Hello, and welcome to the inaugural post of our new series Feminist Fistbump, where we offer up props to those warriors fighting for gender equality today! Our first Fistbump goes out to advertising consultant, startup guru, and all-around badass Cindy Gallop.
In a room full of powerful women in communications, a former politician essentially bragged about not using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. In 2012. To each her own, but seriously? It's too late in the game for all that. Don't be that lady. There are billions of dollars floating around in social media. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.
A recent Catalyst survey of Fortune 500 companies found that in 2011, women accounted for 14.1% of executive officer positions. They are just 7.5% of top earners in those position, but there are apparently a lot of women being groomed for leadership in the "corporate pipeline."
Be friends with the other women (unless they really suck), learn some sports, avoid businesses that promote boys clubby tendencies, and other ways to deal if you can't play golf (I am awful at it, not that I was invited) and you don't smoke cigars.
This blog series isn't just about women who produce art—it's also about the women who support and promote it. Like most industries, gender inequality is rife in the art world, but I thought it only fair to find out who is representing us and if there looks to be a shift towards more female directors of galleries and museums.
SXSW Interactive had an overwhelming amount of panels, conversations, and sessions that covered more tech talk you could shake a joystick at. Here's a quick round-up of three panels I saw, including Internet drama from a feminist perspective, the brainstorming behind Bedsider.org, and how female entrepreneurs fare in the tech world.
The Washington Post article linked above, for example, is pretty straightforward. It explains that scientists in Britain tested 17 male and female financial traders for their testosterone levels and then had them play a money game involving risky or safe investments. The people with high testosterone, regardless of gender, chose the riskier investments. But the article makes the mistake right off the bat of saying the study is about "male hormone testosterone." A study whose results should break down gender differences instead is framed as reinforcing them: only women who have high testosterone (which is not a male hormone. It's found in both men and women) act like men. Smaller news sources riff on the same mistake , framing finance as a career for men and viewing women who become bankers as therefore acting like men.
Science journal Nature wins the award for best coverage. They refer to the phenomena as simply "traders' testosterone"—a refreshingly ungendered term.
But whatever, the WaPo's faulty framing is small potatoes compared to this headline from The Economist: "Hormones, not sexism, explain why fewer women than men work in banks." Uh... WTF Economist? This study did not look at reasons women work in banks, it doesn't examine social norms or widespread career statistics. Extrapolating that the presence of one hormone can explain away decades of female career choices is totally unfounded and provides dangerous fodder to folks who want to believe we live in a post-sexism society.
And on the far fringe of poor reporting lies the Press Association who conjured up this bizarre headline from the study: "Risky women are 'hungry for sex.'" I'm not even going to get started on that one.