Posts Tagged ‘sexism’

buffalo-bills-jills-cheerleadersOnly in America.

Five members of the Buffalo Bills cheerleading squad are filing a lawsuit against the organisation, relating to inappropriate working conditions.

According to the suit, Bills cheerleaders suffered numerous financial violations, strict appearance instructions and embarrassing physical examinations, which one cheerleader, Alyssa U., referred to as the ‘jiggle test.’

“We turned around, had her (cheerleading coach) look at our backside, and then turn forward again and she had us do jumping jacks in front of her to see what parts of our bodies were jiggling. That’s where it got it’s name – the Jiggle Test. We had to stand in front of our coach in our uniform in rows of five as she stood before us with a clipboard and had us face forward as she reviewed our bodies.”

Along with the uncomfortable physical examinations, cheerleaders also endured demeaning instructions on how to conduct themselves outside of work from lessons in formal dining, strict hair and nail colour requirements and more shockingly, lessons in how to wash their private areas.

“My hair was blonde, but I was told it was not natural looking, and that I needed to go see the Jill’s hairstylist who knew “the Jills look” – who also happened to be the coach’s best friend. And it wasn’t free. You have to pay her, that’s not for free – but we got a $5 discount, so it was around $85”

The embarrassing physical evaluations would occur once a week in the lead up to the weekend’s game, to determine which cheerleaders were deemed to be ‘field ready.’

“The next day, you receive an email which was categorised by different body parts and let’s say, if she thought you had a stomach issue for that week, you got a check. If you had two checks, you weren’t field ready. If you had three checks, you were benched for the next game.”

Further to the embarrassing working conditions the cheerleaders are subjected to, financially they are barely compensated for their work. With the Bills generating around $256 million in yearly revenue, the five cheerleaders only made between $105 and $1,800 in a single season.

We confess ourselves confused, Dear Reader. What exactly did the women concerned think they were being employed for? Their athletic ability? Superior pom-pom waving? Without a doubt mixed-sex cheerleading has evolved, somewhat ironically, into a complex, highly athletic and exciting spectator sport in the USA, albeit a bit weird in the rah-rah way Americans are often so adoringly peculiar. But that’s a world away from a small group of lovelies practicing high kicks and wiggling their collective tush on the sidelines at a game itself.

Well, hell. Look,we are sorry to appear uncaring, but in our honest opinion cheerleading at games is sexist nonsense, a hangover from days long gone. Paid participants – even low-paid participants – can hardly complain when their employer judges them by their physical attributes, when that is clearly what is on display to the beer-ed up overwhelmingly male patrons. The fact that America is the most litigious nation on earth is no excuse. We think the women concerned should pull their, er, heads in. Unless you think differently and can convince us otherwise?

Or, on the other hand, if the issue was really about their compensation, why not strike for better pay and conditions? Now that really would have made the “news”.

 

I am endlessly fascinated by the way that the GOP makes itself look perpetually un-electable thanks to the idiot lack of control of its wilder fringes. I see someone with the wonderful monniker of Elias Isquith (I want his name!) at Salon.com has noticed a real doozey. In his recently released memoir, New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce says the family should be run using a rigid chain of command.

GOP congressman: Wives should obey their husbands

Elias’s article follows with a few comments from us at the end:

It’s a well-established reality of contemporary American politics: The Republican Party is struggling to find ways to better connect with female voters. The “War on Women” and all that.

Well, here’s some unsolicited advice to the GOP on how it could perhaps have more success convincing women that they, too, care about their freedom and autonomy — tell New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce to go far, far away.

In his initially little-noticed memoir —”Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!” — Steve Pearce argues that, like the military’s chain of command, every household should be run according to a rigid hierarchy. And, wouldn’t you know it, guess who Pearce imagines should be at the tippy-top of the family pyramid? Steve Pearce!

Not just Pearce, of course, but rather all men, in the Republican’s opinion, should be the clear and undisputed masters of their families and homes. And best of all, it’s all based on the Bible. (For more on this disturbingly widespread belief within the right-wing Christian fundamentalist community, check out this report from Mother Jones.)

“The wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice,” Pearce writes. ”The husband’s part is to show up during the times of deep stress, take the leadership role and be accountable for the outcome, blaming no one else.”

No doubt anticipating that writing about how women should submit to their husbands might give people the impression that he thinks women should assume the subordinate role to their husbands (via submission), Pearce assures the reader that this Bible-based understanding of marital relations is “not a matter of superior versus inferior; rather, it is self-imposed [by the wife] as a matter of obedience to the Lord and of love for her husband.” Got it?

Anyway, good luck with the whole rebranding thing, GOP. You’re going to need it.

Wellthisiswhatithink says:

Actually, Pearce is being just a bit disingenuous here. The bits of the Bible arguing that people wearing cloths of two different kinds together should be put to death (get that polyester cotton shirt off immediately, bro!) not to mention the numerous injunctions in favour of taking slaves, especially nice juicy young female ones, or of having hundreds of wives, might be just a TAD more controversial?  And given that C’man Pearce seems keen to focus on this one, is it just that he’s ill-educated and doesn’t know the others, is he an outrider for a general “get that woman back in her box” movement, or do we assume from his focus on this and not other rules for civilisation that he actually believes some bits of the Bible are true, and others aren’t. Hmmm, Congressman? And in which case, why is this bit true?

Anyway, back to the real point of the article, (before my Theology degree kicks in and I start frothing at the mouth), while the Republican Party remains in thrall to these (take your pick) religious fundamentalists, anti-climate science, anti-evolution, anti-abortionist, anti-contraception, anti-equality, anti-health care, wide-eyed anti-gay homophobes, racists, conspiracy theorists, and Tea Party fruitcakes, they are – and should be – unelectable. And that’s bad for democracy, bad for America, and bad for the world.

For God’s sake, someone on the right show some leadership.

So there.

Anyway, Dear Reader, we are just off home now to explain to Mrs Wellthisiswhatithink that from now she is to voluntarily submit, while your correspondent lovingly leads and sacrifices. If you don’t hear from us again, you’ll know why …

Silly old sod is about the politest way we can put it.

Silly old sod is about the politest way we can put it.

Ex Prime Minister Bob Hawke has revealed himself as … well, you decide the epithet.

Why is a woman’s status as a mother still relevant to her career potential?

The infamous “Silver Bodgie” said that, while Tanya Plibersek was “a very impressive representative,” she may not be a candidate for Labor leadership as she has a three-year-old child.

“She could be a candidate for the deputy,” he told The Australian.

At the top of Bob Hawke’s list, however, is Bill Shorten. Who, er, just happens to have a three year old.

Go figure.

plibersekmem_narrow-300x0As a result, Destroy The Joint’s meme has enjoying a good run in social media.

It’s all academic, sadly, as Plibersek didn’t put her hand up.

We are actually rather sorry about that.

She’s articulate, hard working, attractive, coherent, compassionate, and wildly popular.

She has three children under the age of 13 and she’s been in politics since before her children were born, and managed a $5.1 billion health portfolio as a cabinet minister in the Labor government.

It’s reasonable to assume she’s got her share of her child-rearing sorted out.

The real point is, of course, that the comment made by Hawke would never, in a month of Sundays, be made about a man. Throughout the workforce, we bemoan the glass ceiling on women’s ambitions and careers, and then people make comments like this. They absolutely must not be allowed to go unchallenged.

Despite in other ways being a progressive modern Western democracy, Australia has now sunk to 45th position when it comes to representation of women in Parliament. Abbott’s cabinet has just one female member. Fewer than the cabinet in Afghanistan, as the ALP were delighted to report.

(Mind you, that is because the uniquely horrible Sophie Mirabella has now officially lost the seat of Indi, which only goes to prove there is a God. Or Karma is real, one of the two.)

Anyhow, now is not the time for women to be relegated to support roles. Nor is it the time for [insert your favourite expletive here] like Bob Hawke to talk such utter crap.

We were always Keating fans, frankly. As to whether we prefer Anthony Albanese or Bill Shorten to lead the ALP, we frankly are yet to decide. Both have their strengths, and weaknesses. We would, however, very much like the media to sort out the correct pronunciation of Albo’s surname. Is it “Albaneezeey” or “Albaneeze”? We think the people should be told. Fast.

So what do you think of Bob’s comment? Try and keep it nice. We do note he will be 84 in December. How ageist of us, before you say it. Shocking.

Oh come ON. Really? I mean, it’s just nothing to do with male business travellers preferring attractively slim female stewardesses, right?

Nah. Of course not. To hear their ridiculous explanation, hit the link.

http://bit.ly/12eVuvi 

From iVillage.com.au, with thanks.

Getting there ...

Getting there …

Of course, if they worked naked, or in skimpy cheerleader uniforms, they’d save even MORE weight per flight. I must write to their CEO.

Not always, but often.

Not always, but often.

Regular readers of Wellthisiswhatithink will know that we have weighed in before about the disgraceful standards of material that Facebook allows to be posted on its pages.

In one case, companies dropped advertising because Facebook allows content that promotes violence against women while banning women’s health adverts, in another situation Facebook refused to remove content that jeopardised a police case against a rapist and murderer.

Facebook photo sharing

That photo you don’t want your future employer to see? Checkout our story on FB photo sharing now.

We have also pointed out how questionable Facebook’s privacy settings as regards photographs are; and if you use Facebook, you need to read this article.

Anyhow: much as we enjoy using the platform in general, in our view, some of the content on the massively popular site is morally questionable, and quite possibly illegal in multiple domains.

And we remain of the view that they need to review their general terms of service urgently.

Especially as entirely innocent posters frequently get banned because someone tags their post as Spam merely because they disagree with it – a phenomenally common cause of complaint, against which there is no appeal that we can discern.

(If you don’t believe us, hop onto Facebook now and see if you can find a link to customer service that doesn’t just direct you to a bland series of FAQs, or even, yet, a customer service email address or – gasp – phone number. If you make any progress, let us know …)

Banned Facebook content DOES include images of breastfeeding, apparently, as this Australian mother discovered to her cost.

Banned Facebook content DOES include images of breastfeeding, apparently, as this Australian mother discovered to her cost.

In fact, Facebook is now so large that they seem to handle such matters automatically by computer rather than with human intervention, and in our experience there is no way to get such bans rescinded.

So much for free speech.

I have seen complaints of such bans from all sides of the political and social spectrum, from extreme left to extreme right and everything in between, and from non-political posters who simply add material that someone or something in Facebook apparently decides is offensive.

Many posters simply migrate to a different Facebook name in order to keep posting, (the same problem afflicts Twitter), and it’s clear the problem needs resolving urgently.

If someone comes up with a social network with real customer service Facebook and Twitter will go the way of MySpace and others, taking investors with them. Anyhow, here’s the story of one lump of pressure against Facebook that did win out – because it targeted their revenues, of course.

Facebook removes ads from controversial pages to avoid boycott

Social media pressure increases against, ironically, social media providers.

Social media pressure increases against, ironically, social media providers.

Some recent consumer pressure on FB advertisers has produced rapid and meaningful results.

What is becoming increasingly fascinating to me, having spent a lifetime in marketing, is how social media pressure can now bend corporations – even bend social media providers – to its will, and with some ease.

Clearly, the days of companies blithely acting in defiance of popular will are declining.

This from the Technology correspondent of the BBC:

Facebook has announced a major revamp of its advertising systems in an attempt to deal with concerns about offensive content.

There will now be new restrictions on where adverts appear on the site.

Marks and Spencer and BSkyB were among companies to suspend advertising after complaints that adverts had been placed on pages with offensive material.

The social network is now planning to remove any advertising from many of its pages.

Facebook’s move follows complaints about a Sky advert promoting an M&S voucher.

The advert was placed on a Facebook page called “cute and gay boys”. The page featured photographs of teenage boys.

In a blogpost on Friday, Facebook said: “We recognize we need to do more to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial Pages and Groups. So we are taking action.”

‘Gold standard’

The company said that from Monday it will implement a new process to determine which pages or groups should feature adverts alongside the content.

There will be no adverts on pages that feature any violent, graphic or sexual content, even if such content is not in violation of the company’s rules.

According to one source, Facebook will create a “gold standard” of around 10,000 pages that are deemed suitable for adverts, and then inspect other pages to see if they can be added to the list. All adverts will be removed from other pages.

A spokesman said this would be a labour-intensive process but we take this” very seriously.”

BskyB said it looked forward to discussing the new measures and would keep the situation under review.

M&S had asked BSkyB to remove the advert, and it suspended some of its own advertising campaigns on Facebook.

BSkyB suspended all of its advertising on the social network, where it has been a major customer.

Misogynist content

Both companies had said they were keen to use Facebook again, but needed to be sure that their advertising would not appear next to offensive content, or material that might reflect poorly on their brands.

Speaking before Facebook announced its policy change, a spokesman for BSkyB told the BBC: “We have asked Facebook to devise safeguards to ensure our content does not appear alongside inappropriate material in the future.

“We will review the situation in due course.”

Sources at Marks and Spencer said Facebook had been taking the issue very seriously at the highest level.

In an additional statement, an M&S spokeswoman said the company did not “tolerate any inappropriate use or positioning of its brand and has very clear policies that govern where and how our brand is used”.

She added: “We take any suggestion that these policies are not being adhered to very seriously and always investigate them thoroughly.”

Earlier this month, Facebook was forced to act against misogynist content on its site after protests from women’s groups led some advertisers to suspend campaigns.

Now: if we can just get rid of Rush Limbaugh …

Other stories:

Sexism protests target Facebook

Facebook bows to anti-hate campaign

Facebook hate speech row: Sky joins ad boycott (guardian.co.uk)