La magia del patriarcado

Patriarchy’s Magic Trick: How Anything Perceived As Women’s Work Immediately Sheds Its Value

El siguiente es un artículo de Crates and Ribbons, un blog que habla de la desigualdad de género y las diferentes problemáticas que surgen como resultado.

Patriarchy’s Magic Trick: How Anything Perceived As Women’s Work Immediately Sheds Its Value

The gender wage gap has long been an issue of importance for feminists, and one that consistently finds itself on the UN and government agendas. Despite this, there is a persistent idea among many in mainstream society (mostly men, and some women) that the gender wage gap is simply a myth, that women are paid less on average because of the specific choices that women make in their careers. Everything, they claim, from the industry a woman chooses to establish herself in, to the hours she chooses to work, to her decision to take time off to spend with her children, and so on, leads to lower pay, for reasons, they confidently assure us, that have nothing at all to do with sexism. Now we could delve into, and rebut, these points at length, but in this post, I will focus only on the assertion that the wage gap exists partly because women choose to go into industries that just happen — what a coincidence! — to be lower paid.

So here’s how the argument usually goes. Women, they say, gravitate towards lower-paid industries such as nursing, cleaning, teaching, social work, childcare, customer service or administrative work, while men choose to work in politics, business, science, and other manly, well-paid industries. Those who propagate this idea usually aren’t interested in a solution, since they see no problem, but if asked to provide one, they might suggest that women behave more like men, one aspect of this being to take up careers in male-dominated industries that are more well-paid (and respected, but they seldom say this out loud).

But is this really a solution, even a small one? What their analysis misses out is the question of how the average pay levels of different industries are decided in the first place. There’s demand and supply, of course, but another factor is the perceived value of the role, and what it means to society. Let’s examine a traditionally male-dominated role that is very well-respected, and well-paid, in many parts of the world — that of a doctor. In the UK, it is listed as one of the top ten lucrative careers, and the average annual income of a family doctor in the US is well into six figures. It also confers on you significant social status, and a common stereotype in Asian communities is of parents encouraging their children to become doctors.

One of my lecturers at university once presented us with this thought exercise: why are doctors so highly paid, and so well-respected? Our answers were predictable. Because they save lives, their skills are extremely important, and it takes years and years of education to become one. All sound, logical reasons. But these traits that doctors possess are universal. So why is it, she asked, that doctors in Russia are so lowly paid? Making less than £7,500 a year, it is one of the lowest paid professions in Russia, and poorly respected at that. Why is this?

The answer is crushingly, breathtakingly simple. In Russia, the majority of doctors are women. Here’s a quote from Carol Schmidt, a geriatric nurse practitioner who toured medical facilities in Moscow: “Their status and pay are more like our blue-collar workers, even though they require about the same amount of training as the American doctor… medical practice is stereotyped as a caring vocation ‘naturally suited‘ to women, [which puts it at] a second-class level in the Soviet psyche.”

What this illustrates perfectly is this — women are not devalued in the job market because women’s work is seen to have little value. It is the other way round. Women’s work is devalued in the job market because women are seen to have little value. This means that anything a woman does, be it childcare, teaching, or doctoring, or rocket science, will be seen to be of less value simply because it is done mainly by women. It isn’t that women choose jobs that are in lower-paid industries, it is that any industry that women dominate automatically becomes less respected and less well-paid.

So it is not enough for us to demand access to traditionally male-dominated fields. Yes, we need to stop holding women back in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, and yes, we need to allow more women to take an interest in, and succeed in business and politics. But far more than that, we need to change the culture that imbues us with a sense of the inferiority of women, that tells us, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, that anything a woman does is obviously easy, requires little effort, and is of minimal value to society.


Alejandra Herrera

…for a girl

Video de Buzzfeed que muestra diferentes instancias en las que a la mujer se le devalua y menosprecia al decir “..For a girl”. Esta frase no solo implica que el realizar una tarea de una manera sobresaliente o inclusive bien es algo sorprendente e inesperado si la está haciendo una mujer; sino que establece a la mujer en un nivel por debajo del hombre, rebajando y desvalorizando su identidad únicamente por la creencia patriarcal de que el hombre es el que podría realizar cualquier actividad y es algo “extraordinario” cuando una mujer lo hace.

Alejandra Herrera

What it means to be a woman today


Artículo en Dazed que muestra las obras de 5 ilustradoras diferentes y su representación de lo que significa ser mujer hoy en día.

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“I wanted to draw something bright and fun to celebrate our progression whilst highlighting how much further we have to go. The climbing wall represents an ongoing, up-hill struggle in which we must take steps towards a more equal and safe society for all women.”


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“This piece is a kind of commentary on how I like to see women build one another up rather than try to break each other down. We are all in the same boat and it’s important to water each other into big happy trees. Grow the people around you. Love ladies.”


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“I believe in the feminist understanding that ‘the personal is political’ (as coined by Carol Hanisch). I believe that personal experiences are influenced by a larger political climate and that sharing our stories can be a radical feminist act. Yet, while individual stories are important, they are not universal. On days like International Women’s day (or every day for that matter) it is crucial that we make room for multiple stories to coexist without hierarchy and to remember that the definition of the word “woman” should be inclusive, expandable and intersectional.”


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“Women’s Day can be a reminder to women and lovers of women to band together and support each other! Remember the incredible accomplishments of historical women, and celebrate the accomplishments of women today! Be confident in your own sexuality, beauty, ability, belief and body and show trust and kindness towards other women of all races, bodies, backgrounds and beliefs.”


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“The references I used are all ones that I have a connection with. Audre Lorde and Angela Davis are both women who have taught me so much and have had a huge impact on women in general. I am still learning so much from so many incredible women. Playing a twist on iconic figures is something I often do, because I never had any role models from mainstream media that I felt like I could relate to. I often wonder how I would be like if there was a lot more diversity in such widely accessible mediums especially in regards to South Asian woman. Bikini Kill is so, so powerful and I’m not sure if any of their records went gold but they have in my head/art! Overall, my goal with this piece is to showcase a reality in which we all can be individualists and highlight the ones who have shown a path in my life.”


Alejandra Herrera

John Jolie-Pitt

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 12.43.32 PMJohn Jolie-Pitt’s Gender Discussion Demonstrates Positive Evolution in Journalism Coverage of Such Issues

Parker Marie Molloy explica la situación y controversia que ha generado la hija de Angelina Jolie y Brad Pitt, ella ha decidido empezar a vestirse con prendas “masculinas” y a pedir que la llamen John. La escritora no solo explica como esto no debería ser controversial, ya que la libre expresión de un niño no debería ser juzgado o críticado de la manera que estaba sucediendo, sino que analiza como los medios han estado manejando la situación: la gran mayoría no están condenando ni a los padres ni a su hija por las decisiones tomadas, sino que además están empezando a surgir discusiones y espacios de reflexión con respecto a la flexibilidad del género y para cuestionar los códigos binarios heteronormativos impuestos a los niños en muchas areas de su vida.

Alejandra Herrera

Jaden Smith y la fluidez de género


In a recent Instagram photo, Jaden Smith is once again embracing gender fluidity by sporting a flower in his hair and a black skirt. This is not new for the young actor/model; Smith has been sporting dresses and skirts for months now, and even started rocking items in the womenswear department for Louis Vuitton.  The photo was published last Monday, and individuals are continuing to recognize Smith for breaking down traditional gender stereotypes. (He’s been sporting all sorts of trendy outfit choices lately.) In the picture, Smith is photographed with his nails painted, a flower, a skirt, and toned abs. Both masculine and feminine stereotypes come together in this picture, supporting the idea that a person can play with both identities at the same time.  While the picture has received a lot of attention, feedback has been mixed.

As of writing time, the picture has 97.3k likes, and 5,755 comments. Many Instagrammers are applauding Smith’s fashion choices, but there are also several instances of harsh name-calling. One person even labels Smith as being “disgrace to his father.”  But it doesn’t seem like Smith allows the critics to ruin his vibe. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s doing it with pride. In May 2015, Smith famously wore a dress to prom with Hunger Games actress Amandla Steinberg, and the internet couldn’t stop talking about it. Smith and his younger sister, Willow, also publicly criticized gender roles in an interview on GulfNews TV last August.  – See more at:

“Nobody ever thinks, “Yo, who made all of these rules?” Jaden says in the interview. “Who was here and made all these rules? Because, I’m equally as smart as them, and I don’t necessarily agree with all the rules that they established before I came into the picture.” – See more at:

“Smith’s message is clear; everyone should dress how he or she wants. He said the following in an interview with GQ: I’m just expressing how I feel inside, which is really no particular way because everyday it changes how I feel about the world and myself, but I like wearing super drapey things so I can feel as though I’m a superhero, but don’t have to necessarily wear superhero costumes everyday. The attention we give these stories also illustrates how much attention we give to the idea of whether or not something is “masculine” or “feminine.”

“We cannot deny that we live in a time and place that recognizes specific gender roles. If we find it so dramatic that Smith has chosen to wear a skirt and nail polish, then what does that about our society?  Our notion of gender is as varied as the OPI selection at a nail salon. Many people’s connection to gender remains rooted in the binary constructs of “male” and “female.” If you aren’t one, you’re the other, and you can’t be both.  But perhaps gender is more gray than black or white. Nicole Avallon, interim deputy of programs and policy at the LGBT Community Center in New York, says that the reality of gender is complicated”.

“Avallon states: “In our society, expressing your gender in a certain way―say, wearing pants and wearing your hair short ―is often associated with a certain line, being either closer to that box of ‘male’ or that box of ‘female.’ But if we’re seeing gender as a continuum, each person might place their location along this continuum slightly differently.” The goods news? The discussion is thriving more and more each day. By attempting to further understand the role of gender in our modern society, we are better able to tackle these roles, and express ourselves in whatever way we sit fit”.


Alejandra Herrera

Rose Gold is Bro’s Gold

Apple iPhone 6s Buyers, Rose Gold Is Bros’ Gold

Pink is the new black.

Este articulo describe como en la venta del Iphone 6s, el color rosado (claramente destinado por la compañía para las necesidades y gustos “delicados” y “femeninos” de las mujeres) resulto ser un hit entre los compradores masculinos.

“Analyst checks revealed that rose gold was popular among the enthusiasts who waited in line Friday to be among the first to lay their hands on the latest iPhone. FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives estimates 35 percent of customers interviewed during its store checks said they to planned to buy this color, suggesting it’s a major selling point”.

“There’s enough guys getting rose gold that it should be called bros’ gold,” said Dan Bentley, a 33-year-old Twitter developer who showed up at San Francisco’s Union Square store as it was opening Friday to switch from an Android device to an iPhone — his first since 2007.
“That’s the only reason — the color,” Stern said. “Preorder was sold out in that color. I’ve never been in line for anything before but I’m just so desperate to upgrade.”

Este tipo de eventos nos permite ver que los códigos binarios heteronormativos del color impuestos por la sociedad, y las compañías, son tan solo eso, imposiciones; pero el público no siempre se conforma a esto sino que actúa de acuerdo a sus propios gustos individuales.

Alejandra Herrera

If men were women

If men were women es un video que intercambia los roles y comportamientos de mujeres y hombres. En este, los hombres son vistos como son vistas las mujeres en la actualidad, y esta yuxtaposición le permite al público ver como la sociedad está regida por un regimen de patriarcado, y las injusticias que esto implica para las mujeres.

Alejandra Herrera

If Disney princes were real

Video que humorísticamente critica las diferentes interacciones que se dan en las películas de princesas de Disney clásicas con un toque moderno. El hecho de que estén contextualizadas en la época contemporanea nos permite ver la mentalidad heteronormativa y de patriarcado que infundían estas películas.

Alejandra Herrera