Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Amazing Feminism is Happening

A little feminist sunshine for your evening!

Girls Write Now is a mentoring program in New York City for low-income, first generation, and immigrant young women who are paired up with women writers in the city. They work together on writing and editing, but they also talk about education, goals, and family.

This is a wonderful program, and it brings to light an important feminist concern: mentoring. Women have been graduating from college at a higher rate than men for several years now, but men still hold nearly all of the high positions within most companies. One reason for this seems to be mentoring, or The Old Boys Club.

Women are less openly discriminated in the workplace and often even invited to after-work "bonding," such as drinks, but sexism is still present. The conversations during these "bonding" events often steers away from topics women can relate to; just because these drinks are not taking place in a strip club, does not mean sexism is not there. Older men often feel closer to younger men and, whether consciously or not, the older men will pass on advice or give recommendations for these younger men.

Older women are not exempt from this sexism. Older women may choose not to recognize the merit of younger women's work because of competition. Many women feel that there are only so many places for women are these companies, and for their own sake, choose to mentor young men.

Which is why Girls Write Now is such a great program and a reason why I am SO excited about it!


Amelia said...

We read something about this in GWST 101, Kate. Do you remember? I remember it so well, but don't know who wrote it. I think it was out of the Women, Culture, and Society book. Hmmmmmmm....

Lindsay said...

I hope this is the article you were looking for: Hugo Schwyzer's Refusing Membership in the Old Boy's Club: what feminist men can do\.

Kate said...

Yes! Thank you Lindsay!

Tyler said...

ok Kate... here is what i am hoping... 30 years from now i can look back and laugh at you for this. Here is why... I think that slowly (too slowly perhaps) the system is correcting the "old boys club." A lot of the men that hold high positions have been working for years, and will retiring soon. They will be replaced by people of both genders our age. As "we" rise through the system we will slowly make things equal. I really think that within the next ten years we will see the wage gap disappear, but only for all things truly equal situations. I know women often have to take FMLA time to give birth, and many women choose stay in the home longer (some men do but less, i know) If a person has taken time off, they should be treated equal with somebody with the same level of experience, not of the same age. I hope this makes sense, but it might not. Basically, I think that we as a generation are going to solve the inequity by working the system, not by fighting it.

Amelia said...

I think your argument is flawed, Tyler, in that it seems to say that gender inequality is just something that...happens, and it not something that is actively perpetuated by society. I think that is wrong. People have to WANT inequality (whether consciously, or merely by benefitting from the unequal system and not fighting it) in order for there to be inequality.

More later, possibly.