I’m gonna depress the hell out of all of you. ready? ok go
so, that “stop devaluing feminized work post”
nice idea and all
but the thing is, as soon as a decent number of women enter any field, it becomes “feminized,” and it becomes devalued.
as women enter a field in greater number, people become less willing to pay for it, the respect for it drops, and it’s seen as less of a big deal. it’s not about the job- it’s about the number of women in the job.
observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field. so has happened with scores of other areas; nursing comes to mind
so the thing is, it’s not the work or the job that has to be uplifted and seen as more respectable. it will never work out, until people start seeing women as respectable
but there’s a doozy and who the fuck knows if it’s ever happening in my life time
"observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field."
Personal anecdote time! I’m in a biology graduate program. An acquaintance wanted to introduce some guy to me because his son was thinking about becoming an undergrad science major. When he found out I was in the biology department, he grinned and said, “Well, I guess that’s kind of related to science.”
I gave him what I hope was an icy look and said, “Isn’t it strange how men outside the field started saying that right around the time biology majors shifted from mostly male to mostly female?”
The guy got this look on his face like he was about to play the “just a joke” card, and then an older woman who had been standing nearby, talking to someone else, turned to me and said, “The same thing happened with real estate.” She went on to explain that, over the course of the career, the male-to-female ratio among real estate agents had dropped, and the pay and “prestige factor” of that job dropped along with it.
This is also famous for happening to teaching. Keep an eye on medicine over the next fifteen years and watch as it becomes less prestigious and less well-paid.
It also happened to secretarial/administrative work - in the 19th century, clerical work was utterly respectable and seen as requiring quite a lot of talent and skill (which it still does!) but then along came the typewriter and women entering the field and HEY PRESTO “she’s just some secretary”
at my university, chemical engineering, or chem eng, was often referred to as “fem eng” why? because it’s an exact 50/50 ratio of women to men, which clearly makes it too feminine. in the 70s/80s chemical engineering was one of the most important and hardest engineering fields (plastics! pulp and paper! OIL) but now that there are more women in the field it’s considered an easier field, in comparison to other fields.
for example, i once heard a girl in mech eng list some of the engineering fields in the order she thought was hardest to easiest. you know what it was? electrical, mechanical, chemical. it’s absolutely no surprise that this list is also a handy ordering of fewest women in the field to most women in the field.
AND, another point! this happens the other way around too. computer science related fields used to be dominated by women, which made it not very important (switchboard operators? yup). once men started taking over the field, well that’s when the big money and prestige came in.
The field of anthropology, which is becoming female dominated from what I can see, has been determined to be useless by some. (I’ve even had girls in STEM fields tell me I don’t study a “real science” so how’s about that internalized misogyny for ya) When I was majoring in anthropology, Gov. Rick Scott determined that Florida didn’t need any more anthropologists and wanted to reduce funding to programs and increase funding to STEM programs. While not considered a STEM field, anthropologists have contributed to the research behind STEM programs and provide a wide variety of services to Florida alone. A team of anthropologists created a powerpoint “This is Anthropology" to talk about dozens of programs and services they contribute to in Florida which include healthcare programs, education programs, disaster relief, forensic investigation, environmental programs and conservation efforts, research for fortune 500 businesses, agricultural programs, immigration programs, programs and services for the elderly, etc. I’m also in the field of education, and we’re constantly made out to be overpaid (we’re not) and made out to be incapable of doing our jobs without very strict guidance.
It’s all very insulting, really. No matter what we study. No matter what we do to earn a living. It will never be good enough.
Since becoming more fully aware of my West Asian and North African (WANA) heritage, I have been wanting to post a number of thoughts that have been running through my mind. Rather than spam your dashboards with several short messages, I thought I would just share them in one catch-all post.
The short answer is that you should identify yourself as you feel you should identify yourself. Every trans person has to find a way to strike a balance between the need to be authentic with oneself and the need to navigate in a cissexist society, and no one is in a better position to do that than you are.
If you want my thoughts on your specific situation in transgender forums, I feel I should assure you that you are fully within your rights to identify as “female”, as a “trans woman”, or simply as a “woman”. If you believe there is a need to disclose where you stand in relation to the closet or transition, some people would say something along the lines of, “I am a pre-transition trans woman,” or, “I am a closeted woman.” If you want to avoid saying you are a woman altogether (this is definitely not something I think you have to do, but I know some people in similar situations might feel the need to do so), you could say that you are transgender and not a man without specifying a gender. (That is what I did during the five years immediately prior to coming out to myself as a woman.)
For what it’s worth when I started opening closet doors, I decided I was going to be out as a woman to a circle of people that from the start included my friends and people in queer and trans spaces. Some people, like friends and members of LiveJournal’s transgender community immediately got it and were fine with it. When I started attending a welcoming congregation (this was years before I started practicing Judaism), I had done no transitioning besides voice work, and I found myself having to do a lot of educating. I had yet to rename myself Veronika and was using a name that is common among both women and men, and most of the people in the congregation were cis, straight, and 40+. In the form I filled out when I started attending I expressed an interest in joining a women’s committee; no one ever got back to me. (Based on my later experiences there, I feel confident that this was done out of confusion or ignorance and not a desire to exclude trans women.) But I found I had a vocal advocate there, and eventually the other members of the congregation started to get it. All this is to say that based on my experience, I would say that if you find the right people to run with, you can identify as a woman before you begin transition.
You will be in my thoughts, hon. I hope you write back sometime to let me know how you are doing.
Just your daily reminders:
Racists are a problem
White people are not
Homophobes are a problem
Straight people are not
Transphobes are a problem
Cis people are not
Sexists are a problem
Men are not
And most importantly,
Hating an innocent person solely because of their race, sexuality, or gender makes you a fucking asshole
Just some actual daily reminders:
- All white people do racist things without being aware they are
- All straight people do homophobic things without being aware that they are.
- All Cis people do transphobic things without being aware that they are.
- All men do sexist things without being aware that they are.
- Saying things like ‘some men’, ‘some cis people’ absolves the blame of individuals and only seeks to comfort those with privilege and power.
- When a post says ‘some X’, the X will always assume that they are not because THEY ARE NOT AWARE.
And most importantly,
- It’s called metonymy, when anyone who is oppressed makes an exasperated statement like ‘i hate straight people’, they are substituting straight people for the concept of a system and a culture that teaches, incentives, and legitimizes homophobic acts and normalizes homophobic acts so that straight people constantly do honophobic things without realizing it and that’s really fucking annoying.
And just as important,
- The concept of sjws dehumanizes marginalized people and categorizes them as an ‘angry and emotional’ stereotype and only adds to the oppression of marginalized people under the guise of being ‘fair’, while the only thing you are doing is cushioning privileged people from their own ignorance and privilege.
And to finalize:
- Everyone is guilty of internalized -isms, and the longer you spend denying this instead of accepting and unlearning your thought patterns and behavior, the longer you will actually be part of the problem.
Noam Sienna, “Henna,” The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Brill Reference (via kosherqueer)
Hey I searched for myself on tumblr and look what I found! From my henna article for the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. More people have probably read it on tumblr than anywhere else, lol!
Lovely Anon Who Sent Me the Ask Yesterday,
I hope to be able to answer your ask tomorrow (Central Time). In the meantime please do not think I have forgotten you or your important question.
I am not in bed yet, and both Shabbat candles have gone out already.
Where did summer go?
Have you heard? diosanegra is stellar, she has great politics, and she is a total sweetheart. If you are not following her, you are missing out.