Re: Women's voices

1

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll say the same things I always say: Abolish tenure, go out and commission op-eds from interesting people with something to say (never mind that you get eight million over the transom), and stop editing out all hint of an individual voice. That would be a start.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:43 PM
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I like to believe that I can bloviate without expertise

No you can't.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:43 PM
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1: Look, that's just not how it's done on Unfogged, OKAY?!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:45 PM
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2: Yet I don't think you are implying that I have expertise.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:46 PM
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Well I mean I was just trying to cause trouble.

Or uh. Yeah you do, uh, girl. Way to mess up the uh bloviating with uh with girl facts.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:48 PM
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I got to teach my coworker the term "mansplaining" the other day, which was both a little ironic and very helpful for her in explaining the meeting we had both just attended.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:49 PM
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When I talk about the one area where I have the most genuine expertise, everyone gets mad. Also I'm pretty sure that based on a "who could kill the other person in hand to hand combat" (and, really, is there any other metric for manliness ) Ttam's is by far the manliest commenter and I'm somewhere far down on the list.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:51 PM
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8

What do I google to look up my own level of expertise?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:51 PM
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9

Chuck Norris.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:52 PM
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8: here.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:52 PM
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I thought ttaM killed people with foot-to-head combat, not hand-to-hand.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:57 PM
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12

I would read the linked post but it's in a little narrow stripe down the middle of my browser window and that annoys me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:58 PM
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13

I just had a somewhat depressing conversation with a male coworker that made me think that possibly all my problems are due to not feeling entitled enough. This hadn't occurred to me before -- I always thought I was sufficiently entitled, but maybe not.

We were also talking about law firms, and I mentioned the depressing lack of female litigation partners the places I'd worked. He mentioned that the reverse was true at our office, that all the supervisors were women. This seemed off to me: I just counted off the phone list: top level, one woman. Next level down, two women, one man. Next level down (where I'm acting now) five men, four women. It would be petty to inform him of how the numbers work out (pretty evenly split, no?) but I am unable not to tell someone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 6:59 PM
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14

The level below that (my new job title), five men, three women.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:01 PM
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I just had a somewhat depressing conversation with a male coworker that made me think that possibly all my problems [at work] are due to not feeling entitled enough.

This is almost certainly broadly true for the majority of unfogged commenters, male and female.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:06 PM
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13 is evocatively similar to that dumb thing Haidt said that Andy Gelman caught him on.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:07 PM
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17

One is inclined to argue, re: the OP, that women are better off and should be happy not to participate so much in the chattering rabble.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:31 PM
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18

Er when I said 13 I meant "the stuff quoted in 13". That was clear, right?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:36 PM
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19

Yeah.

This guy is decent to work with, pleasant, friendly, and all that. It's just a downer realizing that to a perfectly reasonable man, a fairly gender-balanced supervisory staff looks like a matriarchy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:43 PM
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20

Is he at your level, in the hierarchy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:45 PM
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19

... a fairly gender-balanced supervisory staff looks like a matriarchy.

So what's the split for the non-supervisors?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:47 PM
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21 is impressively weak and girlish trolling.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:51 PM
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20: Not exactly -- after my recent promotion, I'm his supervisor, but he actually has the same level job title I do, just not the position in the org chart: he transferred in a way that moved him down a level in terms of supervision, but left him with his old job-title and pay.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:51 PM
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21; I'm not tallying up everyone on the phone list, but it's pretty close to fifty-fifty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 7:56 PM
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Two more things I find irritating:

1. Even when newspapers are ostensibly looking for "fresh voices" (ha) they somehow never take me up on the many (politically, age-, belief-system, etc.) diverse candidates I unsolicitedly suggest to them. It can't possibly be that ALL my recommendations are bad.

2. Things like the Op-Ed Project are vaguely annoying because they so often seem to focus on highly educated white women. That's not the only kind of under-representation!

Also, I am part of the problem. An editorial page editor actually asked me to write something and I haven't done it yet. My excuse: I am busy doing the things that actually get me paid.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:05 PM
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It's just a downer realizing that to a perfectly reasonable man, a fairly gender-balanced supervisory staff looks like a matriarchy.

I know. When I have conversations like that (assuming they're not with colleagues), I am almost incapable of not offhandedly pointing that out: "It's funny, I read something the other day that said that even when things are numerically balanced people tend to overestimate the number of women. So weird how we all make those assumptions even when we know better."

Not surprisingly, it comes off better with people who know me well and are used to having me randomly interject trivia or cite studies in conversation.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:10 PM
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If it helps, it isn't necessarily about women specifically.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:12 PM
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Although, given that the same process might lead him to systematically overestimate the number of male supervisors, it's probably got something to do with women specifically.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:22 PM
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I'd think. If the property "has a lot of female supervisors" wasn't distinctive, then it wouldn't be as likely to be perceived strongly ("has nothing but female supervisors"), per the abstract Gelman quoted.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:27 PM
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I could also quibble with the "even when we know better" by making reference to Kahneman fucking again but then I'd be a bore and a half and also taking kind of the lousy side of the argument.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:30 PM
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31

Or maybe it's too late. Hey, where's teo?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:33 PM
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I would like to hear from teo's date, because I read the OP.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:41 PM
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And I am leaving work now. It's interesting, that supervising people by walking around and listening to their concerns and what they're working on all day doesn't actually leave much time for working on my own cases.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 8:41 PM
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34

Hey, where's teo?

Back from the date. It went well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 10:15 PM
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Back from the date. It went well.

I trust you're only taking a brief break from the post-date date.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 10:27 PM
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36

Alas, the date appears to be really and truly over for tonight. But we're probably going out again on Friday.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 10:31 PM
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37

Did you wear the hat?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 10:47 PM
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No.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 10:50 PM
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The date would still be happening if you'd worn the hat.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 11:02 PM
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Perhaps.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 11:06 PM
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41
Also I'm pretty sure that based on a "who could kill the other person in hand to hand combat" (and, really, is there any other metric for manliness ) Ttam Megan is by far the manliest commenter

FTFY.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 11:23 PM
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42

You're going to wear the hat on Friday, right?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 11:38 PM
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I don't have it with me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-13-12 11:51 PM
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44

Good Lord Bob has called down the wrath of Japan upon us.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 12:03 AM
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45

Or possibly China? Not too much expertise here. Help!!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 12:05 AM
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46

Heh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 12:05 AM
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They appear to link to guccijapan.com, so I'm thinking Japan.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 12:06 AM
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heebie aside, these sorts of findings make me feel like it would be better if more men became more like women rather than the other way around. I know that it's not possible, but I'd rather have fewer people who don't know what they're talking about getting prominent places in the public discourse.

I realize that feminism isn't just for the best people out there and that it ought to mean that mediocre women ought can do just as well as mediocre men, but still.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 3:52 AM
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Last night I binge-watched the last 4 episodes of Game of Thrones, so my standards of manliness are now a LOT HIGHER. Now I know any weakness means you pay the IRON PRICE.

As I was waking up this morning I dreamed that Heebie was posting about how her dad recommends voting:"My dad says to vote FIVE, straight down the ticket. 'If they've got five letters in their name, or they're fifth on the list, or it's question number five, you vote for 'em.' So, five." So, that was weird.

Yay Teo! Scheduled 2nd date = it's in the bag. Tentatively in the bag.


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 5:51 AM
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I think I'm much more willing to talk about politics online than in person. That's partly being anti-social in general, of course, and it's partly because talking about politics is sort of a no-win situation - it's very hard to change anyones' mind with argument, and if everyone agrees to begin with, then what's the point? But also, I think another reason is that online I can look up, quote, and link to exact details if I want to, and check the other guy's claims. It's much harder to do that in person. I guess this would make me a less manly op-ed writer.

Also, congratulations teo. Don't fuck up and you might get a third date. Maybe.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:41 AM
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As I was waking up this morning I dreamed that Heebie was posting about how her dad recommends voting:"My dad says to vote FIVE, straight down the ticket. 'If they've got five letters in their name, or they're fifth on the list, or it's question number five, you vote for 'em.' So, five." So, that was weird.

It's a small lobby, but it swung the Obama-Clinton race.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:43 AM
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51: Obama/Biden for the double whammy! I guess Romney has to pick Marco Rubio now.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:47 AM
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It's a small lobby

Unlike the Ronald Wilson Reagan 666 boost. (To which Obama comes pretty damn close.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 7:28 AM
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The extra "S" is for "Satan"!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 10:17 AM
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Another article on the subject of the OP. But not the one I was looking for. I remember reading something a couple months ago about wikipedia trying to figure out how to get more women involved as editors, but I can't find that now.

LB -- I could be getting the timezone of the comments wrong, but were you really at work until after 11:00 yesterday? That isn't good.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 10:30 AM
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Through an unfortunate concatenation of circumstances, headcount in my section is down from what should be seven to three and a half. (Look, I'm new on the job, and I hadn't read the safety manuals yet. I'm hoping for a recovery to three and three-quarters at least.) Things are hectic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 10:51 AM
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Look, I'm new on the job, and I hadn't read the safety manuals yet.

Herded them right over a cliff?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 1:46 PM
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I just had a somewhat depressing conversation with a male coworker that made me think that possibly all my problems [at work] are due to not feeling entitled enough.

This is almost certainly broadly true for the majority of unfogged commenters, male and female.

I'm about to put this theory to the test, by asking for a very large raise. A raise which, it goes without saying, I don't feel entitled to receive. Wish me luck.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 2:53 PM
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Go get 'em, urple!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 2:58 PM
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I need a new job. There are no raises where I work.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 3:00 PM
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60: Maybe you can take urple's job once he gets fired for asking for a raise.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 3:05 PM
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...and on that note, good luck, urple!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 3:07 PM
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58: Go forth and sell yourself with enthusiasm, urple.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 3:08 PM
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Mean teo should comment more frequently.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 3:09 PM
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64: I fell like that would muddle my overall message.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 3:11 PM
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12: I would read the linked post but it's in a little narrow stripe down the middle of my browser window

Yeah, what's up with that? I waded through it anyway (though quickly). The bit leading up to the section heebie quoted reads:

A significant part of the problem appears to be that women just don't have confidence that their opinions matter, or that they are informed enough.

I have an opinion about this. In my experience, women are less inclined to bloviate because nice girls don't do that. It's not nice, it's not sweet and charming and harmless and pretty -- read: not attractive -- and it can be viewed as therefore threatening. So women are less likely to voice opinions unless they're couched in those hedge terms ("It seems to me", "I think that", "I'm not sure/I'm not an expert, but"), or they're presented in a gay, self-deprecating way, or they can actually claim expertise.

The article goes to the "it's a self-confidence issue" conclusion, and I suppose you could call it that, but it wouldn't be confidence in one's views that's at issue, on my reading, but confidence in the extent to which one won't be read uncharitably, and/or as an unattractive harridan.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 5:40 PM
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66: I'm pretty outspoken at work, but if I'm dealing with people who have better credentials or who have been working longer outside of my agency, and I don't know them, I do this all the time (and it isn't about expressing an opinion). It's usually a situation where they might feel like their authority is threatened, because I am, to some extent, questioning them.

Inpatient hospital social worker, could you please give me my client's medical information or can I talk to the doctor? No, we're the inpatient providers and we're supposed to handle everything until X is ready for discharge.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:00 PM
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66: And, not to be a total downer, but the aggravation/threat factor. I write a ton of letters to the editor, and I'm in no way shy about my opinions, but there are plenty of times when I've shied away from a topic because I don't want to deal with hate mail or harassing phone calls -- or don't want my extended family to (since they have listed phones and I don't).

A friend and fellow advocate had someone look up her phone number and track her down to leave a hateful message for writing a simple, nonthreatening letter to the editor. It really shook her, and unfortunately it's not a rare experience.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:10 PM
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67: In that scenario, it's pretty understandable: you're dealing with hierarchical superiors in one way or another. You'll necessarily need to frame anything that might sound questioning in a hedging manner.

The article, though, is talking about op-eds, which are presumably not forums (fora) in which direct hierarchy is an issue.

I keep thinking about the extent to which I always want to hide my gender: my pseud here is an example, and when I write in my own guise, I often use just my first initial. I know why I do that: I'm received differently -- at least until people determine that I'm female -- and that matters.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:16 PM
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Witt, do editorial pages require that you use your full name? You said earlier that you'd been asked to write something.

Obviously, declining to use your full name is not an ideal solution.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:22 PM
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Yes, they require your full name.

NickS: There was a NYT article on women editing Wikipedia last fall. This woman did an interesting job of collecting women's self-reported examples of why they don't edit.

Relatedly, does anybody know Wikipedia policy on self-citation? I read the citation page but I can't figure it out. I'm talking about linking to a published presentation on another site, as a citation for a Wikipedia article. Is that kosher?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:29 PM
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71.3: I have no idea of the answer. I'd probably just try it and see what happens.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 6:56 PM
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I am also amused all to hell by the notion that G.E.M. Anscombe, were she to write an editorial today, would have to have it published under "Gertrude Anscombe". Not that there's anything wrong with the name Gertrude, obviously, but seriously: initials just aren't acceptable?

That seems kind of fucked up, actually.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 7:14 PM
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Sorry, I was unclear. The newspaper has to know your full name. They're willing to print with first-name initials.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 7:15 PM
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Oh, good. I'm relieved. That might help to some extent. Of course, if people do want to engage in threatening behavior, they will do so, but some can be headed off at the pass if they can't tell you're a woman. Sadly, but there it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 7:28 PM
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My father, a 3rd-generation immigrant with an unusual first and last name, got a drunken threatening message in response to a Letter to the Editor he had had published. It was more silly than scary, but still infuriating.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-14-12 8:39 PM
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