WHAT’S NEXT FOR WORKING WOMEN AT THE INTERSECTION OF SEXUALITY AND IMPLICIT BIAS? Gloria Feldt, Gloria Steinem, Jamia Wilson, Shelby Knox Moderator: Victoria Pynchon
Shelby Knox nationally known subject of Sundance award-winning film, The Education of Shelby Knox teenage activist for comprehensive sex education and gay rights feminist organizer Change.org activist Authoring book about fourth wave of feminist activism
Women's Media Center VP of Programs
Gloria Feldt Author, Speaker Author, No Excuses, 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power teaches "Women, Power, and Leadership” former CEO Planned Parenthood
Founder, Ms. Magazine
Implicit Bias Cognitive biases – universal tendencies of thought Cultural biases – stereotypes associated with the culture in which we live No one is unbiased We need to quickly characterize people to make quick decisions on trustworthiness
Assumptions We Make what people do Who they are What they’re are thinking Their Character Their Attitudes Their Beliefs Their Desires Their Needs Their Sensitivities Their Opinions Their Ideas about us And we treat them accordingly
Blind Orchestra Auditions
Confusion Resentment Resistance Denial Fear Scorn Humor
Romance or assault?
Even a dog knows whether he’s been kicked or stumbled over
Rules don’t give us certainty They are categories of behavior that are possibly offensive The appropriate behavior is an exercise in communication The challenge is to respect other people’s boundaries. I’m staying on the road but does it matter how fast or slow, I go, how long it takes me to get there, whether I can stop and start again, what I should do if someone is coming my way .
I don’t like it when you call me [honey, baby cakes, girlfriend, chick, whore, bitch] I’m not comfortable being touched at work; I’d appreciate it if you’d stop When you shake hands with the men but give me a peck on the cheek I feel less professional; I’d appreciate a handshake instead
Is it really happening to me? Am I biased? Am I doing it to someone else? What can I do?
Pick a characteristic 2. Blow it out of proportion 3. collapse the person into the characteristic 4. Ignore individual differences and variations 5. Disregard subtleties and complexities 6. Overlook commonalities 7. Match it to your own worst fears 8. Make it cruel
Does this have to be placed in historical context?
The Intersection of Bias and Harassment
How Would Women Create a Work Environment Hostile to Men?
$63,000 to lesbian worker for disparaging remarks about her appearance being masculine + withheld tools provided to me Man awarded $475K for harassment by gay supervisor 1st woman police officer $2 million – men watched Howard Stern & made vulgar remarks, compared her physique to those women on show The price of the jokes we tell and disrespect we show
Men who endorse BSexism more likely to blame female victim of acquaintance rape if she has violated gender role expectations for feminine ‘‘purity’’ and chastity
Women led to expect BSexism in workplace perform worse
Women who endorse BSexismmore likely to accept a male romantic partner’s sexist restriction despite potentially negative career impact
priming BSexismactivates greater system justification among women, undermining resistance to inequality
Relationship Between Hostile and Benevolent Sexism
Implicit bias research . . can function as a convenient scientific justification for interpreting any behavior as proof of sexism (or racism).
In practice, [implicit bias] training discourages dissent from campus orthodoxies and discussion of uncomfortable ideas.
Sexual harassment training attempts to coerce people into “identifying themselves as either victims or oppressors.”
Op-Ed Column Boston Globe, May 29, 2005
Addressing the Blow Back
Legal Responses to Implicit Bias
whether or not discrimination is the “fault” of any individual discriminator, it has systematically harmful effects on the life chances of members of particular socially salient groups
Too MUCH evidence of gender discrimination
Compare Brown v. Board of Education
Do We Need a Brown v. Board of Education for Women?