Economy, Gender, Social Problems, Stratification

Women’s Gains in the Work Force Conceal a Problem Jobs traditionally viewed as female still don’t pay well, and still don’t appeal to men. Fixing one of these things would fix the other. By Claire Cain Miller Jan. 21, 2020 American women have just achieved a significant milestone: They hold more payroll jobs than men. But this isn’t entirely good news for workers, whether they’re men or women.

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Gender, Social Movements, Social Problems

Past Tense: The First New York Pride March Was an Act of ‘Desperate Courage’

It wasn’t always feathers, floats and celebrities.

The Christopher Street Liberation Day March was held on June 28, 1970 — the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. “Thousands of young men and women homosexuals from all over the Northeast” participated, The Times reported, “proclaiming ‘the new strength and pride of the gay people.’”

By Andrew Solomon

June 27, 2019

When we hear of Pride marches today, we tend to think of fuss and feathers, of men more than half-naked waving from rainbow-hued, Lurex-draped parade floats, of Dykes on Bikes who gun their motors in defiance of gender norms, of waving gay and trans celebrities. They are fiestas that percolate through the cities and sometimes small towns of the developed world, as well as some parts of the rest of the world, and they mark the fact that gay people exist in numbers, provide documentary evidence that we have more fun and are more fabulous than anyone else, that we are gay in the old sense of the word. The drag queens and gender-nonbinary youth at such events can appear preoccupied with their own ecstatic exhibitionism.

But Pride was not always so unabashedly celebratory; for a long time, it was a radical assault on mainstream values, a means to defy the belief that homosexuality was a sin, an illness and a crime, that gay people were subhuman.

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Gender, Stratification, Technology

Exposing the Bias Embedded in Tech

Peggy Johnson of Microsoft said biases needed to be exposed to be addressed. “The way to turn anything around is to shine a light on it.”

By Alina Tugend

June 17, 2019

In 2010, Kinect for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system, in which users played with gestures and spoken commands rather than a controller, was ready to go to market.

But just before it did, a woman who worked for the company took the game home to play with her family, and a funny thing happened. The motion-sensing devices worked just fine for her husband, but not so much for her or her children.

That’s because the system had been tested on men ages 18 to 35 and didn’t recognize as well the body motions of women and children, said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft.

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Family, Gender, Social Problems

Work-Life Conflict Doesn’t Stop After Maternity Leave

By Jessica Grose

June 17, 2019

Here’s a math problem: You have two working parents and two children, one of whom has a seemingly endless configuration of end-of-the-school-year special activities. On Monday there is a theater performance at 2:15 p.m. On Tuesday there’s a class breakfast at 8:30 a.m. On Wednesday someone has to run to the 24-hour pharmacy for hair spray at 11 p.m. because they forgot that crazy hair day is Thursday and there wasn’t enough “crazy” in their house. On Friday there’s field day and honestly who knows how long that will take.

How do these parents Jenga their schedules to both please their children and keep their jobs?

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Gender, Social Problems

Which Box Do You Check? Some States Are Offering a Nonbinary Option
As nonbinary teenagers push for driver’s licenses that reflect their identity, a fraught debate over the nature of gender has arrived in the nation’s statehouses.

By Amy Harmon

May 29, 2019

BOSTON — Ever since El Martinez started asking to be called by the gender-neutral pronouns “they/them” in the ninth grade, they have fielded skepticism in a variety of forms and from a multitude of sources about what it means to identify as nonbinary.

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Gender, Social Problems, Technology

Siri and Alexa Reinforce Gender Bias, U.N. Finds

By Megan Specia

May 22, 2019

Why do most virtual assistants that are powered by artificial intelligence — like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa system — by default have female names, female voices and often a submissive or even flirtatious style?

The problem, according to a new report released this week by Unesco, stems from a lack of diversity within the industry that is reinforcing problematic gender stereotypes.

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