Every Saturday here on NotOurStandard.com we will do a round-up of what we’ve been reading and seeing in the world of how women are treated differently than men. Sometimes they are wonderful takes on how to survive and thrive and sometimes they are just disappointing.
This is an oldie but goodie (in that it helps enlighten, not that it is good) that Mother Jones published a few years back. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (published a new (PDF) detailing the stereotypes, barrier, and sadly exploitation that define how badly women and girls are treated on screen. Go see the stats for yourself.
Women are scarcer in prime-time shows and family films, and those films depict “fewer women in prestigious occupational positions,” the study notes. “Females are not only missing from popular media, [but] when they are on screen, they seem to be there merely for decoration.”
If that is leaving you sad we’ve got some cheerful (kinda) from HerCampus analyzing some recent reports of gender bias lawsuits. It starts with a bummer of a story but the author takes it to a great place. When it comes to discrimination DON’T BE A TEAM PLAYER.
We must continue having these conversations and revealing these acts of sexism as a way to avoid normalizing them. Openly speak out and expose them. Embarrass the people who believe this sort of behavior is acceptable.
Sherry refers to the women who kept quiet about their experiences as “team players.” Of course, that definition of “team player” is one created by a male-dominated workplace: you’re a team player if you keep quiet about these injustices and develop a “thick skin.” I’m calling for the rebranding of “team player.” A team of men and women who support one another when they speak out about harassment in the workplace. A team that steps up to support a colleague experiencing harassment in the workplace and refuses to accept it.
This task shouldn’t fall solely on women. Men who see it need to speak up as well. It’s the unfortunate truth that a man speaking on sexism may be listened to more than a woman—especially by other men. That’s called exercising male privilege in a positive and effective way.