July 20, 2015 by rachelcmann
Recently Facebook made a subtle change, one most people didn’t notice. I noticed but didn’t understand the full meaning until I saw this article about a designer who saw the unequal status of the little tiny people who appear on the top of the Facebook page. Since then I’ve started to see and think about more tiny everyday subtle things that make women appear less than their male counterparts.
There are, of course, the commonplace degrading and frankly ridiculous ways that the media handles successful women like asking them about who they are wearing more often than their work. Pairing young actresses with old actors and blacklisting the actresses who call attention to it. Waiting to cast the male lead before hiring the female lead. And, as I myself noticed in the Emmy announcements – listing the men first and women second. Although at the award shows the female awards go out first because there is more drama and tension waiting to see who will win the male award. This year’s Oscar nominee pool was incredibly male dominated (which I wrote about here) and the Bechdel’s test embarrassingly low bar is seemingly impossible to clear. There are thousands more instances.
All of these by themselves are not particularly outrageous, but they are simple examples of the systemic issue that has come to the forefront recently. I think it’s the systematic minimization of women in our every day life that is really on my mind. How many icons, lists, questions, etc are we bombarded with every day that put women below men? It is a cancer and we don’t even notice. How do you fight something so insidious without sounding like an alarmist or diminishing your message fighting tiny battles? Well, when you see something like the Facebook icon or a misogynistic post – you say something, call attention to it and when you can, you change it. Slow and steady isn’t sexy and it isn’t fair – but it appears to be the only way forward.