Not surprising, really.
Not surprising, really.
When women enter fields in greater numbers, pay declines — for the very same jobs that more men were doing before.
In a discouraging article in the New York Times, I read that the pay gap, often explained by the fact that women are in more of the lower-paying professions, such as teaching, admin work, and social work, is actually better explained by the fact that when women do work, that work is automatically devalued, though the same work was done by men. The study from Cornell University provided evidence that employers believe that work done by women has less impact, doesn’t contribute to the bottom line, and is less important than work done by men.
I also learned from this article that of the 30 highest-paying jobs, including chief executive, architect and computer engineer, 26 are male-dominated.
It was with great satisfaction, and not without amusement that I read several recent interviews with and profiles of Eileen Myles, a poet who has always been much beloved, but who has only recently become the kind of poet profiled by the New York Times. I am always happy to see poets given big profiles in the mainstream press; right after this, I found another profile in The New Yorker. In this brief interview, from the Talk column in the Sunday Magazine, there was so much to love:
Poetry always, always, always is a key piece of democracy. It’s like the un-Trump: The poet is the charismatic loser. You’re the fool in Shakespeare; you’re the loose cannon. As things get worse, poetry gets better, because it becomes more necessary.
Which is not unlike what Ursula LeGuin said recently in the speech she gave upon receiving an award from the National Book Awards. Myles’ hyperbole is funny:
I think it would be a great time for men, basically, to go on vacation. There isn’t enough work for everybody. Certainly in the arts, in all genres, I think that men should step away. I think men should stop writing books. I think men should stop making movies or television. Say, for 50 to 100 years.
An American PoemI was born in Boston in1949. I never wantedthis fact to be known, infact I’ve spent the betterhalf of my adult lifetrying to sweep my earlyyears under the carpetand have a life thatwas clearly just mineand independent ofthe historic fate ofmy family. Can youimagine what it waslike to be one of them,to be built like them,to talk like themto have the benefitsof being born into sucha wealthy and powerfulAmerican family. I wentto the best schools,had all kinds of tutorsand trainers, traveledwidely, met the famous,the controversial, andthe not-so-admirableand I knew froma very early age thatif there were ever anypossibility of escapingthe collective fate of this famousBoston family I wouldtake that route andI have. I hoppedon an Amtrak to NewYork in the early‘70s and I guessyou could saymy hidden yearsbegan. I thoughtWell I’ll be a poet.What could be morefoolish and obscure.I became a lesbian.Every woman in myfamily looks likea dyke but it’s reallystepping off the flagwhen you become one.While holding this ignominiouspose I have seen andI have learned andI am beginning to thinkthere is no escapinghistory. A woman Iam currently havingan affair with saidyou know you looklike a Kennedy. I feltthe blood rising in mycheeks. People havealways laughed atmy Boston accentconfusing “large” for“lodge,” “party”for “potty.” Butwhen this unsuspectingwoman invoked forthe first time myfamily nameI knew the jigwas up. Yes, I am,I am a Kennedy.My attempts to remainobscure have not servedme well. Starting asa humble poet Iquickly climbed to thetop of my professionassuming a position ofleadership and honor.It is right that awoman should callme out now. Yes,I am a Kennedy.And I awaityour orders.You are the New Americans.The homeless are wanderingthe streets of our nation’sgreatest city. Homelessmen with AIDS are amongthem. Is that right?That there are no homesfor the homeless, thatthere is no free medicalhelp for these men. And women.That they get the message—as they are dying—that this is not their home?And how are yourteeth today? Canyou afford to fix them?How high is your rent?If art is the highestand most honest formof communication ofour times and the youngartist is no longer ableto move here to speakto her time…Yes, I could,but that was 15 years agoand remember—as I mustI am a Kennedy.Shouldn’t we all be Kennedys?This nation’s greatest cityis home of the business-man and home of therich artist. People withbeautiful teeth who are noton the streets. What shallwe do about this dilemma?Listen, I have been educated.I have learned about WesternCivilization. Do you knowwhat the message of WesternCivilization is? I am alone.Am I alone tonight?I don’t think so. Am Ithe only one with bleeding gumstonight. Am I the onlyhomosexual in this roomtonight. Am I the onlyone whose friends havedied, are dying now.And my art can’tbe supported until it isgigantic, bigger thaneveryone else’s, confirmingthe audience’s feeling that they arealone. That they aloneare good, deservedto buy the ticketsto see this Art.Are working,are healthy, shouldsurvive, and arenormal. Are younormal tonight? Everyonehere, are we all normal.It is not normal forme to be a Kennedy.But I am no longerashamed, no longeralone. I am notalone tonight becausewe are all Kennedys.And I am your President.
There are only a few days left to see the Ellen Cantor show at the Wattis, curated by Jamie Stevens and Fatima Hellberg.
Jamie Stevens writes, in an introduction to the show:
A prolific artist who lived between New York and London, Cantor combined ready–made materials with diaristic notes and drawings to probe her perceptions and experiences of personal desire and institutional violence.
In her drawings, paintings, collages, and videos, Cantor lifted characters and sequences from iconic films, reorienting the ideological transmissions of the source material. Fictional figures from Disney cartoons, cult horror films, New Wave cinema, and family movies provide a visual foil to Cantor’s intimate disclosures. Magnetized by the doeful naivety of characters such as Snow White and Bambi, Cantor would, in her drawings, extend their narrative horizons to include vivid sexual encounters and crisis–ridden relationships.
For the final eight years of her life, Cantor was working on the feature–length film Pinochet Porn. Originally a suite of drawings named Circus Lives from Hell (2005), Pinochet Porn is an episodic narrative about five children growing up under the regime of General Augusto Pinochet in Chile. Featuring a cast of close friends and collaborators, and shot in New York and London, Pinochet Porn stages a libidinal critique of the systematic and sadistic destruction of self–expression and experience.
The Wattis is one of the best things about the San Francisco art scene–Anthony Huberman moved out here from P.S.1. in New York just over a year ago, and was joined by Jamie Stevens, formerly of the Serpentine Gallery in London, who are doing great work bringing artists to San Francisco who’ve yet to have big solo shows in the U.S. or West Coast. I am looking forward to the upcoming Wang Bing show as well.
I have for quite some time done what I can to help children who are used for sex. I am a contributor to organizations that fight sex trafficking, and I follow much of the law surrounding it. So I was very happy to see that the JVTA, which has been sent today to Obama to sign, passed our Congress. Here is the writeup from CATW:
New York, May 19, 2015 – The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) applauds the U.S. Congress for passing the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA), the first comprehensive bill to address domestic human trafficking. It now awaits the signature of President Barack Obama to become law.
The JVTA creates a new funding stream to finance services for U.S. trafficking victims. Up to $30 million of the innovative funding mechanism will come from $5,000 fines on perpetrators of crimes ranging from human trafficking to child pornography. The legislation also redefines federal law to clarify that sex buyers of children and human trafficking victims can be prosecuted as traffickers.
“Not only will the JVTA finance services for U.S. victims of trafficking, it puts the onus on sex buyers who cause the devastating harm. We finally have strong federal legislation that aims to prevent the demand for sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation,” says Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of CATW.
One of the JVTA’s most important provisions requires the Department of Justice to incorporate demand reduction strategies into all human trafficking training programs. Survivors have been key in demanding more accountability from commercial sex buyers who cause extensive harm to those they exploit. As a result, the JVTA also creates a new U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, with at least eight survivors, to make recommendations to the US Government on anti-trafficking strategies.
“This victory is not only the result of successful collaborations across political and ideological lines, but it is a testament to the power of survivors enlightening us with the best solutions to end trafficking and exploitation,” says Bien-Aimé.
In your recruiting literature:
1. Talk about the overarching goal, why you are building what you’re building, and for whom
2. Talk about the whole product
3. No references to size (Massive, Huge, Gargantuan)
4. No references to war or assassination. (Ninja, Killer, Slaughter)
5. No references to defeating or subordinating others: (World Domination, We Rule)
Etsy’s work in creating a friendly place for women in tech should be widely emulated. Don’t just sit and wait for women to apply for jobs. Make sure your company is friendly to women. Let it be known that you are interested in recruiting and retaining women. Build your own pipeline for applicants.
Also, read this interview with Maggie Nelson of Findery, about becoming a software engineer.