Mostly Gender Stuff

Webpages come and go, so I’ll just upload the report on gender and social norms from the UN published in 2020 here.

Highlights from it (lowlights, really): 86% of WOMEN worldwide hold at least one major belief that amounts to gender bias against women. 90% of men do. In the US “only” 54% of WOMEN are biased against other women in some way, while 61% of men are.

Women are still denied equal rights in many countries. Which is a big problem for the planet.

However, even where equal rights are mandated, real life barriers based on social expectations and perceptions about women remain very high. For example, less than 6% of CEOs of large companies are females, yet there are equal rights laws on the books in almost all high income countries.

Women do 2.5 more unpaid work than men globally. This does not change much even when they work outside the home.

Speaking of working outside the home: pay gaps still are large barriers for women as a whole, and don’t even get me started on the gaps for women of color: In the 50 countries where adult women are more educated than men, they still receive on average 39 percent less income than men—despite devoting more time to work.

Yeah, so if Aligned Visions sometimes publishes work that points out that some men engage in problematic behaviors, it does not mean we are engaged in bashing men. When the mere mention that men comprise well over 90% of the world’s murderers, and simply observing that they appear to more quickly devolve into fascism, seems like an attack against men rather than an observation of a sad reality, it may be time to examine your own assumptions about what constitutes an attack on men. And to double down on the point: I actually think it’s enabling oppression to not mention the clearly gendered component of the people engaged in the most violence and doing the most harms to the planet. Overwhelmingly the decision makers who are causing the most harms to the planet are male. And a good many are white. These are salient facts, not attacks.

Speaking of attacks, the reality is that around the world and in the US literally millions of times a day some men consciously choose to engage in actions that oppress females (DV anyone?). That is a horrifying fact (not an accusation), and, it would behoove the reader to not attack the messenger for simply bringing it up as a problematic part of our current reality if we really want to do something about it.

People also routinely and insidiously engage in behaviors that are not conscious attacks, but become significant barriers. Numerous studies have shown that people will not pay as much attention to Susan’s comments and will doubly dismiss Shaunita’s comments during a meeting, while lauding Steve’s comments (that echo theirs) not five minutes later. It happens far too many times a day, in far too many meetings. Objectively speaking, men are the worst offenders, but women do it too. And I, for one, am deeply sorry for the times I have done that in the past Shaunita, really. Please call me on it in the future.

“Please call me on it in the future” is what I sincerely wish those from dominant groups would say to under represented groups in general, and in specific: I really wish many, many, more men would say this to women while we learn to renegotiate our cultural norms in the next few decades. I think it’s possible that universal science fiction as a genre could help move this kind of engaged allyship along with more speed than has been the case over the past fifty years.