Latinitas - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

I thought THIS NPR INTERVIEW was a very interesting follow-up to many of the women’s history month discussions going on at Latinitas. It features Facebook COO and mother of two, Sheryl Sandberg talking about the important and often overlooked gender stereotypes, and issues facing females today.  

Follow the link to link to know more about….

Stereotype Threat
The idea that “…the more we’re aware of a stereotype, the more we act in accordance with it,” which is used to justify the lack of women in the math and sciences. Read an interesting case study on gender identification when testing.

Success of Men vs. Women and its Effect on Likeability
When men are assertive it’s called leadership, when females are assertive it’s called being bossy. Read an interesting case study on the likeability of the same successful entrepreneur when his name is changed to a female’s for the purposes of an experimental survey.

The Standstill of Women’s Progress
In the past 10 years, women have maintained the same percentage of people in top corporate jobs and board seats without any increase, despite the numbers of women obtaining master’s degrees which exceeds that of men.

Decision Making that is Blind to Gender Stereotypes:
Says Sandberg, “Success for me is that if my son chooses to be a stay-at-home parent, he is cheered on for that decision. And if my daughter chooses to work outside the home and is successful, she is cheered on and supported.”

After reading the article, weigh in on the issues above, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to pick up Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, for more information


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Comment by Arleen E Lopez on March 28, 2013 at 12:25pm

The idea is certainly not to make white women the privileged enemy of feminism. But it is to acknowledge that white women, across all economic lines, have something called white privilege, which puts them at an advantage, despite being below the poverty line. Did you know that most welfare recipients are poor white people? White privilege is a difficult thing for white folks to acknowledge, but it is extremely important. Especially for white feminists. It will certainly make their politics more inclusive. I'm not arguing that we demonize white people. No. I am arguing that white privilege is a very real thing, and that any discussion about workplace equality must address differences across racial divides. Yes, there is vast diversity among communities of color. But that's not the point. The point is that there is a very real, tangible divide between the access that people of color have versus the access that white people have. Class warfare is not the only warfare. The elimination of class (economic) divisions in our society will not bring equality in terms of gender, and it certainly won't bring racial equality. But I do agree that we need to raise all women from poverty. However, that's not what "Lean In" is about. Nor does it address that type of issue. People of color, women of color, do not have the option to sit idly by and wait for their liberation after more privileged women have it. Structural change needs to begin at the intersections of race, class, and gender, period. 

Comment by Ashley Steel on March 28, 2013 at 12:07pm

Great points Arleen! I really appreciate you challenging me in my thought processes, and forcing me, and others to consider that which is not readily apparent or obvious when looking at this data.


One important counter-point I will make before beginning is that, just as we cannot generically characterize women and the problem of women's rights so carelessly across all races, we need to consider that even amongst each race there is an incredible amount of diversity. Yes, if you look at the list of Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women, in the top 30 alone there are 20 white women to 3 Latinas, 4 Asians, and 3 black women, a trend which more or less continues throughout. However, to depict white women as the privileged enemy of feminism is to forget that there are white women who aren't privileged, and in the same conditions as marginalized women of other races who lack the access to the resources and opportunities to rise to the top. In conjunction with this thought, I agree completely with your argument with this one amendment to your thinking: I believe the problem is not race based, but economic. That said, socioeconomic theories may be linked to race as it is non-white people who top the poverty charts for a million reasons which, historically, are derived from racism, and systems of racial inequality. But for the sake of this argument today, I believe that it is economics first, which spawns race based inequality that creates this disparity at the top. No dream can be realized in the throes of poverty. The need to get by, to be fed and clothed and sheltered far surpasses the desire to excel at the top. So for me that question becomes how can we raise women of every race out of poverty in order to see more balance at the top?

Comment by Arleen E Lopez on March 28, 2013 at 9:48am

Oh, and here I found this! It looks like it will offer interesting perspectives related to what I'm talking about.

Comment by Arleen E Lopez on March 25, 2013 at 7:43pm

Well, for example it makes no mention about how most of the women in those positions of power are white women. It provides no discussion about why that is -- what opportunities are lacking for women of color. White women are still paid more than women and men of color. That's something important to include in a discussion of women. The responsibility rests on white women realizing that the problems of women of color are their problems too! That's the only way to mobilize for equality. 
I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different
from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color
remains chained. Nor is any one of you (Audre Lorde, [1980] 1984".

Comment by Ashley Steel on March 25, 2013 at 6:10pm

Thanks Laura, I appreciate you including the link. What a great talk with much food for thought about ways to succeed and assert ourselves as women! 

Hey Arleen, that's a very interesting point. I checked out your post on intersectional feminism and it addressed some very important components of the feminism as well as general human rights movements. I think it makes sense that when considering the historical institution of racism, that white women would be the most advanced to date. However, I'm a bit confused as to how the items above are specific to white women, or harmful to non-white women. Could you provide some clarifying details? But regardless, I've often wondered how you mobilize a group and achieve group reform when everyone is an individual. 

Comment by Laura Ruiz Colón on March 24, 2013 at 9:59pm

I recently watched a great TED talk she gave a few years ago! I will post the link below if you are interested, I really recommend it.

Comment by Arleen E Lopez on March 24, 2013 at 1:50pm

I'd like to complicate all of this analysis a little bit. 
I think a lot of this stuff is super interesting and important to understand for the progress of women, but I can't help but feel that a lot of this centers around white women. It does not address any cultural differences between women, and it speaks of women as a generic bloc. 

My recent post about intersectionality explores a different way of viewing feminism!




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