Wednesday, September 17, 2008

34 Million Friends

Congrats to Jane on conquering the web 2.0 medium!



Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The future of the book?


Reducing textbook prices through creative commons licenses? To all you higher ed folks out there - what do you think? Is this the future of the textbook?

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Economy Is a Feminist Issue

I don't have financial sector expertise, but people of all genders are going to be feeling today's crashes. The economy - a feminist issue. And an election issue, too.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Why are non-college-educated women voting for McPalin?

The NYTimes reports that a recent poll found that "blue-collar women" see their views most aligned with McCain/Palin. Here's a look at the numbers:

How much do you think each candidate shares your own values and principles?

Non-college-educated women who are considered likely voters:

John McCain - 71%

Sarah Palin - 65%

Barack Obama - 52%

Joe Biden - 46%

Likely voters overall:

McCain - 67%

Palin - 55%

Obama - 58%

Biden - 47%


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Little Monday Morning Reading

Check out the 64th Carnival of Feminists...


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

SNL Says It Best...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

There's a Problem with the Pipeline

And Who Says the Glass Ceiling Is Broken?

The NYTimes report on a recent study illustrates yet again why getting more women, especially women of color, into the political pipeline is important:
The report, from the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany, tallied how many women and minorities were appointed by governors in the 50 states to leadership jobs between 1997 and 2007. The answer is: not enough. Of 1,834 top state jobs — including advisers to governors, department and commission heads — 643 were held by female appointees, or about 35 percent of the total. Minorities held less than 16 percent.
For me, the most important conclusion drawn from this study is that
elective office is still overwhelmingly a white male occupation...that may have less to do with the glass ceiling than with the pipeline: too few women and minorities are being appointed to top state jobs where they can get the experience and the public attention to establish a political career.

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Pro-Decision Quote of the Day

I can't understand a politician who doesn't safeguard the quality of life. It makes no difference if it's a man or a woman. It doesn't make sense for one woman to win if all of us loose.
-Joyce McFadden, on Sarah Palin's reproductive choice policy


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Article On Gender Makes It Into NY Times Science Section

An historic event???

I was pretty surprised (I'll stop short of saying enthused) to see an article about gender appear in the NY Times Science section. Usually such articles are relegated to the Fashion & Style section. Because, if it's about the ladies or the gender issues, the NY Times just knows it belongs in the same section as coverage about purses, lipstick, and high heels. Duh!

I wasn't really wowed, though, by John Tierny's "As External Barriers Disappear, Some Gender Gaps Widen." Reporting on recently published research, Tierny summarizes the findings of Dr. David P. Schmidt:
“In some ways modern progressive cultures are returning us psychologically to our hunter-gatherer roots,” he [Dr. Schmidt] argues. “That means high sociopolitical gender equality over all, but with men and women expressing predisposed interests in different domains. Removing the stresses of traditional agricultural societies could allow men’s, and to a lesser extent women’s, more ‘natural’ personality traits to emerge.”
In other words...Men are from Mars! Women are from Venus! Let's create some scientific research to back up the planetary alignments - or to at least extend the passe debate! Mars! Venus!

I'm not impressed by Schmidt's "proof" against the social construction of gender. And I'm not impressed by Tierny's lack of interrogation of this study. I actually am not sure if I can see how this story is newsworthy given how overly done the "natural" sex traits/behaviors debate is. I think it must have been a pretty slow week in terms of science news...You?


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Friday, September 05, 2008

ABWAB Redesign...


Experimenting with Logos

I'm dying to redesign ABWAB, but I don't exactly have the classiest design software in the world (seriously, you can do a lot in PowerPoint, I swear!). What do folks of this logo and color scheme? Is this the new ABWAB?


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Grandma, More Qualified Than Palin

Pipeline Problems

Tongue in cheek, my grandmother recently queried my mother about whether she was qualified to be vice president. My grandmother's point? While Sarah Palin was mayor of a town of 6,000, my grandmother was on the board of selectman* of a town of 16,000. So...Wouldn't that make her more qualified? (Gram for president!)

Being serious about the Governor Palin's VP nomination, though, I think what this situation really illustrates is a problem of pipeline. When the GOP sat down to pick a female running mate for Senator John McCain, it seems like they faced some pretty slim pickings (or just failed horribly in the vetting process). While I'm glad to see women moving into the upper ranks of political field, I'm still disappointed by the very limited number of women who are poised to move into executive office. As Emily's List and the White House Project have been saying for years, it's important to get more women into the political pipeline. But even with the efforts of groups like the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, a robust pool of prospective female politicians primed to step into major state and national executive roles is lacking. In the United States, the percentage of women holding elected office seems to hover in the teens. And when you look at the numbers for women of color holding elected positions...

Let's just say we have a long way to go.

And, while I am no Palin-supporter (while we both share certain sex traits, our stances on sex-ed, reproductive choice, family "values," equal pay, and other issues are just too different for us to be in the same sisterhood this election season), the sexist coverage of her vice presidential nomination is a good illustration of just how long of a way we have to go. (I mean, VPILF, seriously? Seriously???)

I would really like to see a woman in the White House - sitting at the desk in the Oval Office, that is - in my lifetime. And I want to encourage all you to get involved in getting women into elected office - nominate your friends or nominate yourself! Because Sarah Palin** and Hillary Clinton*** are not enough...

*Board of selectman are like town councils - but New England style.

**As I said before, I am not a fan of her politics.

***I am a Hillary supporter voting for Obama. I heart Hillary - and I'm pretty proud of Barack, too.

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Being Trans at Work

What do you all think of Lisa Belkin's NYTimes article "Smooth Transitions" which discusses the experiences of transgender individuals' transitions in terms of the workplace? Even if it is an article in "Fashion & Style," I was pretty happy to see a major newspaper giving thoughtful coverage to this issue.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Getting That Girl Power

We Blog For Woodhull
Woodhull Blog Badge
Reading Hannah Seligson's recent NYTimes article "Girl Power at School, But Not at the Office", I had deja vu - or at least an interesting experience very close to deja vu. Seligson's article read much like the mission statement of the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, the non-profit organization for which I currently work.

Exploring why some young women find the transition from undergraduate life to the professional work world more "wobbly" than their male counterparts, Seligson notes that
outside forces [ie, sexism in the workplace] are only part of the story. I have also seen young women — myself included — getting in the way of their own success. I have found that we need to build a new arsenal of skills to mitigate some of our more “feminine” tendencies. Having lived in a cocoon of equality in college, we may have neglected these vital, real-world skills.
Wende Jager Hyman, Woodhull's executive director, often explains Woodhull's powerful trainings as giving women the tools to "get out of their own way." Without passing judgment on habits, traditions, and other comfortable ways of being, the Institute's curriculum strives to help women understand how they are being received in the world and what tools are useful to them in helping to shape this outside perception.

Uncomfortable asking for a raise or tooting your own horn? Cringe whenever constructive criticism is shared? Feel paralyzed by perfectionism? Find yourself always taking on the mess in the office kitchen? Hate public speaking? A large number of women feel unprepared to handle such dilemmas and the Woodhull Institute's goal is to provide the skills and empowerment needed to "get over" these issues. In other words,
the Woodhull Institute trains women in the practical steps needed to implement their ideas and transform their ambitions for leadership into reality. There is often a gap between a woman's private aspirations and her accomplishments, the Institute's training is intended to bridge this gap by offering leadership training and providing access to colleagues and mentors who will counsel and encourage these women throughout their careers. Woodhull offers empowerment courses on financial literacy and basic business skills, public speaking, negotiation and advocacy, writing, ethics in the workplace, networking and acquiring mentoring relationships.
Which is exactly the type of professional development that Seligson is arguing that women need to succeed in today's work world.


Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.