It is written: If you want to fight a battle on the internet—like, say, "sexism is bad"—no matter how many times that battle has been fought before, you're going to have to spend a few million preliminary hours bashing your head against faux-incredulous gaslighting morons. "How can I be sexist when I love my mom?" "How can sexism be bad when it's not even real?" "How can sexism be real when HILLARY CLINTON???" "How can hurr durr de durr when HURR DURR DUR DA DURRRR!!?!??" Love your work, internet. Keep it up.
So much of these things that we yell about all day exist in weird, invisible spaces—subtle systemic inequalities, exploitation dressed up as feminism, just a feeling we have that something is f**ked. That's why it's so satisfying to see evidence that stuff is definitely f**ked. Like this paper, "Marriage Structure and Resistance to the Gender Revolution in the Workplace," from researchers out of Harvard (that is like the Yale of universities, you guys!!!), NYU, and the University of Utah, which finds that it is nearly impossible for men in "traditional" marriages (i.e. men whose wives don't work) to treat women equally in the workplace. No matter how well-meaning they are, no matter how much they love their moms, no matter how much they think they believe in gender equality, men who opt to live in antiquated gender paradigms are part of what the researchers call "a pocket of resistance to the revolution":
We found that employed husbands in traditional marriages, compared to those in modern marriages, tend to (a) view the presence of women in the workplace unfavorably, (b) perceive that organizations with higher numbers of female employees are operating less smoothly, (c) find organizations with female leaders as relatively unattractive, and (d) deny, more frequently, qualified female employees opportunities for promotion.
They presented male employers with identical job applicants—same experience, same qualifications, same resume—except one was named Dave and the other Diane. Then men in traditional marriages rated "Diane" significantly lower than Dave. Because, you know, vagina. Every woman has felt that—that moment when you can see a man's engagement switch off, and realize that he will never take you as seriously as he would if you came back with a chest-merkin and a handlebar mustache. But it's an almost impossible feeling to quantify, and an even harder one to communicate to people who have never felt it. An argument that can be vaporized with an emphatic enough "nu uh!" is a difficult argument to win.
It's not like there's some malicious, openly sexist douche brigade running around slapping laser pointers out of women's hands. That would be way easier to fight. But a lot of these men would probably consider themselves liberal, and friendly toward women's rights. As Gayle Tzemach-Lemmon at the Atlantic writes:
"One of the reasons why there aren't as many women at the top is perhaps men ...See full post