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Entries in gender gap (17)


A Week of Powerful Women Under the Microscope, Starting With a Blowout At the New York Times

1. Powerful women under the microscope. I was surprised to read Politico’s recent story that quotes the proverbial anonymous member of the New York Times staff criticizing Executive Editor Jill Abramson. An incident involving managing editor Dean Baquet — in which he admittedly stormed out of her office, slammed his hand against a wall and then left the newsroom — provoked a discussion not about his behavior, but Abramson’s.

Significant criticism of Politico’s Dylan Byers media columnist ensued, leading Anna Palmer and Darren Samuelson to remind readers to: Sheryl Sandberg is bossy, Nancy Pelosi is old. Ann Curry is weepy. And Jill Abramson is condescending, brusque and bitchy.

Besides clothes, hair dos and wrinkles, perceived demeanor of women leaders is food for the journalistically opinionated and gossip mongers.

While Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was criticized for being too tough in ending the company’s teleworking policy, journalist Ann Curry has been criticized for being a cry baby — letting tears slip on her last day anchoring the “Today” show.

When her dismissal was attributed to her lack of chemistry with co-host Matt Lauer, Curry was over it.  lashed out, “‘Chemistry,’ in television history, generally means the man does not want to work with the woman,” Curry reportedly said. “It’s an excuse generally used by men in positions of power to say, ‘The woman doesn’t work.’ ”

2. Really? “Come to papa!” Ouch! 30 Rock just can’t escape the fallout from Operation Bambi. This is the code name for the plan that dumped news reporter and then co-host Ann Curry off the ‘Today’ Show. And the bad guy is Matt Laurer, who denies that he ever told a production assistant, “I can’t believe I am sitting next to this woman.”

In late March, New York Magazine’s Joe Hagan wrote an in-depth analysis Matt Lauer and the Decline of NBC’s ‘Today’ Show.

“Matt Lauer doesn’t want to be seen with sharp knives, it’s because last summer his co-host Ann Curry was discovered with one in her back. She was swiftly replaced by a younger, more genial woman, Savannah Guthrie. Ever since, Lauer has been the prime suspect in Curry’s virtual demise. Five million viewers, the majority of them women, would not soon forget how Curry, the intrepid female correspondent and emotionally vivid anchor, spent her last appearance on the Today show couch openly weeping, devastated at having to leave after only a year. The image of Matt Lauer trying to comfort her—and of Curry turning away from his attempted kiss—has become a kind of monument to the real Matt Lauer, forensic evidence of his guilt.”

600,000 women viewers have left the Today Show over the Ann Curry debacle and the show worth half a billion dollars in ad revenue has lost its first place morning show ratings perch.

Ann Curry cont. next column.

As the NewYork Times reminded us a week ago in ‘Who Can Save the ‘Today’ Show?, Ann Curry had spent 22 years of her professional life in the hallways of 30 Rockefeller Center. This article is particularly interesting because it points out that the boys club that ran the ‘Today Show’ just assumed that everything would blow over once Operation Bambi was a kill.

The press might be bad for a week or two, but after the London Olympics, everything would return to rosy pink normal. Instead, the red ink bled profusely as women said “count me out!”

Now the plot thickens at ‘Today’, with New York Magazine reporting that NBC management reached out to CNN’s Anderson Cooper about replacing Matt Laurer. Double ouch.

US News asked this week in The ‘Top of the Morning’ Case for Closing the Gender Gap if a team of women executives would have dealt with the situation at Today a whole lot better than the boys club.  Brian Stelter’s new book ‘Top of the Morning’ examines the Ann Curry firing, with the author telling us: “There’s a gender gap throughout television and it’s very pronounced in morning TV since these shows are mostly meant for women,” he says. “I just wonder, if there was a more even split, men and women in the control, whether they would think differently about how they treat their anchors.”

Stelter thinks the show wasn’t right for Curry, but agrees the ouster was a total debacle. Over at Today, Laurer axed the idea of Kathie Lee Gifford publishing her seven pages of signatures supporting Laurer.

3. Salon interviews Comedy Central’s newest starlet Amy Schumer, asking her if women comedians will ever be treated equally. Schumer’s 2012 Comedy Central special “Inside Amy Schumer” premieres on Comedy Central April 30.

Asked if she still gets queried about whether it’s hard to be a female comic — given the inherent assumption that women aren’t funny — Schumer says ‘yeah’ in every interview and she thinks the question comes from laziness.

The ‘Mostly Sex Stuff’ comic continues: “And while I’m sure there are some people who say that women aren’t funny, I don’t think most people do. I think those things are perpetuated by journalists, and I don’t actually run into it that much.”

Pressed Schumer adds: “I think it has something to do with the general aggression toward women, and it being pounded into people’s heads that it’s just not possible for women to be funny. Even though we’re living in the times we’re living in, there is still stigma with women in general. People want women to be in a certain place. And not everyone’s comfortable with a woman speaking openly and honestly. When I read Gloria Steinem quotes, I just think that we aren’t that far along, or much further along than when she was.”

The funny woman says that the gender stereotypes are a battle that doesn’t seem like it can be won. Her focus is using humor, changing one mind at a time.

4.Could voters possibly prefer women candidates? Are we dreaming? But PA’s own Democratic guberbatorial candidate Allyson Schwartz, is named in Molly Ball’s The Atlantic piece arguing that women are hot political candidates.

With Hillary Clinton being heckled at a rally in 2008 by men shouting “Iron my shirt!” we must be dreaming that the author is on point. It’s true that boys club political analysts like Chris Matthews are now saying that America wants to elect a woman president.

“Voters want change,” says Mike Shields, the chief of staff at the RNC. “A woman candidate personifies change just by being on the ballot.” adds Democratic pollster Andrew Myers. in these intolerably gridlocked times, “voters believe women are more likely to compromise and find common ground and solutions, and less likely to argue and triangulate for political advantage.”

Both consultants emphasize that women are harder to criticize than men. Sharp-edged attacks by male rivals — particularly in these critically divisive times by male rivals — conjure up images of hitting a girl.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) launched the idea of this week’s dinner between President Obama and 20 women senators.  “I said, ‘As you put together your agenda for this term, if you want a bipartisan, core group of people to start moving legislation, a great way to start is the women senators,’” she said.


Mr. Olympics Slips Up in London | The Marriage Divide & Children's Lives | Climb Wyoming for Women

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Mitt Romney at Downing Street London. Image: Oli Scarff/GettyRepublican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in London, trying to mend many fences, but one in particular concerning London’s security at the Olympics.

For all his bravura, Mitt Romney is largely untested on the world political stage. The candidate managed to create a major stir by questioning whether Britain is prepared to pull off the Olympic Games without problems.

Security preparedness concerns have been reported within the last week, and Romney chose to use the issue to comment on the games to ABC News. The candidate cited “not have enough people” on the security detail, as well as the “supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials.”

Romney then went on to wonder if the people of London would “come together and celebrate the Olympic moment.” Still not stopping his lack of diplomatic tact, the former president of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, added “That’s something which we only find out once the Games actually begin.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron replied to Romney’s commentary, saying: “Of course it’s easier to hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

London’s mayor Boris Johnson told a raucous crowd in London’s Hyde Park after the arrival of the Olympic flame: “There’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!”

Mitt Romney: Anglo Saxon

The Republican candidate entered a dustup yesterday, under reports that an unnamed adviser told the conservative newspaper The Telegraph that the Romney team has a greater appreciation for the US and Britain’s shared “Anglo-Saxon heritage” than does President Obama.

The paper said the adviser’s remarks “may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity.” via Chicago Tribune

Lives of Single Mothers

Melissa Kutz, a 27-year-old single mother of three, said she had gained new hope from the Climb Wyoming job training program. Carmel Zucker for The New York TimesWyoming has the highest gap in America between a woman’s wage and a man’s, writes the New York Times. The state of Wyoming also has a divorce rate 30 percent above the national average. Wyoming also rants near the bottom of states, in the percentages of women having higher education degrees or owning businesses. Suicide rates and methamphetamine use are among the highest in the nation.

Enter Climb Wyoming, a project of Nancy Freudenthal, the wife of Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat.

Ms. Freudenthal, a lawyer who worked on women’s economic issues in private life, kept at it as first lady and is credited with helping Climb Wyoming expand statewide from here in Cheyenne. The group’s $1.8 million budget is about 70 percent public money, mostly federal grants, and 30 percent private donations and foundations.

More than 500 women have participated in the program so far. Co-founder psychologist Ray Fleming Dinneen admits that the emphasis on on training go-it-alone mothers for male-dominated jobs that rule the state’s economy.

Related Reading

Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do’ New York Times

Estimates vary widely, but scholars believe that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality. Economic extremes are woven in the fabric of American history. Becoming a society of family haves and family have-nots, with marriage and its rewards largely absent in some communities is a cause for serious concern, say statistics.

The Kids Are Not Really Alright Slate

W Bradford Wilcox strikes back against Katie Roiphe’s dismissal of the recent New York Times story on the marriage divide in America. Roiphe charged that the feature was a “puritanical and alarmist rumination on the decline of the American family.”

New York Times, Stop Moralizing About Single Mothers Slate


Violence & the Code of Masculinity | Ohio Women Strongly for Obama | Gender Gap at London Olympics

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Imagemore Co., Ltd./CorbisWriting for The Daily Beast, Lizzie Brockers reports on the ‘code of masculinity’ that researchers link to the reality that men are 9-10 times more likely to be a mass murderer than women.

“There’s a proclivity to aggression [in men] that’s biological, but it takes a social trigger to engage it,” says William Pollack, the director of the Centers for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital in Boston and a psychology professor at Harvard Medical School. “We socialize healthy, normal boys to ‘stand on their own two feet’ for fear that otherwise they won’t be real boys,” says Pollack, whose New York Times bestseller, Real Boys, dissects the inner emotional lives of young men. “They’re taught not to tell anyone when they feel pain, because they should be stoic, and they certainly shouldn’t cry.” As a result, Pollack says, men have a preconditioned level of tolerance for violence that makes it easier for them to act on it without remorse.

Women are diagnosed for depression much more often than men, Pollack continues. Yet depression is one of the common mental afflictions of mass murderers. Generally, depression in young men is twice as likely to go undiagnosed as in young females. Men are often taught that empathy equals weakness.

Indigenous cultures not only had rites of passage for young men, but training on how to use aggression in positive ways. Today’s young men have — hazing?

Women at London Olympics

Women’s rights organizations have called on the Olympics, urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “to ensure there are equal numbers of sports and medals for men and women.”

Annie Sugier, spokeswoman for the International League of Women’s Rights, said that at the London Games starting Friday and ending on August 12, women are competing in 30 fewer events than men, with 132 gold medals for women versus 162 for men.

The list included having the same number of medal events for men and women, ensuring women held 50 percent of positions in leading sports bodies, and enforcing neutrality in sport by banning the wearing of political or religious symbols. via Reuters

Related Reading

Election 2012: Ohio Becomes Battlefield To Win Women Voters Huff Po

Mitt Romney continues to trail President Obama with women voters: 52% support Obama’s reelection campaign, compared to 50% who support Romney, according to a poll released Monday night by Purple Strategies. The view of Romney in Ohio is even more negative with 56% of Ohio women viewing him unfavorable.

Gallup Poll Reveals Best, Worse Gender Gaps for Working Women National Journal

Countries most likely to have women working at desired capacity for employers include Kuwait, Singapore and Sweden. In the US, 61% of women are working full-time or part-time (and not wanting work), compared to 70% of men.