Start Doing Things the Way You Want Them Done

This is a bold statement, I realize that, and you have excuses why you “can’t” but I assure you, anything you want to do, you Can do.

Are you one of the people in your organization at work who deals with who is paid what amount? Go in and look at whether there are male and female employees there who are doing the same work. Even-out the pay between them.

Do you want to read books where the default pronoun is ‘she’? As in, “when any human feels they are capable of a task, she will complete that task with confidence” or myriad other examples. So write those books. Write those blog posts.

Do you want to fight rape on a real and personal level? Take reasonable precautions; Don’t invite people over until you know them really well, avoid getting completely intoxicated, and when your friends mention ideas of theirs that you think might put them or you in a dangerous situation, speak up and tell them so! Respect your instincts. Practice speaking up for yourself on all kinds of things, so that you make it a practice of making your needs and intentions clear.

And then my favorite: Do you want to see media that *respects* women? Create it. Create movies that don’t question female power and agency; they exhibit it. Create advertisements (even unofficial ones!) that show healthy women whose features aren’t obscured by makeup and don’t bother to call attention to the fact. Calling attention to something makes it increase, as it is the focus. So create the world as you’d like it. Show these strong and beautiful ideas of yours with confidence and abandon!

And keep it positive.

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Emma Watson Introduces He For She Solidarity Movement

UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson speaks eloquently and powerfully on unifying the gender equality movement.

Not only so that women have equal rights Everywhere in the world, yet also so that men can be free to be sensitive and all can respect ourselves for who we are. She says it beautifully. Please do watch and leave a comment here or on her twitter: @EmWatson

Support the movement by your actions. Be one of the ‘inadvertent feminists’ she speaks of. Take action here via the #HeForShe website, as well.

Lily Ledbetter and Equal Pay

I was just on Obama’s campaign site and watched this video. It’s about Lily Ledbetter’s taking a stand when she found out that for 17 years she was paid less than men who did not have her qualifications, and who did the same job…

What that says to me is that women are mistakenly seen as inherently less qualified. How can anyone turn such a blind eye to skills and qualifications, to experience and wisdom? Prejudice seems to be the reason. What is the solution?

Personally, if I am in a managerial position, I will hire more women. I’ll look at the qualifications each candidate has and assess accordingly. Confidence during interview is not a fair way to assess… given the history of inequality which does not sway in women’s favor.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve heard from friends (and experienced first-hand) that some women already employed by an organization tend to behave in a cruel and undermining way toward new female employees. It seems all too obvious that fear drives this behavior. Older employees are fearful of losing their jobs to someone younger, so they try assert their dominance and control. There is nothing to be gained from this. It’s not the way to keep a job, and I think young women will start standing up to this sort of pressure.

However, we’re still at a disadvantage; having less experience and less credibility due to being newly employed makes young women vulnerable to age discrimination, from old to young. Please look at your own behavior; rise above this fear and support young women, understanding or remembering how difficult it is to make a start in a new job even without pressure and ‘backstabbing’ to contend with.

Feel free to post your own solutions here. How can the job market and playing field for women be evened-out? What can You do?

I’m feeling good about speaking up.