By: SheWired Editors
“Tomboys Likelier to Turn Into Lesbians” was the headline that caught our attention here at SheWired earlier this week. The provocative, if not ‘duh’ inducing, and not exactly accurate headline published in The Times of India was crafted for a story about the results of a study by the Queen Mary University in London that essentially found that genes may be a factor in the number of gender non-conforming girls – or tomboys – who grow up to be lesbians.
The study essentially found that of 4,000 female twins who were interviewed genetic influences on sexual orientation were at 31 percent and genes played about a 25 percent role in gender non-conformity. Although, prior studies had the number of tomboys who grow up to be lesbians pinned at about one third.
While we thought the number of tomboys to lesbians ratio must surely be higher – at least that’s what our own experiences have dictated – the headline did have us pondering, “where have all the good pop culture tomboys gone?” And, did any of those smart-ass, gum-smacking, tough-girl characters grow up to be lesbians? If so, was it about a third who grew up to go gay?
Continue reading at: http://www.shewired.com/box-office/tomboys-tv-film-they-might-be-gay-today?page=0,0
I’ve recently come across two online sources that take issue with what is basically the infantization of women and women’s media. There’s The Daily Beast’s “OMG! Women’s Sites Need to Grow Up” by Tricia Romano and there’s a blog post by Julie Klausner.
Both Jane Pratt’s highly anticipated site, xoJane.com, and Zooey Deschanel’s new collaborative site, HelloGiggles, are aimed at young women about ages 16-35. As sites that call themselves the place for “strong voices, identities and opinions” and the place for “smart, independent, and creative females,” they are bound to come under criticism, which is what Tracia Romano’s article certainly does. It criticizes the sites for more or less talking down to its audience or essentially lacking in smart content for grown-up women. I understand where they’re coming from, but it seems like there apparently needs to be a distinction on how fluffy content can be before it is turned away by smart women.
I took rhetorical issue with the fact that The Daily Beast compares HelloGiggles and xoJane (along with Cosmopolitan.com thrown in) to GQ at one point in the article. The writer, Romano says, “With such tickle-me-hormonal content online, it makes one wonder, where is the content for women who want the equivalent of GQ, with sharp articles about powerful women and fascinating trend stories, written by writers as good as Tom Wolfe or Joan Didion? Where are the fashion spreads that make you feel aspirational, not inadequate?”
In terms of publications, isn’t Vanity Fair or Vogue the equivalent to GQ? If we’re just talking smart writing in general, BUST for that matter? Are there guy websites that write like GQ? It just seems like a rhetorically strange comparison. If she actually meant GQ Online instead of the publication, the website seems to have just as much “fluff” as most women’s site with headlines like, “The Ultimate Father’s Day Gift Guide,” “12 Killer Summer Grooming Tips,” and “When is it Ok To Send A Girl A Picture of My Penis?” (uh..apparently when she asks for one).
Another thing I took issue with was the idea of the exclamation point. They quote Jezebel’s founder, Anna Holmes, who says, “Let’s stop using exclamation points. By design, when you read them, the voice in your head, as you’re reading them, goes up a couple of registers. It’s hard to take it seriously and it sounds kind of ditsy. Why can’t we just talk like grownups?” Whoa, I didn’t know exclamation points were such a big deal. I get that there can be too many in one place, over excitement is not appealing to read, but it doesn’t necessarily equal ditsy sounding. That, to me, is kind of a jump. Personally, I think that some things are just plain exciting and deserve an exclamation. What do you guys think?
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/19-0
Nikos Milonas, a member of the Greek Green Party, said that Germany, France and the United States have been the biggest purveyors of weapons, weapons that have only benefited foreign corporations. “If we had slashed our military spending years ago, we wouldn’t be in this crisis,” he said. Military spending over the past 30 years accounts for over 1/3 of Greece’s current debt.
Much of the equipment comes from Germany, the country most responsible for bailing out Greece and the loudest in condemning Greeks for living beyond their means. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel scolded the Greek government “to do its homework” on debt reduction, she wasn’t talking about revisiting the over one billion dollars that Greece had spent on two submarines from Germany or the more than two dozen F16 fighter jets it bought from the United States at a cost of more than 2 billion dollars.
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/19-0
Perhaps the Greeks should just return the war toys to the manufacturers with a note saying, sorry but we can’t afford these weapons of mass destruction.
The 40% rule has paved the way for women to influence corporate decision-making
Your report notes optimistically that female membership on British corporate boards now “edges up to 13.3%” (Number of women appointed to boards doubles since Lord Davies set 25% target, 2 July). Alongside this is a feature on Norway‘s quota system, in which “the state said at least 40% of the board members of listed companies should be women” (Norway’s 40% rule proves mixed blessing for ‘golden skirts’, 2 July).
The article reported comments that the policy is somehow not benefiting women in business, and not actually supporting equality. “The figure is now 42% and a prominent group of Norwegian women, nicknamed the golden skirts, have turned themselves into multiple board directors,” it states. It is unfortunate that the derogatory term “golden skirts” was used. The impact on company profits can be debated, but the effect on gender equality is clearly positive in the Norwegian case.
In a research project on gender in the boardroom I have led – funded by the Norwegian Research Council – we have interviewed board members about their experiences since the quota was introduced. We found that the new make-up did influence the decision-making process. Greater female representation seems to make meetings a little more pleasant, the preparation material is tidier and more comprehensive, and the processes more formal. Our respondents call it professionalisation.
This is in line with results from other research projects. It is very hard to analyse the impact on profitability, and research on the economic effect of more women on boards is inconclusive. What is beyond doubt, however, is that the policy has paved the way for women to influence corporate decision making.
The article implies that the quota has not created more female managers: “In fact, most golden skirts are non-executive directors,” it says. And it points out the discrepancy between women’s board representation “and their single-digit share of executive positions”.