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dany masado

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can we reform the discussion surrounding gender inequality?

As of late, the gender discussion seems to dominate the mainstream discussion on social justice. The alarming trend that I have noticed is that it has become a real battle of the sexes where one side accuses the other of causing its demise, which means any progress for one gender is seen as a loss for the other. I am proposing that we start to reframe the gender debate in a way where we can honestly address issues faced by men without saying "men just don't have as bad", in a way where we can address female issues without saying "women complain too much, get over it.
We must remember that progress in gender justice is (or should be) a benefit for all not a sum zero battle. Often, we get caught up if tallying up a score on who has it worse, rather than finding ways to address issues for both sides, simultaneously.
What will you tell your sons or your daughters when they come to you for advice?

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    Jun 26 2012: There isn't really any full blown inequality. Part of the reason why there is inequality is because women are downgraded in certain situations, but it is because they don't speak out as individuals.
    • Jun 26 2012: "....because they don't speak out as individuals"?!?!?!?

      What would happen to a women in Saudi Arabia, if she spoke out as an individual? What would happen to a woman within a corporate pyramid, if she spoke out as an individual?
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        Jun 26 2012: Here is a list of females to whom you can put that question:
        Brenda Barnes, CEO of Sara Lee
        Angela Braly, President and CEO of WellPoint
        Liz Claiborne, Chairperson and CEO of Liz Claiborne, Inc.
        Zoe Cruz, Co-President of Morgan Stanley
        Patricia Dunn, former Chairman of Hewlett Packard
        Annika Falkengren, CEO of SEB, Sweden
        Carly Fiorina, former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett Packard
        Linda Hasenfratz - CEO of Linamar
        Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO of Avon Products
        Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, President and CEO of PepsiCo
        Anne Mulcahy, CEO and Chairman of Xerox
        Marianne Nivert, former CEO of Telia (now TeliaSonera), Sweden
        Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods
        Patricia Russo, CEO of Lucent
        Güler Sabancı, CEO of Sabanci Group, Turkey
        Mary Sammons, President and CEO of Rite Aid
        Martha Stewart, former CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
        Belinda Stronach, former President and CEO of Magna International
        Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay
        Laura Wade-Gery, CEO of Tesco.com
        Clara Furse, former CEO of London Stock Exchange
        Thank you Ms. Pavis!
        • Jun 26 2012: edward, Are you under the impression that women are equally represented as CEOs? In the news today there was a report saying 3% of the CEOs are women. Where's the equality? Do you think it is fair that for the same work women earn 77% of what men earn? I think you are in denial of a real social problem that leaves our society imbalanced in ways that cause problems such as excessive wars, excessive poverty among women and children and way more. I guess the list you offered is a part of the 3%. Seems to me as though male design and male domination of all of our systems has proven to be a failure. If you want to live in a just, healthy, prosperous, happy, honest society, I think you might want to actively work towards male/female equality within every sector, e.g., corporations, religions, governments, the legal system. I presume you seek truth and justice and are not just trying to hang on to male domination of all of society's systems.
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          Jun 27 2012: Edward, could I add my own name, humbly? I was certainly one individual speeking out with the actions of my life even if no one was listening.
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        Jun 26 2012: Whoa there young lady! You read a lot into my 13-word contribution. FYI, I think the job should go to the best qualified candidate based on an objective, factual job description. Heck, I think the process should be blind to race, creed, gender, appearance, etc. I'm an olld white guy but I, and many like me, don't think anyone should be held down because of the mentioned parameters. Thanks for the free, unsolicited psychoanalysis. Is that a chip on your shoulder? Regarding the list I referenced, it was not that long ago that such a list would not have existed. Progress is being made and I hope it continues. Move me off the enemy list please. Thank you!
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        Jul 3 2012: Rhonda, I'm talking about this from a United States point of view. Women's rights in Saudi Arabia isn't really our problem now is it.
        • Jul 3 2012: Kevin. My name is Rhona. I am a full-time member of the human race. Equalizing power between males and females is an OPPORTUNITY to convert the majority of our planet's population from misery to joy. I would think you and edward long would want to be energetic participants in that. All males and all females have everything to gain. Let's do it. You can do at least one thing today to cause increased equality between males and females and I hope that you will be wise and wonderful enough to do that. MALES=FEMALES.
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          Jul 3 2012: kevin= WHAT????????????????? To both posts.
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        Jul 4 2012: Rhona, what exactly is it that you are asking me to do? Debra, Rhona replied to one of my posts basically saying that women in the middle east can't speak out as individuals and I responded by stating that I was looking at it from a U.S. citizens point of view.
        • Jul 4 2012: I am both a U.S. citizen and a member of the human race and an Earthling. You can view yourself any way you want to. Even in America, where women and life in general for the majority of the males and females is a happier and healthier experience than in countries where there is less equality between females and males, we are far from having equality of opportunity or power. I suggest you vote for women only until women have 50% of the power in all elected offices and then, if you feel like it, start voting for men. I am suggesting that you speak out, insist that your religion re-write their bibles and change their power structure, write letters-to-the-editor, write letters to your elected officials telling them that you understand the lack of equality between males and females is causing negative consequences within our society and world, e.g., wars, rape, oppression. Use your own imagination and creativity to come up with ways on your own to cause the equalization of power between men and women. Be sensitive, alert, aware, honest. Use your opportunities to cause female/male equality. It is important to human health, well-being, happiness. You'll see. You have power. Use it.
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      Jun 28 2012: Women want to have equality where they see men living the good life, but of the 526 people working in New York's Sewerage system, 521 are men. The remaining 5 include 3 women in admin positions and 2 lesbians who work with the men. I don't read articles about how we must level out these numbers, having at least 260 women working in the sewers. Why not? Or down the mines... or having equal numbers of men in nursery schools. Obviously I think men and women should not be discriminated against when applying for work...but if you're looking for equality, look for it everywhere and not just where it pleases you.

      That was addressed to no-one in particular.
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        Jun 28 2012: You couldn't have said it better.
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        Jun 29 2012: Respectfully, David Barnett, I have to wonder if the women are even allowed to know about those jobs. How many men did you see changing diapers when you were a kid? We are the original sewer workers!
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          Jul 1 2012: I'm sure you're right...we've been jealously guarding those wading through shit jobs for ourselves. But now that you know about them, spread the word.
      • Jul 3 2012: David, You want to start at the bottom or the top? Either way is okay. Let's just do it. Happiness awaits all females and all males as soon as our sisterbrother earthlings have equality throughout all systems.
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          Jul 3 2012: I agree. I'm all for equality, but I think we should fully recognize the differences between men and women and the specialized roles each have. Not even men doubt that women are better suited to the raising of young children. Women are so much better at communicating for a start...not to mention the advantages of breast milk. And there are some jobs that men are better at...but to say that these days is almost unacceptable. If they collaborate, all the better. I also accept that these roles are becoming less defined. I've looked after my kids at home until school age and held a full-time job. My wife looks after them in the evening and has a fulll-time job too. I do the cooking, the ironing and the cleaning. My wife washes the clothes (my timetable is better suited to housework). I still accept that my wife is better with the kids than I am...why can't women accept that men are better at other things and give them their due?
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        Jul 3 2012: Did you say you were all for equality with a straight face???
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          Jul 3 2012: Of course. What's your point? I'd be happy to elucidate.
      • Jul 4 2012: David, You seem to be trying to change the subject by talking about "differences." Everyone acknowledges that there are differences between males and females. That is not the issue. The issue is EQUALITY. MALES=FEMALES. I hope you now get that and appreciate the importance of FEMALES=MALES to the health, prosperity, well-being, happiness of ALL males and females. Let's deal with this issue directly....honestly.....openly. Our generation has the opportunity to convert our world into a just, happy place. Using truth, we can accomplish that goal within our lifetimes. May as well.
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          Jul 4 2012: I mention differences as these often lead to specialization in chosen jobs or housework...if 97% of nursery teachers are women, I think that is for a reason. When this happens with male-dominated jobs,this is often misconstrued as prejudice...and of men keeping women out. In many cases, this is just not so...and it is to those people only that I addressed my example of the sewer workers.

          Apart from that, I agree with you Rhona.
      • Jul 4 2012: David, In performing identical work, women receive 77% of the money that men receive. I think the issue here is justice, truth, fairness, what is good for society at large. Thank you for acknowledging the essential point. Vive la difference! That does not mean EQUALITY BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES is not required for a healthy, prosperous, happy sociaty. I just thought our conversation would be more efficient, if we stuck to the issue. Sometimes people try to change the subject when they are uncomfortable with the truths they decline to acknowledge.
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          Jul 4 2012: In Spain all jobs all legally declared jobs are paid according to convenios, legal agreements, where women and men receive exactly the same amount for the same work. Which countries and jobs are you talking about? In my lifetime, I have only ever come across one case of a woman receiving a lower wage than a man for the same job, and that was my mother, a Spanish woman in England in the 1980s.

          Business people, wherever possible, will exploit any loophole to pay people less and they will do, if they can...if that person is foreign, is in a precarious situation or whatever...it is a disgrace that women are paid less than men for the same work and in these situations the employer should be jailed, quite frankly for doing so.
      • Jul 4 2012: David, I get the impression that you want to believe men and women in Spain have authentic equality. Read the statistics and you will find income inequality between males and females pretty much throughout the world. The northern European countries probably have the best record of FAIRNESS to women. Fairness is the issue, right?
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          Jul 4 2012: I know plenty of women who believe so and tell me so that women have equality, here in Spain and in Britiain. In my own experience, I have only ever come across one case to my knowledge of genuine wage inequality. What do you want me to do? Ignore all my experience, the evidence of my friends, eyes and ears? What statistics are you citing? I know of many cases where women have not been employed, or indeed, have been laid off when they get pregnant, especially in Spain, but none of wage inequality. What do I think of this? Well, obviously, it's a terrible thing. The people doing the sacking, however, are just as often women as men. They are small business owners who quite simply cannot afford to pay a person a wage for not producing anything. There need to be more State-enforced measures to make sure that they do not lose out when a worker becomes pregnant. As it stands, without state support, I can only sympathize with the employer and the employee. As the sex who becomes pregnant, the woman will always lose out. But it's not because she's a woman...it's because of money. When science takes over and men get pregnant, they will be the ones to lose out.
      • Jul 4 2012: Believe what you want to believe, David. Perception is selective. You are choosing what you want to focus on.

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