i can’t hear anyone say “do you think women are equal to men? congratulations you’re a feminist!” without gritting my teeth like god please stop reducing a political movement to one pithy, hugely oversimplifying little sentence
I’m gonna depress the hell out of all of you. ready? ok go
so, that “stop devaluing feminized work post”
nice idea and all
but the thing is, as soon as a decent number of women enter any field, it becomes “feminized,” and it becomes devalued.
as women enter a field in greater number, people become less willing to pay for it, the respect for it drops, and it’s seen as less of a big deal. it’s not about the job- it’s about the number of women in the job.
observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field. so has happened with scores of other areas; nursing comes to mind
so the thing is, it’s not the work or the job that has to be uplifted and seen as more respectable. it will never work out, until people start seeing women as respectable
but there’s a doozy and who the fuck knows if it’s ever happening in my life time
"observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field."
Personal anecdote time! I’m in a biology graduate program. An acquaintance wanted to introduce some guy to me because his son was thinking about becoming an undergrad science major. When he found out I was in the biology department, he grinned and said, “Well, I guess that’s kind of related to science.”
I gave him what I hope was an icy look and said, “Isn’t it strange how men outside the field started saying that right around the time biology majors shifted from mostly male to mostly female?”
The guy got this look on his face like he was about to play the “just a joke” card, and then an older woman who had been standing nearby, talking to someone else, turned to me and said, “The same thing happened with real estate.” She went on to explain that, over the course of the career, the male-to-female ratio among real estate agents had dropped, and the pay and “prestige factor” of that job dropped along with it.
This is also famous for happening to teaching. Keep an eye on medicine over the next fifteen years and watch as it becomes less prestigious and less well-paid.
It also happened to secretarial/administrative work - in the 19th century, clerical work was utterly respectable and seen as requiring quite a lot of talent and skill (which it still does!) but then along came the typewriter and women entering the field and HEY PRESTO “she’s just some secretary”
at my university, chemical engineering, or chem eng, was often referred to as “fem eng” why? because it’s an exact 50/50 ratio of women to men, which clearly makes it too feminine. in the 70s/80s chemical engineering was one of the most important and hardest engineering fields (plastics! pulp and paper! OIL) but now that there are more women in the field it’s considered an easier field, in comparison to other fields.
for example, i once heard a girl in mech eng list some of the engineering fields in the order she thought was hardest to easiest. you know what it was? electrical, mechanical, chemical. it’s absolutely no surprise that this list is also a handy ordering of fewest women in the field to most women in the field.
AND, another point! this happens the other way around too. computer science related fields used to be dominated by women, which made it not very important (switchboard operators? yup). once men started taking over the field, well that’s when the big money and prestige came in.
The field of anthropology, which is becoming female dominated from what I can see, has been determined to be useless by some. (I’ve even had girls in STEM fields tell me I don’t study a “real science” so how’s about that internalized misogyny for ya) When I was majoring in anthropology, Gov. Rick Scott determined that Florida didn’t need any more anthropologists and wanted to reduce funding to programs and increase funding to STEM programs. While not considered a STEM field, anthropologists have contributed to the research behind STEM programs and provide a wide variety of services to Florida alone. A team of anthropologists created a powerpoint “This is Anthropology" to talk about dozens of programs and services they contribute to in Florida which include healthcare programs, education programs, disaster relief, forensic investigation, environmental programs and conservation efforts, research for fortune 500 businesses, agricultural programs, immigration programs, programs and services for the elderly, etc. I’m also in the field of education, and we’re constantly made out to be overpaid (we’re not) and made out to be incapable of doing our jobs without very strict guidance.
It’s all very insulting, really. No matter what we study. No matter what we do to earn a living. It will never be good enough.
That original post really bothered me and this post really lays out why. Women’s work is devalued because women exist there. It doesn’t matter how hard or “soft” it is. Pushing women to pursue STEM careers is important because there are so many brilliant women; this doesn’t mean we’re devaluing “women’s work” by saying they should look at other options. One of the main goals is to one day make every profession at least half women. If we do that then it’s going to be a lot harder to devalue anything as women’s work.
There’s a really sharp divide between physics/engineering/chemistry and biology at my school. Biology and microbiology faculty and students are half or mostly women wheras chemistry/physics/engineering are mostly men. My school has a huge engineering program and surprise surprise, the “easiest” engineering program was viewed as civil engineering, which is coincidentally where most of the women are. I’ve had chemistry majors make fun of me to my back and to my face and it’s horrible because even the girl chemistry majors internalize this toxic shit. I know that I certainly view myself as less intelligent than an engineer, even though I’m highly trained in my field and I expect most engineers know nothing about microbiology or molecular biology. I know I will still always feel that insecurity.
Women are systemically devalued as human beings. The least we can do is try to level out the playing field in our careers.
Before you talk about sex work, ask yourself what you're doing for sex workers. If the answer is 'having sad feelings' or 'advocating theories that would abolish your jobs without providing you with any other options,' there is no need to open your mouth.
Remember that wherever you are, there is a decent chance a closeted sex worker or former sex worker is listening, possibly even someone who has done survival sex work or someone who has been trafficked. You’re about to speak to them about their own experiences, probably at a very basic theoretical level. How much do you really need to look like a huge asshole?
I’ll note again: it’s weird how when in the fictional universe of The Hunger Games, deliberately releasing a second bombing wave against rescuers who come rushing to the aid of those injured in a first wave of bombing is seen as so heinous an act it results in a regime change in a totalitarian society that believes in child sacrifice and ritual combat.
But in the real world, when the same thing is done in the name of the United States, “the home of the free and the land of the brave”, “the shining beacon of liberty”, “city on the hill”, it’s just seen as a clever use of technology.
you know that text post that’s like ‘sry for delayed response I was busy being incapable of basic life tasks like responding to things?’ that is basically me right now and this is a reminder to myself to reply to that photographer about wardrobe shit and maybe also that cute girl who messaged me over a week ago whoops
as much as I love reading & collecting godawful okc messages, I do try to discourage them lest their number become overwhelming (I am already at max inbox space! I paid 3 real dollars to have more space for these terrible messages!)
to that end, this is how my ‘message me if’ section begins:
and some girl apparently took offense and felt the need to message me this gem:
1) if you’re messaging me first, it is entirely on you to be interesting and to give me more to go on than a retread of your profile (and generally the people who send these messages have very sparse profiles to begin with). give me a conversation hook, don’t make me play 20 questions to find out if we even have anything in common.
Yes, Marissa Alexander’s original 20-year sentence was overturned. However, she now faces 60 years. The gossip blogs sharing the “breaking news” about her 20-year sentence being overturned took a year-old article from ABC News and slapped a new date on it without publishing updated information. Here are two more updated articles about her case.