Femininity as a technology: some thoughts on hyperemployment [Cyborgology]

29 Nov

Femininity as a technology: some thoughts on hyperemployment [Cyborgology]

Indeed, as Bogost’s example suggests, our smartphones wake us up, not our moms, just as emails accomplish a lot of the relational work (scheduling, reminding, checking in, etc.) conventionally performed by women.

Women are trained from a young age to perform this relational, caregiving, extra-shift work.Femininity–the gender ideal and norm–is the technology that helps women perform these tasks with ease and efficiency. Conforming to feminine ideals like cuteness, neatness, cleanliness, attention to (self)presentation, receptivity to others, and so on, trains you in the skills you need to accomplish feminized care/second+ shift work.


Don’t Be a Creep, and other lessons from the latest scandal in the science blogging world [Slate]

18 Oct

Don’t Be a Creep, and other lessons from the latest scandal in the science blogging world [Slate]

By Laura Helmuth.

Now, you established people, listen up. You will occasionally meet younger people who go out of their way to speak with you at professional events, ask you interesting and sometimes personal questions, and hang on your every word. Those are not puppy-dog, crushed-out eyes staring up at you. These are eyes hungry for a professional break. These people are not trying to sleep with you. They are trying to get hired by you. . . .

It can be hard to tell the difference between flirtation and exuberance. The men and the women who approach me are doing exactly what they should do at a professional meeting: introducing themselves, expressing enthusiasm for what I do, asking questions, making clever conversation. They are looking for guidance, not lechery. It’s my job to interpret their behavior correctly.


College Men: Stop Getting Drunk [NY Mag: The Cut]

17 Oct

College Men: Stop Getting Drunk [NY Mag: The Cut]

A parody by Ann Friedman. Helps to have first read the Emily Yoffe piece linked at the top of the article.

EDIT: And here’s Soraya Chemaly on the same piece. Which led to a pleasant coda:


Lobo Spotlight: Sarah Crawford

15 Oct

Lobo Spotlight: Sarah Crawford

Hey look, it’s the Women’s Resource Center‘s Sarah Crawford profiled in the Daily Lobo! Sarah’s been helping me lay the groundwork for WITA 2.0, and we’ve sort of been working around and alongside each other on a few other things.

More to the point, this year the American Association of University Women has selected Sarah to serve on its Student Advisory Council. Click through above to read more.


Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science? [NY Times Magazine]

6 Oct

Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science? [NY Times Magazine]

I probably don’t know enough to say whether there’s much here that’s new, in the big picture. But as with the Harvard Business School piece from a little while back, it’s nice to get an extended, thoroughly reported (over the course of two years) piece of storytelling on the matter, this time centered on physics at Yale, by one of the first two women to earn a B.S. in that department. She’s now a creative writing professor at the University of Michigan.

Two excerpts after the jump: Continue reading


The Price You Pay [Medium]

27 Sep

The Price You Pay [Medium]

To this day it is impossible to imagine a female living artist selling anything for what Johns received twenty-five years ago ($33 million adjusted for inflation.) And it is not for lack of talent as the list of artists in the Guerilla Girls poster shows. Women struggle for visibility, while opportunities come less frequently and their work is dismissed as inferior. . . .

When I hear about male “thought leaders” in the tech industry with speaking fees of as much as $45,000, I am reminded of that poster. That sum of money reveals the years and layers of decisions made that favor white men in their careers. For the price of one keynote address, you might schedule a week of talks by some of the brilliant women in the world.

via the Ann Friedman newsletter.




On Learning Animal-ness [Only Human]

19 Sep

On Learning Animal-ness [Only Human]

Babies apparently find it odd to see an animal that’s hollow.

Science writer Virginia Hughes (the only female contributor to National Geographic’s “Phenomena” blogs) on some of the developmental psychology research of Drs. Renee Baillargeon and Rochel Gelman.



Finding Satisfaction in Second Best [NY Times]

17 Sep

Finding Satisfaction in Second Best [NY Times]

An interview with Debora Spar, president of Barnard College.

I use the term warily. You don’t want to go out there and say that women should settle for second best. But sometimes second best is really good, and second best is much better than fourth best or worse. Women in particular feel if I didn’t become the top C.E.O. or perfect mother, I’ve somehow blown it. . . . 

It’s horrible! Most people don’t know how to change the world by the time they’re 18. You see it particularly in this city, where most of the schools require community service. There’s something deeply oxymoronic about required volunteering. They have to have community service, they have to have sports, they have to have been president of a club. It’s just too much. I think women internalize it perhaps more than men.


Via Ann Friedman.


Doing a PhD in half the time [Tenure, She Wrote]

12 Sep

Doing a PhD in half the time [Tenure, She Wrote]

Today is the 255th day of the year and I have been sick for 110 of them. When I am well, I do work so cool, funding agencies throw money at me.* When I am sick, I am lucky if I am able to brush my teeth.** Being sick so often can be a wee bit depressing. Of course, Darwin was ill most of his life, but still managed to do some pretty important work. That’s inspiring – and comforting!

Less comforting is the overwhelming importance of “productivity” in academic science.

I love doing science and I’m good at it. But my illness takes away about 3 days every week, and I get less done than many of my peers because of it. I don’t know if my illness will improve, and I worry that  I won’t be able to compete for a job. . . . 

Do we really want to prevent people from contributing to our fields because they can’t (or won’t) work incredibly long hours?



How Do You Change a Bro-Dominated Culture? [NY Magazine: The Cut]

12 Sep

How Do You Change a Bro-Dominated Culture? [NY Magazine: The Cut]

“Bro” once meant something specific: a self-absorbed young white guy in board shorts with a taste for cheap beer. But it’s become a shorthand for the sort of privileged ignorance that thrives in groups dominated by wealthy, white, straight men. “Bro” is convenient because describing a professional or social dynamic as “overly white, straight, and male” seems both too politically charged and too general; instead, “bro” conjures a particular type of dude who operates socially by excluding those who are different. And, crucially, a bro in isolation is barely a bro at all — he needs his peers to reinforce his beliefs and laugh at his jokes. That’s why the key to de-broing our culture just might be the straight white guys who aren’t bros.
Ann Friedman on that Harvard Business School NYT story and other “de-broification” efforts.