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Girls, women, and intellectual empowerment

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nickname in law school was “Bitch.” Senator Elizabeth Warren was sanctioned by her GOP colleagues when “nevertheless, she persisted” in her questioning of soon-to-be Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Senator Kamala Harris reminded Vice President Mike Pence “I am speaking, I am speaking,” as he attempted to interrupt and speak over her in a recent vice presidential debate. CNN found it more important to report that two women won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry than to report the names of the women who won it.Women and intellectual disempowermentThough we may wish to think it otherwise, women and girls are still routinely silenced and excluded from positions of power, expertise, leadership, and full participation in the public sphere.Ample empirical evidence supports this claim. In the classroom, girls and young women are regularly silenced. Teacher biases can lead to teachers spending up to two-thirds of their time with male students. Teachers also interrupt girls more frequently and allow boys to speak over them. Students themselves play out these gendered assumptions and normalizations and boys believe girls talk too much, when in fact, boys speak far more often, and more authoritatively, than girls.On the faculty side, several studies that show men speak more often and for longer amounts of time in faculty meetings. When women do speak more frequently, they are assessed as less competent than their male peers. Sources show that assertive women are considered bitchy, including this study from 2014, which also shows that women are given far more critical feedback from their bosses than their male counterparts. Likewise, a 2017 study of employee management shows that “[m]en who spoke up with ideas were seen as having higher status and were more likely to emerge as leaders. Women did not receive any benefits in status or leader emergence from speaking up.”The newly coined term, “hepeating,” gets to the experience that professional women often. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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