Sunday, March 29, 2009


Research Design:
When I first read the article “Taking Sides” by Steven Goldberg and the Endicott’s I took the side that men and women are more similar than different. I’ve grown up in a family where housework was shared by all, both parents worked, and gender roles were hardly a factor (occasionally, but not often). The few jobs I had while in high school, were female dominated—mostly because it was waitress-type positions—but the males that were there were good at what they did. After thinking about the article, I got to thinking about my current job. There is only one male that has the same title in the same department I do. Does he have an advantage over the female employees because he’s a male? Is he under less pressure from the managers? Does he relate better to the managers due to the idea that males work better in hierarchies?

With this in mind, I decided to talk to my only male co-worker and to follow him during a shift to see if he had an advantage or not.

Do you feel you have an advantage in our workplace because you are a male employee in a female dominated job? Explain.
I do feel I have an extreme advantage. Our customers are mostly girls, so I can flirt easily for better tips. I also have no shame so I flirt even when they are with their boyfriends.

Do you feel you can talk with the managers easier?
Yeah, they’re both guys so it’s easy to talk to them. They won’t think I’m attacking them if I complain and don’t see me as an emotional human being. Also seeing as how most of the employees at ******** are girls, I’m a guy they can talk to. We’re basically good friends.

Are the job requirements easier for you than for the girls?
Not really. We don’t have to stock heavy things and for things that are on high shelves we have a step ladder.

Do you think it would be easier for you to get a raise since you’re a guy?
Well, if corporate wouldn’t have frozen our raises then yes. Then again one person got a raise recently, so who knows.

So overall you have many advantages?

Do you feel that, even though you are very outnumbered, the environment makes it an equal opportunity job for men and women?
For the most part, yes, however, because of our clientele and the guy managers I think I have an advantage over the rest of you.

I followed my co-worker around for a shift at our coffee shop on a particularly busy day and realized how shamelessly he flirts with female customers and how easily he gets away with being a smartass with the managers. I try to flirt with male customers every shift, but usually they don’t seem to notice or don’t care. He walked away with nearly twenty dollars in tips that day; I’ve never done better than ten dollars (I usually work more shifts per week than he does too). One thing I did notice, however, is that when I talked with him after he had a private meeting with the managers, they shrugged off his complaints as easily as they do the rest of us (we all complain about the same one issue). He does get away with doing less work than the rest of us, but he could possibly make up for that in his high sales records. His advantage seems to be the greatest with the college demographic, which could be due to the fact that we work in a larger college town.

Overall, I think that because we work in a place that is overrun with female college-age customers and female employees, he holds a great advantage in tips and sales. The fact that our managers are males could just a coincidence but also give him an advantage, if not always most of the time. I think, however, more studies should be done to decide if men really have an advantage in this type of position (such as coffee shops). I wouldn’t know if other shops are male dominated or not.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Movie Review

I've actually watched quite a few movies lately, seeing as how I work at Hasting's it is easy to get my hands on a movie or two haha. Currently I am in the middle of watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (again) so I'll review and read gender in this movie.

In the Harry Potter movies, Harry is the hero. Typical gender stereotypes, other than this one, include: Snape (male) as the "maybe bad guy," Hermione as the "damsel in distress (at times) and the brainy one," Ron as the bumbling sidekick, Hagrid as the burly gamekeeper, Voldermort as the ulitimate bad guy, Umbridge as the evil woman seeking power and disregarding rules for her own agenda, and many many others. I never really noticed how gender was displayed in this movie until now. The advertisments portrayed these very roles, and if I remember correctly, at least one of the trailers shows Harry saving Hermione. I find it funny that in none of the Harry Potter movies Hermione is given as much credit as Harry and Ron for saving the day. She's the one who usually figures out the mystery, but that is all she really does. In this film, she fights the death eaters along side her male counterparts but isn't given as much film time in the scene. She also has to have help. There really aren't any characters who aren't straight. However, fans learned in the last year or so that Dumbledore is supposed to be gay, but his character seems to have no sexuality period to viewers. Only in the final book can anything be questioned and it is still very open to interpretation. This movie is definitely one that you shouldn't try to use this movie as one to show how gender is really represented in everyday life, just enjoy it for the imagination and creavitity in it.

In chapter 7 of F-Word, it covers many aspects of marriage. Two things really caught my attention: an assumption that heterosexual marrriage may begin to resemble homosexual couples and the divorce rate lowering in the recent years.
I was somewhat confused when the said assumption came up. When looking at male couples, the one who makes less in the workforce is usually the one who stays home. In heterosexual couples, if one stays home, it is the one who would make less. In history and currently that is more often than not the female. Pay disparity is still a problem in our society. I see it more as homosexual couples taking on the roles in heterosexual couples, not the other way around. It doesn't make sense to me to say that if less successful person stays home it is not at all from the old gender roles. I see it as if one of the males stays home, he isn't successful and should do the housework like a woman.
The divorce statistics were somewhat mindblowing. We are told that we have more of a chance of getting a divorce than those before us, however, as evidence in this reading suggests that isn't completely true. Couples married in the 1980s have more of a chance of getting a divorce than we do. Its somewhat ironic to me. We realize that divorces are becoming more common, so we wait until we are sure we have found the one we are meant to be with so as to lessen the chances of divorce. Smart kids haha.

Monday, March 2, 2009

This advertisement for Jose Cuervo really caught my eye in several ways. First the phrase "Pursue your daydreams" which infers that you need tequila to do so, particularly Jose Cuervo tequila. While that isn't specifically gender related, if you look at the woman and man being depicted it shows two very attractive people, that one would think anyone would want to be with. It dipicts the female in barely a bikini and being held by the man. In a way, male domination is very prevelant, he has her in a way that makes it difficult for her to get lose. his carrying her also shows her as the weaker of the two and in need of his support (possibly finanicially and emotionally). She is his property and a typ eof sex object in that she is nearly naked. "Vive Cuervo," live cuervo, states that living the dream or your daydreams is, for women, being supported by men and being their sex objects. For men, its having that beautiful woman who you can dominate.

I believe that everyone, both men and women, should be educated about the types of birth control available. It is a personal decision and should not be decided upon by the government or anyone other than the individual. While I'm still torn on abortion, again, I do not think it is an issue for the government to deal with. Regulations are the only way government should be involved to ensure the health and safety of the women receiving abortions.
Body image is a huge issue among women and girls. The media portrays tall slender women as beautiful and bigger women as ugly. There seems to be no in between. While we joke about bras being invented by men, not too long ago bras were thought of as a sign of oppression. Many women have a hard time thinking of themselves as attractive because of the air-brushed perfection of models. This is getting ridiculous in the fact that now doctors are telling slightly overweight females that they are fat and need to go on diets. Yes, this is happening, I had a doctor tell me that. I know I'm not tiny, but I'm not fat. No longer are doctors taking into account BMI's, just weight. Its abosolutely ridculous.