Mostly just linky goodness today, but a lot of stuff out there.
Let's get started:
Women and the Media: The Curious Case of Jill Abramson
In the same week that Barbara Walters stepped away from the small screen (at least on a regular basis), the executive editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson, was dismissed from her post. Was it really concerns about her "managerial style" as the Times reported, or was it because she was a woman who challenged management over salary issues as an opinion piece on CNN suggested? The business magazine Forbes also questions whether there is a link between the dismissal and gender, and whether a management style that would be seen as a positive in a male manager was seen as a negative in Abramson's case:
While still too early to conclude, it’s clear that even the world’s most powerful women are not safe from negative narrative if they are assertive. If the report is true, it’s not the pay gap that irks me; those numbers can be fixed. But how do we even begin to fix deeply-ingrained attitudes about how women should behave to be successful?The New Yorker also has reports (here and here) on the firing, and on Morning Joe a discussion on how women at the Times are viewing the developments.
The rest of the links below the Twisted Cheeto...
• The cover story of the May 26th issue of Time Magazine, The Sexual Assault Crisis on American Campuses (excerpt), might be worth a stand-alone diary if someone wants to get hold of the magazine or has an online subscription.
• In an op-ed piece, former Secretary of Labor and current professor of public policy at UC Berkeley Robert Reich details how the supposed "pro-life" right-wing in the United States is actually killing women with their anti-health policies, such as refusal to expand Medicaid and the closing of women's clinics.
• Michelle Bachmann misses the point on women's history and feminism. (In other news, water is wet.)
• Republican Attorney General candidate in New York state defends his stance on reproductive rights (apparently in his world, they don't exist):
At issue has been his opposition to the 10th point of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 10-point women's rights agenda. It's the point dealing with codifying the Roe v. Wade decision into state law.• Thanks to Meteor Blades, we know what's going on in Missouri and Louisiana. (My dad's family is all in Missouri -- think it's going to be quite some time before I spend any of my tourist dollars there.)
"Our focus should be, obviously, on equal opportunity, equal pay. The 10th point to that plan is extraordinarily divisive," Cahill said.
• The sad tale of the missing Nigerian girls continues in the news. In two op-eds this week, Anne McFeatters and Nicholas Kristof both ask, in different ways, "What's So Scary About Smart Girls?" (And lest we think it couldn't happen here, there are plenty of folks out there who would prefer their daughters not get too much education out of fear of not landing a husband.)
• In the wake of elections in India, there are concerns that the (male) politicians talk a good game when it comes to women's issues (particularly violence against women), but progress is glacially slow.
• Also from India, a judge has ruled that forced marital sex is not rape.
• It's a slow process but women in Saudi Arabia are making progress towards equality.
Odds and Ends
• In the "Better Late Than Never, I Guess" Department, women who lost their US citizenship for marrying a foreigner got an apology from the Senate.
• In the "Self Fulfilling Prophecy" Department, a study finds that girls called "too fat" as children are more likely to become obese as they get older.
Tomiyama said she understands that people who tell loved ones they are too fat often do so with good intentions. "I know it's hard -- if you call your child 'too fat' she may gain weight, but if you don't do anything, are you enabling an unhealthy lifestyle?" she said.Makes sense to me.
Her advice: Stay away from the word "fat."
"We don't really need to talk about fat or not fat if we are trying to talk about health," she said. "Just say let's go eat healthier and let's go exercise and not even make weight part of the conversation."
• This is actually from a few weeks ago, but I had it in my Favorites: an interesting piece on Tor.com's Sleeps With Monsters blog on portraying female characters in fantasy fiction, and the difficulties in avoiding tired old tropes and sexist shorthand. (Probably applicable to more than just the fantasy/SF genre as well.)
On The Bookshelf
• Those of you who have young girls to shop for, you might find A Mighty Girl a good resource. The site features books, toys and movies geared towards young girls and women, with the goal of empowering them to become powerful, confident women. You won't find too many Disney princesses here (though they do have Disney's "Brave") or the latest Barbie craze. I think a few of the books will find their way on my shopping list should I have any more great-nieces.
• When it comes to polling and other issues, women often have an "I don't know" problem. That's the premise of a new book, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know.
In The Confidence Code, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman travel to the frontiers of neuroscience on a hunt for the confidence gene and reveal surprising new research on its roots in our brains. They visit the world's leading psychologists who explain how we can all chose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They interview women leaders from the worlds of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. They examine how a lack of confidence impacts our leadership, success, and fulfillment.• And back in the international sphere, the problems of women in modern day China are addressed in a book, Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China. In a Q&A with the author, we learn of the intense pressure on Chinese women to marry young, and how they have been excluded from much of the economic boom.
Please sign the petition to Gov. Andrew Cuomo requesting a pardon for Cecily McMillan, who was convicted of assaulting a police officer when she acted to defend herself against a sexual assault.