Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Euphemisms for Strong Woman

First, Senator Graham predicted that Judge Sottomayor would be confirmed unless she had a "meltdown." Was that a euphemism for unless she acted like an emotional, hysterical woman?

And, yesterday Senator Graham said that anonymous lawyers who had appeared before her had said she was "temperamental" "a bully" "nasty" and "difficult and challenging." These I believe are euphemisms for being a professional and strong woman who is not maternal-acting on the job.

Many women, in many professions encounter the same euphemisms cum criticisms if they are strong, rational, fair.

Studies have shown that women are perceived as maternal, emotional while men are paternal and rational. Women are supposed to be accessible and accepting of all excuses, men are busy (not always accessible) and firm.

There is much work done on gender bias in evaluations. The bias may be subtle-- but it is significant, and leads to the entrenching of a double standard.

The most recent study was reported out in Newsweek (6/25/09):

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Place on the Bench

Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the place on the Bench for women:

Here is a website to follow for Sotomayer's confirmation hearings: The Thinking Women's Guide to the Supreme Court Hearings, published by the National Women's Law Center

Friday, July 3, 2009

On Burqas and Liberty

Hardly any women in France wear burqas, but like habjib (see Joan W. Scott's book The Politics of the Veil), these coverings are seen as symbols of women's oppression.

This begs the questions: What is the relationship of religion and women? Religion and oppression?

In yesterday's NYT there was an article about the Vatican conducting two investigations of American Nuns who the Vatican thinks have become too modern and involved in the real world.
These nuns are no longer "“promot[ing]” the church’s teachings on three issues: the male-only priesthood, homosexuality and the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church as the means to salvation. " But these "American nuns stopped wearing religious habits, left convents to live independently and went into new lines of work: academia and other professions, social and political advocacy and grass-roots organizations that serve the poor or promote spirituality. A few nuns have also been active in organizations that advocate changes in the church like ordaining women and married men as priests. "