The words we use for each other

Someone invented the term “microaggressions” for the tiny things other people do that make it harder, day by day, to live as yourself. They don’t mean much to the perpetrator but once you’ve experienced¬†20 of them in a day, they sure as heck mean something to you.

A recent study of language and personality on Facebook (HT Eric Crampton) reveals a few gender-related microaggressions to a startling degree. Continue reading

In praise of egalitarian economics

Eric Crampton points to a study that finds male economists exhibit no gender bias in hiring.

Contrary to prevailing assumptions, men and women faculty members from all four fields preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles (single, married, divorced), with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference.

The blindness of economics to gender and other differences (race, sexuality, etc) is inspiring.
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“I need to learn to work with people who disrespect me”

The above words came out of my mouth the other night as I was unloading after a particularly stressful day in the office. They were followed by this:

I feel like my need for respect is holding me back. As a woman, it’s inevitable that sometimes I’ll have colleagues who disrespect me. At the moment I get really tense when I don’t feel respected, and I feel like that could be hurting my career. After all, I have to work with these people, and they’ll never respect me anyway. Being assertive to them will just make me seem like a bitch.

Not sure if internalising misogyny or being internalised by misogyny

Auckland DHB seeks to abuse liquor licensing law

Liquor licensing is a pretty sensible policy. Authorities can manage many of the costs of alcohol use – drunken behaviour on streets, availability to underage drinkers, availability in the community as a whole – by granting or declining licenses on a case-by-case basis. There’s no need for blanket restrictions that will inevitably fail in some key edge cases. Instead, those in charge can just say “sorry, there are enough bars/off-licenses in that block already”.

What liquor licensing is not good for is encouraging individuals to make healthy choices for their families. So why is Birthcare maternity hospital having to fight to renew its liquor license?

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Gender is not a choice

The heartwarming story of the Brisbane parents who posted a classified to announce their trans son’s coming out has been all over social media the past few days.

In the notice, the family says in 1995 they placed an ad to announce the birth of their daughter Elizabeth Anne.

“He informs us that we were mistaken. Oops! Our bad. We would now like to present, our wonderful son – Kai Bogert. Loving you is the easiest thing in the world. Tidy your room,” the notice read.

That’s awesome! What supportive parents. Too bad the media isn’t so supportive. Kai’s decision to share his true gender identity with his family is reported like this (emphasis mine): Continue reading

New victim stats reveal Pakeha privilege

On Friday the Police released the first of their new series of statistics, “Recorded crime victims statistics”. The media release says these are an improvement on the old recorded offences numbers, and¬†aim to “count the victims behind the crimes” in order to “provide new information about victims and a more complete picture of who is affected by crime in New Zealand”. The victims statistics will be complemented by statistics on offenders, to be released next year.

This change in reporting is a positive step towards humanising talk about crime.
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