort involved in driving a modern bus is no more than in driving a car)

    It also used to be the case that some employers would place job adverts in papers like the 'voice' (black community) and / or the 'pink paper' (LGBT community) as well as mainstream press, but not sure that's so easy when it comes to seeking women for jobs, or in a more digital age.

    TFL's page on women in transport may be worth a look.

    does the job advert make what you're looking for / what the job is about clear enough? I've been after one or two jobs in the past where it's not been what i'd thought and i wished i hadn't bothered - and quite probably the feeling was mutual (the age of 'phone for informal chat before applying' seems largely dead, but probably wastes more time than it saves in the long run)

    alternatively, if it's a rare job, should your organisation be thinking about training people who might not have all the 'right' experience?
    scifisam, 8ball and Gramsci like this.
  19. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Puddy_Tat I think that is how "loony left" Lambeth did it. They offered women training in construction and took them on after they had finished training.

    The public sector always was better than private sector.
    Pickman's model likes this.
  20. 8ball

    8ball Hetero Sapiens

    Re: your first point. I think internally at least it's clear, because we let everyone know they can talk to us about the role (and most will be dealing with us in some capacity anyway). Externally it's a little tougher because equivalent organisations slice up the roles differently, and a lot of it probably sounds pretty esoteric to someone from a different industry.

    But we certainly do take people who have the right aptitudes and then train them for the specific skills. And when they are a little further from the usual places we get people from, then they teach us a lot too, which is what we want.
  21. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    Is it possible for the job to involve part-time/flexible working or job shares? If it is, those should be emphasised in any job adverts. If it's a possibility but not mentioned some women just won't see the ads because they're filtered out.

    Obvs those are useful for lots of men too, but it's still women doing the majority of childcare (oh God nobody ask me for cites for that, nobody can really doubt it's true overall, and it's partly for reasons of biology), so those features really make a difference.

    Manter will have good input on this if she has time.
    8ball and weepiper like this.
  22. kabbes

    kabbes "A top 400 poster"

    I was involved in a rethink of recruitment to increase women applicants to my company (many years ago now), which worked. But it was root and branch, not surface level. We had to look at the cultural baggage that was putting women off and how this got embedded into the way we were looking for recruits. For example, emphasising “work hard play hard” was encouraging male applicants and discouraging female ones. But it was no good just not including that phrase in the advert, it was also important to consider why the company wanted to include it in the first place. No point getting the applicants and then having them leave the company once they found out what it was like. We also had to consider who we were sending to recruitment fairs and how they came across, that kind of thing.

    We also radically changed the interview approach. Unstructured interviews are only good for employing more people that are a lot like the interviewer. You need to think about the skills and behaviours you are actually looking for and design the structure around finding out who has these.

    A lot of stuff, basically. There isn’t a simple answer. One problem you face is that people don’t want to hear that the reason for a lack of women applying might be located in them rather than the applicants.
  23. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    That’s not true. There are a load of issues with the apprenticeship scheme as it’s currently set up, how the funding works and what you can use it for etc. I see it more used by retailers to develop store managers than by construction to develop traditional skills; but even so there are female-focused schemes, such as Morris Roe’s (and British Gas’)- those are just two I know about, there are undoubtably others.
  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Heard about this campaign on radio news this morning.

    #FreePeriods — The Pink Protest

    One thing they want is VAT to be removed from the cost of sanitary products. Also the cost means some women can't afford them. Which is shocking in a relatively wealthy country like this one.

    On program they were talking about schools. Young women whose families can't afford sanitary products.
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
    Pickman's model likes this.
  25. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    8ball agree with what Kabbes says. And also think about wider diversity. If you focus on women only it can all become a bit pink laptops and manicures on wednesdays (which isn’t what women want). Think about advertising- are you making clear to everyone that this is an open and welcoming team? Language you use, where you advertise, chance to have an informal/off the record chat before applying that it’s made very clear is not used as part of the assessment process etc; also who you use as the ‘face’ of the department (Use a diverse face you attract more diversity).

    You don’t need to dumb down the role- but you do need to look at how you are expressing it. If other organisations cut departments differently you can make that clear in recruitment. If there are attributes that are essential, but you train on others, be really explicit and make sure you aren’t assessing for the stuff you train. Also worth looking for opportunities to actively go and meet people and ‘sell’ the department. Talk to people and say ‘have you considered...’

    The other thing is active recruitment and talent development. Are there people in the organisation who could be good with a couple of other experiences, for example,- can you talk to managers and start to develop a potential pipeline? Or could you offer short term placements?

    Honestly, driving diversity through an organisation isn’t short term....
  26. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    Delighted you and other men are discovering this stuff at last- but this isn’t a new issue, or a new campaign, and there are loads of charities working in this space. Why the fuck can’t we get heard?
  27. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Sassy McFlashy

  28. kabbes

    kabbes "A top 400 poster"

    The other thing about recruitment that you have to build in is that as a whole, men apply for roles if they think they meet 50% of the requirements but women only apply if they think they meet 80%. So you have to be careful about what you are writing down as a “requirement” vs a nice to have, and how you are expressing that request. Otherwise self-selection will end up doing the filtering you are trying to avoid.
  29. Manter

    Manter Lunch Mob

    That stat is a bit dodgy. But the principle is sound ;)
    Almor likes this.
  30. JuanTwoThree

    JuanTwoThree Back to the mug-shot

    I'm curious to know what is thought about the pioneers. I can see that the first woman doctors, or firefighters, or Prime Ministers could inspire more women. But I can also see them serving as a mechanism for saying 'Look it can be done, so STFU' and so the outliers reinforce the status quo for the rest. Another possibility is that the occasional woman CEO or PM on purpose kicks away the ladder for anybody else.

    It really does need to be bottom up, not top down

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