Friday, July 26, 2013

Gender Flipping

So apparently there's been for some time now a media meme called 'gender flipping'.

As usual, I'm late to join in all the trendy-bloggers' reindeer games.  But fear not! If you, like me, are hearing about gender flipping for the first time and are curious to learn about this sometimes hilarious, often disturbing and always thought-provoking movement, I direct you here.

(Readers may be interested to see that the author kicks off her article with the very same Dustin Hoffman clip posted earlier this month on BtheB.  I just, you know, want it to be noted for posterity: I at one time managed to post something while it was trending.   Let's all give me a nerd high-five!)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Historians with(out) kids

We blogged about this before, but Friend-Of-This-Blog Laura asks some provocative questions about gender, parenting, promotion, and historians here.  Take a look.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Don't be an Interrupting Cow

The joke, a favorite of small children I know, goes like this:

Knock, knock!

Who's there?

Interrupting cow!



And I've been thinking about that as I continue my international disciplinary workshop / gender theatre 101.  I have noticed a woman interrupting a man precisely once in discussion.  Every woman, including me, has been interrupted by men multiple times.  Last week, a male participant interrupted a female participant about three times in as many minutes, insisting that she wasn't answering his question.  Of course she wasn't answering.  She was supposed to have the floor, and couldn't get a word in edgewise. Yesterday, the female presenter, when answering a question, was interrupted by a male participant who started his comment with, "I demand that you fix this."

Don't be an interrupting cow.  Shut up.  Listen. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tootsie: More than Just a Pretty Face

Today on Facebook a friend posted this 3-ish minute video of Dustin Hoffman, an actor I love, discussing a deep insight about women he had while getting ready for one of his greatest roles, Tootsie.

Go here to watch it, then come back and share your thoughts.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

the Witty Insult Campaign

Editorial note: This is a post I began writing about a month ago.  In light of recent continued harassment in both my case and L's, I decided to post this even if I wasn't quite finished writing it.  I may add more later...


I got whistled at on the way to work this morning, which was annoying not least because it disrupted my train of thought regarding the ontic status of entanglement relations. But it did serve as a reminder that I had promised some time ago to begin collecting and distributing good come-backs for women in situations of light- to moderate-harassment. Well, it's a Friday afternoon, it's summertime, I'm procrastinating, and this blog could use a bit of lightness, eh? Methinks the time is ripe to launch the Witty Insult Campaign.  This is, of course, just the beginning...

* * *
Scenario: You are whistled at/honked at/shouted at by guys flying past in a motorized vehicle
Response:  "You have perfectly expressed my feelings about the present economy!"
Response If You Happen to Have Raw Eggs and/or Water Balloons On Your Person:  Utilize those projectiles, my darlings.  Don't forget to account for wind resistance.

* * *
Scenario: You are verbally accosted with a whistle, a grunt, a "that's right, baby", a sleazy once-over or an ostentatious leer
Response: Give the idiot a once-over yourself, squinch-up your face and say, "But you, sir, look like [insert one of the following:
                                                               "a giant, used diaper"
                                                               "a moustache with rabies"
                                                               "a homeless pineapple"
                                                               "a motherless, hairless goat"]  
Response Courtesy of Tina Fey: "If you look at me like that again I will smack those teeth straight."
Responses Courtesy of Shakespeare:   
-- "Thou clouted ill-breeding horn-beast!"
--"Out of my sight! Thou dost infect my eyes"
--"Thou wimpled hedge-born flap-dragon!"  (sadly, this one only applies if the dude is wearing a wimple)
--"Thou cullionly beef-witted mammet!" (I particularly like this one.  Go ahead: look up 'cullion' in the dic.)
--"Thou puking, hasty-witted pumpion!"

That's it for now.  Go get 'em, girls.

Great idea! (Or not.)

The scene: I'm at the opening reception of a multi-week international seminar for graduate students in my field and associated fields, chatting with strangers, eating unidentifiable canapés, being charming, trying to remember names, and drinking a magically-refilling glass of wine. 

Editorial note: Despite the fact that the relevant fields are about 50-50 men-women at my university, and quite possibly majority female on a national level, women make up less than a third of the cohort of seminar participants.  

The great idea: Male graduate student from another university declares, "I have a great idea!  Since we're all staying in adjacent flats, why don't you girls just cook us all dinner every night?"

Me: Dumfounded. "Ha! Or not."

Editorial note: What a comeback, hmm?  And here's the thing: even if he didn't mean anything by it, even if he was just trying to be funny, he wasn't.  It's not about the cooking.  It's not even about the comment.  It's about his assumption: we do the work, you do the cooking.