Gender and Politics in the media

UK: Women missing from university leadership. Student feminism faces substantial challenges.

Women missing from university leadership While the number of women enrolled in higher education and hired as staff in universities is rising worldwide, the pace of this change and shift in attitude toward women leaders of universities is not happening quickly enough.

Five women who want to speed up equality gathered on Thursday at the Worldviews Conference on Media and Higher Education at the University of Toronto for a panel discussion entitled Majority in enrolment, minority in leadership: expanding the coverage on women.

…In the U.K., Moja pointed out that the majority of academic staff are women, but they are mainly “the three A’s: adjuncts, assistants and associates”—lower paying and less permanent positions.

“Statistics send a powerful message,” she said. “There is evidence that there is progress, but it’s the pace of the progress that needs to change,” she added. Most people are quick to blame the media, but the university is to blame, she said. “The misconception is that there are no women to fill these roles,” she added. “Just give me five minutes and I will find you qualified women.”

Voters don’t care how women in politics look Washington Post (blog) …We find that women don’t pay a higher price than men for coverage of their appearance. Unflattering coverage does hurt, but it lowers voters’ assessments of both men and women equally. Like other emerging political science research, we show that voters don’t hold women and men to different standards on the campaign trail.

In our experiment, we created two hypothetical congressional candidates, Susan Williams and Michael Stevenson. We wrote eight versions of what looked like a typical newspaper article summarizing the candidate’s support for an education bill. The stories were identical except that we varied the sex of the candidate and a description of how he or she was dressed.

We recruited a national sample of 961 adult subjects and randomly assigned them to read one of the eight articles. Two articles included no mention of the candidate’s appearance. One simply described a press conference at which Susan Williams announced her support for the bill. The other was the verbatim equivalent, but the candidate’s name was Michael Stevenson….

We must debunk the myths of feminism Palatinate Before coming to university, I’d always considered myself a feminist of sorts without ever really thinking too much about it. I’d grown up in a background where this was an entirely reasonable and laudable thing to call yourself; in fact, it was rather strange not to.

But since coming to Durham, getting involved in setting up the new Durham University Feminism Society, and starting to engage with online discussion around feminism, I’ve realised this is far from the norm. For some bizarre reason, feminism seems to inspire a negative knee-jerk reaction ranging from the scoffing to the frankly vitriolic. It is to a couple of these more persistent myths that I would like to turn my attention in the rest of this article….

Student feminism faces substantial challenges Palatinate When I came to university my own privileged, sheltered, eighteen-year-old’s naivety assumed that the most educated would automatically equal the most progressive. Numerous and serious flaws with this view became quickly apparent. Some of the most ‘elite’ institutions in the country are the most exclusionary, and the most privileged the most prejudiced. Facing this effectively is one of student feminism’s greatest challenges.

The predominance of white, privileged voices in action and organisation has long been feminism’s shameful, and poorly kept secret. Our generation must be the one to change this. But it is not just race and class that need to be addressed. The most important issue to be resolved is that of the marginalisation of transgender people. Transphobia is a prejudice that is still shamefully acceptable in our society, and can still be found expressed in otherwise progressive feminist circles….

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