Posts Tagged

Gender

A performance featured during the summer at the Manchester International Festival attempted to tackle the following timeless question: if women ruled the world, would they confront pressing social and political issues – such as climate change, military escalation and mass migration – in qualitatively different ways? The notion that the world would look different under female leadership assumes a “differentialist” approach to gender issues. This article, on the one hand, questions the underlying assumptions of that widespread belief, and, on the other hand, sketches out an alternative approach to progressive change in general and, more specifically, for women. Why we should be sceptical about differentialism in debates on gender A first and still very common version of differentialism is the …

Coverage of recent polls has suggested that women are becoming more supportive of Labour and that this is driving the recent tightening of the election race. The figure below shows the average vote intention separately for men and women on average using data from a range of different pollsters (see methodological note below). At the beginning of May there was very little gender gap. The Conservative lead was much the same for men as for women. For polls conducted in the past week, on average the Conservatives still had a large, 14-point lead amongst men, but only a small, 4-point lead amongst women. Compared with the start of May, women are now 7 points more likely to vote Labour than …

In politics and elsewhere, women’s voices are still less loud, less audible and less influential. In the workplace, the public sphere or in private conversations, women rarely speak up for themselves, tend to avoid conflicts and are less confrontational. And when they do speak up, their voice is often treated with contempt or blatantly ignored.[2] In this post I want to query how women could develop original forms of communication that would allow them to express their own interests in an assertive way, while also keeping some of their ‘feminine’ characteristics. In particular, if women want to become more numerous and influential in political spheres, it is vital for them to elaborate more efficient ways to communicate. Female vs. male communication …

Margot Wallstrom, the United Nation’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, referred to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as ‘the rape capital of the world’. If my Google search was any indication (registering a disturbing 4,640,000 hits for the term), the sensationalist phrase stuck among members of the civil society and aid agencies in the Global North. The eastern DRC has alternately been described as ‘the worst place in the world for women’ by The Guardian and ‘hell’ by American feminist playwright Eve Ensler. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called rape in the DRC ‘evil in its bases form’ during a visit to the region in 2009.  There is something to be said about the damaging …

Two seemingly unrelated events from last Sunday night: the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and Derren Brown’s The Heist was on TV in the UK. Let me tie them together. First, for those who aren’t familiar with Derren Brown, he is a brilliant magician, illusionist, hypnotist, and “mind reader”. If you watch his shows, you’ll see that he is a master of psychological techniques. On The Heist, the show that I watched last night, he did something quite extraordinary: he got three middle-class professionals to commit armed robbery– voluntarily. Well, a simulation of an armed robbery anyway. If you haven’t seen Derren Brown, you’re probably thinking that he used actors or accomplices. I don’t think that this was the case. They were …