What We Missed

There are reports that during the attack on the Osama bin Laden’s compound yesterday, a woman was used as a human shield. The President’s chief counterterrorism adviser says that woman was one of bin Laden’s wives.

They get a bad rap, but gender quotas work.

New York Times readers submitted photos to this album about the important of women’s empowerment around the world. You can view the whole thing here.

Do you love the blog Sociological Images like I do? Do you want to write for them? They’re now accepting posts from guest bloggers!

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Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

    I didn’t see anything in the “gender quotas” article that actually provided a coherent case for gender quotas. All I saw were a bunch of statistics of how much gender stratification there is in many powerful institutions of the developed world, some quotes from some sexists, and a pot shot at the finance industry (which probably speaks more to the overall legitimacy of that industry rather than mostly men being in charge of it).

    • davenj

      Agreed. The article only showed that gender quotas were enforced, not that they “work”.

    • http://feministing.com/members/mjameson/ Matthew T. Jameson

      I wasn’t impressed with that article, either. Neither the author, nor the Feministing poster did anything to define exactly what it means for a policy to “work,” but were willing to accept that quotas do, in fact, “work.”

  • http://feministing.com/members/thatundergrad/ Jessica

    The New York Times piece is SO COOL! I am so excited to read through all of these!!

  • devoted_toucan

    I cringe whenever I hear the men speak, mumble, or laugh together in the House, and I’ve always had a passionate dislike for Cameron, but ohh, I so wanted to *clenches and un-clenches fist* when I saw him saying that.

  • http://feministing.com/members/ferriswheel/ Amelia

    “Simon Murray, chairman of Glencore, the largest commodities trader, floated at $60bn, offers us the benefit of his wisdom on women: “They have a tendency not to be so involved quite often, and they are not so ambitious in business as men because they’ve got better things to do.” Such as? “Bringing up children and all sorts of things.””

    – from the second link.

    I really think what will help the most is for men to start participating more in child rearing. If all parents participated equally, workplaces would have to be more accommodating, and if they were more accommodating for parents – they’d be less concerned about potential employees becoming pregnant.

    • http://feministing.com/members/danl/ Dan L

      I agree, and it’s something I think everyone will need to push for in order for it to happen. I’m now in my late 20’s, as are many of my friends, and I can’t say I’ve ever heard a woman I’m friends with say anything to the effect of “I started dating this guy, and he’s chosen a career that will leave him plenty of time to share the child rearing”. I’ve heard ambitious, or that they earn a lot of money, or that they’re attractive, well traveled, and all those are great, and maybe the idea of being a good parent is in there and just not expressed, or something they don’t express around men? I’m not sure, but that’s one thing I think women can do, make the choice to seek out men who are situated to do so. If someone of either gender marries a super ambitious lawyer I don’t think it’s crazy to anticipate from that that they may not be as involved of a parent.

      Obviously men have plenty of slack to pick up too. I do think in a lot of ways society sends messages to men that their role in childrens’ lives is nice, but not necessary. There are plenty of cases of child support that turn into “if you don’t pay, you don’t see your kids”, which may be fine if the father is just avoiding paying, but if it’s a case of a lost job, reduced hours, illness, etc, then it just sends the message that the primary role of a father is to provide for the family, and that comes before being with them.

      On a smaller note I also remember as a child being at my aunts house when she’d had a new baby. I was always an introvert and was happy sitting in the corner while everyone “cooed” over the infant, but I do remember them asking all the girls, some younger than me if they wanted to hold the kid. None of the boys were asked. To this day I dread holding kids and probably will until the day I have my own and quite simply have to learn.

      I realize I’m rambling here and not trying to take blame off men. The simple truth is most men seem to be perfectly content with not having those expectations placed on them, and reinforce conditions which make it difficult for men to take on further responsibility. When I was younger my father was fortunate enough to have a job nearby and which was flexible so he could leave during the day, as compared to my mother working in the city, a 45 minute drive vs a 10 minute one for him. The school was repeatedly told to contact my father if I needed to leave or for whatever reason. It only happened 3 times in the years I was at that school but they ALWAYS contacted my mother, who then had to take more time to make a personal call to my father. We later found out the principal had made a policy of “always call mom”. I guess he couldn’t conceive of a father taking any responsibility for his kids.

  • http://feministing.com/members/dim8400/ Jenny

    Why are you concerned that Bin Laden used a woman as a human shield?

    Its kinda like saying…

    This guy initiated the attacks on the WTC that killed 2,000 people, has led a worldwide multimillion dollar terrorist organization for many years, has been on the run from the US military for 10 years AND HE USED 1 WOMAN AS A SHIELD!!!!!!!!

    A terrorist leader using ANYONE as a shield is not news, it is expected.

    • http://feministing.com/members/lilia4/ lilia

      So, because Osama was a terrorist it should be expected that he would do bad things, so if he did bad things we shouldn’t be concerned about it…? It’s also expected that terrorists will commit acts of terrorism, so if they do is that not news as well, since it’s just expected of them? And why do the deaths of everyone in the WTC attacks cancel out the death of this woman? Just because more people died then and she’s only one woman doesn’t make her worth any less than them.