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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Counterproductive

I don’t like all of these “Girls can do anything” and “I’m a girl, what’s your superpower?” logos. It’s totally protesting too much. It tells kids that there’s something wrong with girls that all these reassurances are needed. 

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3 thoughts on “Counterproductive

  1. Anon for this one on said:

    It’s also a way in which neoliberalism takes social progress and turns it into t-shirts and backpacks.

    Those logos came up in a recent incident. Talking politics with friends whom I usually agree with, I expressed surprise about certain patterns, and said that I thought they were in tension with some painful things I’ve seen in American culture. She thought it was completely obvious that her life experiences with sexism provided a full and satisfactory explanation of everything happening. Rather than saying “Point taken, I stand corrected” I stupidly said “I don’t deny any of that, but I still think this is complicated and multi-faceted.”

    She soon started telling her daughter that women can do absolutely anything and must enter male-dominated professions. My wife and I extricated ourselves soon after.

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  2. What bothers me about much of this girl-power “literature” is that for girls, the focus is still on “being something” that people will notice as opposed to just doing stuff without worrying about how you “are” or come across. For example, recently someone gave my toddler a book on how girls can still be beautiful but it’s just inner beauty, girls can still be stylish by playing in the dirt, etc etc. And then the woman brought up under this doctrine of “being” waits for her performance to be noticed by the boss, and pouts when that doesn’t happen.

    I used to read the Last Psychiatrist when he wrote a blog, and this quote that largely explains the gender pay gap still resonates with me:

    “some people want to get more money from the job, and some other people want the job to offer them more money, and they are not the same people. Typically the former is men and the latter is women, but the point isn’t gender but the mindset: the latter group wants the job to want to pay them more, they don’t want to have to have any input in deciding their own reimbursement. ”

    Now guess where that mindset comes from?

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    • There’s definitely truth to this. What does it matter whether you have to wear ruffles or excel at math if it’s a precondition to being accepted? Either way, it doesn’t come from within, that’s the problem.

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