Newspapers and media outlets have a really irritating habit of defining people by their personal relationships to others, and this is never more apparent when they speak of professional women. A good example of that was brought to my attention today, Margaret Archer, a female professor and the most senior female in the Vatican has the headline refer to her as "grandmother".
Why is the media so focused on a woman's ability to generate progeny? Woman from all walks of life can and do plenty of things apart from reproduce and maintain a family life. Last year there was controversy about how Yvonne Brill's obituary seemed to place the emphasis on her role in family life rather than the amazing work she did in rocket science.
It seems to happen all too often for women and I have encountered it throughout my life. When the topic of jobs comes up during a social occasion and meeting new people (the exception being at a conference, but then we ask about research and not what we do for a living) the most common response is surprise ("you don't look like a scientist") and asking me to repeat what I just said.
Define the individual and their accomplishments, not their socially acceptable "role" with respect to other people.
Also, this debate has completely gone off track from the subject being tackled, upholding the rights of those who have been enslaved and abused. I don't care whether she is working for the pope or not, whether she is a mother, daughter, grandmother, cousin etc. it is an issue that needs more focus and hopefully it is her professionalism that will help her to get the work done.
The following 15 minute video tells the story of child brides, featuring one girl in particular. I was struck by her frankness and courage and wanted to share her story.
Knowledge abuot the pay gap does not surprise me. The "degree" of difference does, yes, pun intended. the chart highlights this fairly dramatically, taken from this blog with link to original publication (http://kaysteiger.com/). Other images are taken from the document, which can be found in PDF at the following link (http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/collegepayoff-complete.pdf).
Women have to have a PhD to earn as much as a man with a Bachelor's degree. These data only include those who have worked full time, when time off work to raise children or due to disability is taken into account there is an even greater difference, at all educational levels but especially at the lowest level. A 90% difference!
the differences in wages are not just restricted to gender, however. Race, also, shows large differences.
It seems there remains a lot of work to be done towards greater equality between race and gender with regard to wages, and this is certainly not a problem restricted to the USA. I wonder how much relates to differences in approaches to work, such as asking for higher wages (http://www.guardian.co.uk/) and how much is down to discrimination. Either way, there is still a gap that needs addressing, although I am not entirely sure how one wuold go about doing that.
The Web can be a difficult place to navigate for those with disabilities, but it can be done with a variety of web accessibility tools. However, many sites are not compatible for those tools, including mine (i had free online software check the site for compatibility and it fails on a number of different levels). This creates a problem, as I do not want to contribute to these issues and yet I am not up to speed on coding, i use a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) to help create my site. It does a good job, but not on compatibility it seems.
So... I am looking into it. I may add a page where all the info on the site is presented in Word or PowerPoint documents, as it is much easier (from my perspective) to make them compatible than it is my site. However, I will make every effort possible to adapt the site as necessary to make it more compatible.
For those who are not aware of these issues, please check out this link http://theness.com/roguesgallery/index.php/skepticism/skepticism-and-disability-by-chris-gonz-blinko-hofstader/
It is worth bearing in mind that the web is a powerful tool, but is blunted if certain sectors of society cannot access the content. I appreciate this being brought to my attention. I would be interested to hear from anyone with advice on this and how to adapt the site accordingly.
Skeptical kinkster musing on whatever takes my fancy!