Thursday, April 21, 2016

Feminism - Seeking Justice #yesallwomen @arguhlin

Sitting in the audience at the movie theatre, an audience I hadn't really noticed was mostly female, my 17 year old self slipped lower in my chair. The movie was The Accused, and if you saw it, you probably know why I started to feel that males are lower than bottom-dwelling slugs, if only while watching the movie:
The Accused is a 1988 American drama film starring Kelly McGillis and Jodie Foster, directed by Jonathan Kaplan and written by Tom Topor. Loosely based on the real-life gang rape of Cheryl Araujo that occurred at Big Dan's Bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on March 6, 1983, this film was one of the first Hollywood films to deal with rape in a direct manner, and led to other films (including TV films and shows) on the subject. Jodie Foster, for her portrayal as Sarah Tobias, earned the Academy Award for Best Actress.... Source: Wikipedia
The film, which I was totally unprepared for as a sheltered young man at seventeen (you know, you don't realize how "sheltered" you are until you encounter a situation like this), made me feel ashamed to be a young man. In theory, I knew that men raped women (and vice versa), but having attended a Catholic school growing up with poor social skills, I realize that MY reality didn't include such brutal renditions of truth. I resolved to never visit bars, and I've held to that except for 1-2 occasions. Feminism, equal rights for men and women, seemed quite achievable but I had no clue as to what it meant in my teenage a grown man, it seemed natural to seek a strong woman, unafraid to speak up.

Feminism often involves "Speaking truth to power," and for me, a confident human being is one that can appreciate, even celebrate and learn, diverse opinions that are different than his/her's. I won't say all marriages are like that, but I can say that I'm glad my wife is unafraid to point out the error of my ways and that goes both ways. Equal rights for all human beings has meant raising children to ask tough questions about how they can interact positively (win-win) with others, but also, to avoid situations that may put them in harm's way. We'll come back to this idea, though.

One of the important pieces of data I've shared with my almost legal-age daughter is that alcohol contributes to problems, period. Although it would be nice to imagine that everyone would be helpful when you're inebriated, the truth is, some may take advantage of that. I've shared statistics like these with my family for discussion off and on again over time:

  • Conservative estimates of sexual assault prevalence suggest that 25 percent of American women have experienced sexual assault, including rape. Approximately one-half of those cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both. Read more
  • In one, study 26% of men who acknowledged committing sexual assault admitted that they were intoxicated at the time of the assault, and an additional 29% reported being mildly buzzed 55% were under the influence of alcohol. In the same study 21% of the college women who experienced sexual aggression on a date were intoxicated at the time of the assault, and an additional 32% reported being mildly buzzed, 53% were under the influence of alcohol. Read more.
  • Rape is more common on college campuses with higher rates of binge drinking – and alcohol use is a central factor in most college rape...Overall, one in 20 (4.7 percent) women reported being raped in college since the beginning of the school year – a period of approximately 7 months – and nearly three-quarters of those rapes (72 percent) happened when the victims were so intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse. Read more
Over the last semester, my daughter has shared her thoughts on feminism. A word that demands equality among men and women. That said,
Hello Sexism, I wasn't expecting you so early today. From NPR.

Hello Sexism, I wasn’t expecting you so early today. From NPR.
About the image shared above, she writes in her latest blog post, Sexism is Unprofessional As Is Showing It, the following:
The checks and balances failed. Their culture has a failing. They want to help sexism and gender imbalance in the tech industry. Kudos, guys, and I mean that. I hope you mean it and follow through on your goals to improve everyone’s thinking at your company, and not just the developer’s, because when this kind of sexism shines through like fluorescent lighting, it shows us that we may not want to be sexist, but the waters we’re swimming in may still be. Time to clean the tank folks. 
She is discussing the reaction that a company had in regards to their engineer and that engineer managed to get off a slide comparing a problem to his girlfriend, causing an uproar online. Compare the response of Atlassian (in their blog post) with the ISTE CEO response (you can read Hack Education's scathing criticism of the ISTE response) to a situation described by Ariel Norling:
In June 2013 I attended the International Society for Technology in Education conference (ISTE). While there I was sexually harassed by a male speaker and sexually assaulted by a male exhibitor. One is a popular conference speaker who is frequently featured as one of the most influential people in EdTech on Twitter. He’s also a principal. The other man is the founder and CEO of an educational technology company that raised one of the largest seed rounds in EdTech history. Perhaps you have read his feature in Forbes.
Admittedly, both situations are entirely different, but they provide insights into how different organizations might respond to situations.

As a husband, a father, I'm frightened about American culture and the fact that my wife and daughter are out there, having to deal with some who may see their gender, their clothing, their reactions as an invitation to harm them while satisfying their own desires.

As a father, a part of me sees this news article as one possible solution for women:
Between 2005 and 2012, the number of state residents receiving new concealed-carry permits tripled to 62,939. Now some 451,000 Washington residents are allowed to carry a hidden handgun almost anywhere they go, more than 100,000 of them women.
Notably, the growth rate for women getting new permits is twice as fast as that of men.
What is going on? Washington’s recent boom in concealed weapons mirrors a national trend, according to a Seattle Times analysis. State and national experts, law-enforcement officials and others, including permit holders themselves, offered different explanations for the concealed-carry explosion here. But a common concern emerged from interviews with women who carry: the importance of self-defense. Read More
Then again, drinking and carrying a weapon don't go together. Neither does drinking and going out on a date. For both activities, you need to be fully cognizant of what's happening, what you can do. If

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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