Women ZERO, Men 100

women ZERO men 100

Here’s my struggle this week (and I suspect for a good number of weeks to come): women’s art.

For this, as we know, is a tightrope act. On the one hand, we aren’t supposed to be addressing “women’s art” on its own, as if to do so implies a dumbing down, a declaration that women’s art is a less-than-distinctive act of creation.

On the other hand, how are we to look a slice of reality in the eye if we don’t?

The problem here goes way beyond a level playing field; it’s about the playing field itself (and is there more than one?).

This first set of stats are based on a distant memory of facts I haven’t been able to back up with hard data.

However, the spirit of these stats remains a shadow cast on all of us: a loose estimate is that 85% of all art students are women, while approximately 85% of all “successful” artists (as in getting exhibits, getting recognition, getting collected, on auction lists, making cash) are men.

And yet, even that 15% seems to be all but invisible to the players in what I call the 1% of the art world (more on that in another post!) who dominate the academic, social, political and financial gestalt of the visual arts.

In The Million Dollar Shark (2010), Don Thompson lists the top 25 “great contemporary artists,” which he put together from..surveying dealers, auction specialists and unspecified “other experts.”

Since no two of these sources gave him the same list, he put together what he calls a “consensus ranking,” based in part on his interpretation of Walter Sickert’s 1910 quote: “Have they so wrought that it will be impossible henceforth, for those who follow, ever again to act as if they had not existed?”

His conclusion?

Women ZERO, men 25.

Moving forward, while remaining stationary (good trick, huh?), curator Gemma Rolls-Bently looked at the top 100 auction sales for 2012 (ranked by price, which is now considered the gold standard where the art dollar equals aesthetic value. Great art -> Big Bucks! Poor to middling -> keep your wallet in your purse.)

What did Ms. Rolls-Bently’s research come up with?

Women ZERO, men 100.

What’s the score out of 40 “Super Star Dealers,” Thompson lists?

Women 2, men 38.

The definitive list for what I call the 1% of the art world is dominated by male-run auction houses, men dealers, men artists, and men collectors–with the odd woman turning up here and there.

Keep in mind I didn’t say all, I said “dominated by.” When 100 of the top 100 best paid artworks are by male artists, you get a tilted playing field–all rolling toward the testosterone goal line.

Now heaven forbid someone thinks I’m dissing the talent and skill of good, if not great, male artists. This is not a jousting contest. We are not going for one up / one down.

We are going for what is…

That way, we can look the reality, which we have all participated in creating, in the eye and ask ourselves, as a culture, as an evolving work of art called humanity, what do we want?

Harmonious feminism understands that opening the academic, social, political, and financial flow of creative women means every one of us wins — big!

But the 1% Art Table, all their heads down, one hand loosely draped around a wine glass, hasn’t woken up from its deep patriarchal  sleep, in spite of Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party all those decades ago.

I  think the fairytales have it wrong. It’s the prince who has been cast under a spell of his own making and the princess who sits nearby, easel or sketchbook on her knee, studying the best way to offer the sleeping man-child a new vision of reality that will serve all of us.

Easy to say, I know. Also old-hat knowledge in a great many women’s circles, and yet here we are still–women artists as second class citizens of creativity in the rarified circles that dominate our collective consciousness.

Then, there are the women artists who pooh pooh that gender has anything to do with anything. They say, not only do they not think about it (the conclusion being it must not be important if you don’t think about it), but  it’s a trivial distraction from the real goal of making art.

Really?

The fact that the top 1% of the Art World is dominated by men at all levels, and that the vision of what great art is equally dominated by testosterone-colored glasses, means, if you are a woman, you will not be invited to the “great art” dinner party.

Which begs the questions: how do you continue to value what you do when all the standards do not value you?

Ignore the rejection? Create like hell anyway? Or deep down start to feel disempowered (given you felt genuinely empowered to begin with, which is a big stretch for a lot of women artists), and, bit by bit, begin to question the validity of your own work.

Of course, an alternative route (and here’s where you come in because, with only my one brain, I can’t begin to come up with the range of alternative routes that you can…)… an alternative route can be a rousing of the 99%. (And, yes, I know I’m playing off of politics here–a tasteless insertion for many, but essential for me.)

What I do know is that I can no longer ignore the stunningly pink elephant in the room.

What, ladies one and all, are WE going to do about it?

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54 Responses to “Women ZERO, Men 100”

  1. Sari says:

    Sports…The problem or the solution is in sports…Are we better than men in sports or not? or just about equal? If so why are all sports seemingly male dominant? With the money that comes with that supposed domination? Either men Are better than women at sports & deserve to be paid more, or they are not & it is unfair…But I see the last stand happening right now in the sporting realm…I don’t have an answer, just more questions, sorry…

    • I don’t have enough information about sports to qualify a response, though I’m not sure I’m getting the connection – unless you are meaning to point out another realm where male dominance holds the majority of the cultural attention and purse strings.

      I have this nagging sense that sports may not have the same impact because of our gender difference in the physical realms of agility, strength, and speed.

      In the arts, there doesn’t seem to be a physical gender agenda operating, except perhaps in certain kinds of sculpture or highly engineered pieces.

      Then again, I may be missing something altogether…

      • luke galutia says:

        mmm, see, i don’t know about the difference in sales of art between men and women. the master artist i studied under in college for art marketing was Amy Burnett in bermerton washington. ( her gallery is here http://www.amyburnettgallery.com/ ) when studying art and sales in the bremerton / seattle area you go to Amy. i have never seen someone sell art like her. she rules the roost when it comes to art maketing and sales. another teacher i had for video production who was the post production director for X-files and a ton of other famous hollywood movies was a woman. she was a genius when it came to production. she also said that women make the best video editors, as their skills of gathering has wired their brain in such a way as to make them the best at editing. in my experience women have pretty much ruled the market. :-) and why not – if they have the talent, they should.

        • You, Luke, are a voice for a reality that, as you state it, seems so obvious: “…in my experience women have pretty much ruled the market. :-) and why : – if they have the talent, they should.”

          The key to your comment is here:
          “I don’t know about the difference in sales between men and women [because…]…”

          There is a sociological rule, much like gravity in physics, that reveals the awareness level of any dominant culture for the non-dominant culture it lives alongside.

          The studies were done during the Civil Rights movement when whites were going down South to support Blacks.

          In one exercise–to help create solidarity in the movement–whites and blacks were given a questionnaire asking each white person to “Tell us everything you know about black culture.”

          And each black person to “Tell us everything you know about white culture.”

          What do you think they discovered?

          The Blacks knew more about the White culture than the whites themselves.

          While the Whites knew practically nothing at all about the Black culture.

          This wasn’t about ignorance or shortsightedness (though both come into play), but about the simple fact that when you are the dominant culture, by default your life goes on just fine not knowing anything about the non-dominant culture around you.

          Meanwhile, the non-dominant culture, in order to survive, has to know about (warning: here comes a match strike!) its masters.

          You can replace any dominant/non-dominant culture – like men/women – and you get the same results.

          In your case, personal experience and obviously personal inclination, supports your “knowing/non-knowing” position as if it’s not important because – hey, look! Women artists in my world have been fabulous and great.

          I dearly appreciate that you both read the post and responded because, personally, I can’t think of anything more alive than men and women supporting each other with real stories and real experiences.

          And… the long-term richness of our personal experiences depend on our awareness of the larger reality – which, in this case, is that there is not a small difference in sales and recognition between men and women but a HUGE difference.

          And, as you point out and as we know, it is not an absolute difference.

          Both awarenesses need to stay awake to the other so our collective culture can reap the enormous benefits that come when women and men manifest their full creative potential within a culture of engagement and care.

          Thank you for adding your voice to the mix. I’d love to hear more from your other brothers.

  2. Ariane,

    One of my great sources of strength comes from the artists of the past who believed their own vision was more valid more than the standards of the establishment.

    As an artist, I work hard at finding the courage to step out and walk around the obstacles in my path. I try to create fearlessly, by reminding myself that “worth” is something that is “assigned by others” unless I firmly establish my own idea of what is valuable and believe in it, create it, and put it out there. That is what I have control over – my thoughts, my craft, my vision, my courage.

    There are thousands of artists who are also women, who are also any other label you can attach – who have been successful by their own measurement. So if the question is what does it take for a woman to get a seat at the party table, I guess it depends upon which party you want to attend…and I believe that question diverts us from the more important issue.

    I believe that because all Art – writing, music, dance, visual arts – is fundamentally different from other traditional accomplishments – in that it is more dependent upon a unique, individual emotional response – the outcome in the public sphere can’t easily be manipulated By The Artist. Like it or not, the outcome is dependent upon enablers who open doors, offer validation, support – and that is the real issue. Until there are an equal number of enablers who support women, or until all enablers are gender-blind, then we will have inequality in the field.

    What I do to effect change is inconsequential. I try to support those who are rising up behind me. I compete against men and at the same time support the Women Artist organizations to which I belong. I understand that there will always be those who will not support me in what I do. It is not always easy. Men do not always have it easy. What I try my hardest not to do is allow this art world reality to become an excuse for not putting my best, most naked truth out there no matter what the outcome.

    • I’m lovin’ all of it, Sue, especially about the “enablers,” (though that term has a psychological downside to it). I resonate more with “supporters,” or “door openers.”

      The problem is doors only open when a qualified supporter of the arts experiences/sees value in what an artist does.

      And if by default “great art” = man made art, then the value, or more likely lack of value, is ruled by a genetic pre-condition – not by talent+message+technical skill.

      And, of course there are many more layers of success than the 1% – which is what I was hinting at with suggesting that there is more than one playing field.

      The key, I think, is working together to set up playing fields that demonstrate such clear value, on all levels, that our social collective can’t help but support the reality of great women’s art.

      So easy to lay out the words; such a different challenge to activate them into 3D reality.

      What I don’t get, Sue is this: “What I do to effect change is inconsequential.”

      I’m guessing by “change” you are referring to the 1% reality in this discussion, as you seem more than capable of effecting change in the way you hold your inner relationship to art, yourself as an artist and your students.

      But it strikes me that by admitting this at any level only confirms my concern that this 1% does indeed have a corrosive effect on women artists, even if subliminally. The very point is to make sure uppity women don’t get to be consequentially uppity, only circus uppity.

      • I agree with your point, Ariane, about the “inconsequential” meaning. I meant that my efforts were inconsequential, but that the cumulative efforts of women artists is producing real change.

        The corrosive effect on women often comes unexpected places – our culture uses words as behavior modifiers, and women find themselves defending their decisions to be artists, while men defend their art.

        It still comes down to the “talent+message+technical skill” message that you identified, and even though, with the internet, we have a leveling of the playing fields, we must produce at the highest level possible.

        And yes, “enablers” is definitely a negative word – I must have been thinking uppity negative thoughts about them as I wrote that comment.

  3. Michelle says:

    I think it might have less to do with testosterone and more to do with whether we consider ourselves artists who’d like to make money at it, or as businesswomen who sell the art we create.

    • Michelle says:

      P.S. As a supporter, it’s also more gratifying to open doors for those you believe will absolutely walk through them than it is for those who will think of all the things that could go wrong if they tried so they approach it just to peek around the corner. Walking through doors in this field takes courage (aka cajones).

      • I wonder about that characteristic of “peeking around the corner,” what’s really behind that.

        It sounds as if it’s a safety issue: take a peek and see if it’s all clear!

        For women, this has always been a determining factor, conscious or not, to make sure we are safe since both domestically and publicly we are so often not safe at all – and even though here and there some of us have escaped this reality, I believe we are hard wired to collectively respond to it.

        And that ignoring or denying this does not keep us safe, or allow us full self-expression, since to do so is to be a bitch, a party-pooper, an old-maid (the list goes on for pages…)

    • I think, Michelle, I need more from you on this as I’m just not getting the connection. It seems to me that, especially at the business level of the 1%, testosterone definitely holds sway.

      • Michelle says:

        Part of it is in how men and women tend to position themselves around how we make our money. Artists have to fight the stereotype and reliably prove they’re business people before doors start opening up by others in business.

        Timidity, lack of confidence, letting ourselves get pulled in too many directions, losing momentum and follow-through—all flighty—are common female characteristics. When they’re layered on top of identifying ourselves as artists, we aren’t seen so much as being in business to sell art as much as we are to simply create it.

        I don’t blame gallery owners for wanting the most reliable, consistent artists. A male artist with 3 kids and a female artist with 3 kids are likely to make very different choices around how they spend their day and when it’s time to ask/hire someone to watch the kids or do the laundry or clean the bathrooms (or simply ignore it).

        I’ll speak in generalities here because I think that’s the point you made at the outset: When we’re just talking about artists—people with strong right brains— men are much more likely to be raised, educated and pressured by society to keep their left brains equally in gear and this gives them a distinct business advantage.

        • Got it, thank you for the brilliant clarification.

          I think you are right on all counts.

          This is a complex reality with historical, emotional, and neurological layers entwined in the outcome.

          Generalities, I think, help us get our bearings when the signposts are Alice-in-Wonderland, now here, now there tricksters.

          It’s so easy to get lost going in one direction without an overview of our gender-reality terrain.

  4. Charlene says:

    Sadly, I have found that contemporary colleagues, women in my age group, often present the biggest obstacles to advancement. Are we so threatened when another woman has some small measure of success?

    • The short answer is: yes.

      I believe there are at least two parts to explain this phenomenon, which we have all experienced as women passing through high school.

      The first is biological. In Elaine Morgan’s “The Descent of Woman,” she points out that re-examining decades of male research on primates shows that all the data on female primate behavior had been ignored.

      And this data showed female primates controlling the entire social order, even down to ordering the male primates to stalk the perimeters and beat their chests.

      It also showed how the “top” female primate could control the timing of the “lower” female primates’ ovulation cycle so she alone could mate with the top male. (Shades of everyone’s period eventually occurring at the same time when we live together…).

      Morgan comments on how this biological reality makes it difficult for women to work together, even when it’s in our own best interests.

      Now, I’m not one to fall for biological determinism (conscious intention aligned with vision has great power to reshape biology–up to a point) and neither am I one to ignore our physical foundations.

      The second part of the answer lies in our social context: because women are also raised in the patriarchal complex, you might say we’ve had no choice but to drink the kool-aid.

      We’ve learned to submerge our cooperative selves under our competitive selves, both as a survival strategy, but also to fit in, to be part of the solution and not the problem.

      The problem is that when men fight tooth and nail to get that contract away from each other, they can go out afterwards, joking and back-slapping all the way to the bar or golf course.

      We women don’t compartmentalize our experiences in the same way. The fight, for us is, ironically, not a serious “game,” but serious business and we continue to carry our reactions and wounds into the long night.

      This is why one of the first orders of business for feminists was to educate each other. Because, until we want the fullness of our creative power more than we want to beat out the next girl in the group, the biology and the culture will continue to dominate a large chunk of our reality whether or not we are looking.

  5. Kate Aubrey says:

    I’m there with Michelle, Ariane. I fought that battle as one of the first women to work (or take away, as some of the guys thought of it) a “man’s job” at Prudhoe Bay’s huge oil field in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
    I learned that half the men (give or take) didn’t give a rat’s tush about anything except that I didn’t have a pair AND wouldn’t put out (the nerve of some women!), but what mattered to the other half was whether I could do the job and how well I could do it and whether they could count on me when the alarm klaxons were all anyone could hear. (I worked in a high-pressure flammable gas plant.)

    In the end, there were women who shouted and burned bras so women could get in the door, and there were women who went in that door and proved they really could do the work. Both are important.

    I prefer to spend my time and energy doing the work (making art) and doing as much of it as I can as well as I can while learning to do it better yet.
    I prefer to spend my time encouraging my students, regardless of gender, to learn as much as they can, grow as much as they can grow, and produce paintings that come straight from their hearts.
    Either my art has something to say or it doesn’t. If it does, it will speak louder than I can.
    Burning bras, even artistic bras, pulls me away from the spiritual core that allows me to create paintings. It saps my energy. It’s not something I do well, nor do I feel good for having done it.
    That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It’s just that if I’m not creating or teaching, my time is better spent marketing and doing taxes and all the other chores a business demands. So I can do what “everyone” says women can’t do. Again. Because that’s what it takes.

    Hugs and good luck. Oh, and be sure to buy the strike-anywhere-matches….

    • With all this well-intentioned encouraging going on, what’s stopping you from encouraging both the men and women you work with to pay attention to the specific contributions of women artists – since that would be analogous to all that you withstood and learned in the oil fields…

    • E-yup… that was my reference to Ms. Rolls-Bently. And an update to what I’d been reading in “the Million Dollar Shark” <- highly recommended btw.

      Also want to make sure that this blog is not about standing on the "why" of it, but the using the question to open awareness so when action is called for, we aren't asleep.

  6. I blogged about this very subject in March as a result of a Blue Stocking conversation. http://artitudeblog.com/are-women-artists-important-to-our-future/.

    I think that women in the arts have been greatly dis-serviced across human history. We have lost a great deal of their unique feminine insight that would only serve to make humanity better.

    However, I really think that some of this lies in the laps of the artists themselves. Whether they are male or female artists tend to want to be in the studio creating rather than getting in front of the public and supporting their vision. The women in history who occasionally make those lists were brought to those lists by influential men with and gatekeepers who supported them. Even then they don’t earn the same reward for dollars in the auction houses as the male artists.

    I think it is time to break the canvas ceiling. Women in other fields have stepped up and made their mark. Even running for president ( but notice she is another with a gatekeeper male in tow.)

    Today however, it is no longer necessary to make your mark as an artist by relying on the gatekeepers. If well planned, the use of social media can gain sway to public opinion to make a buzz.

    I think what women artists need to do today is to step up to the plate and swing for the fences as a team. Change the rules and the expectations history has placed them in and create a force to be reckoned with. Something that can not be ignored, the “Next Big Thing.”

    History is rewritten everyday this too can happen in the art world if there is big enough spotlight shown on the subject.

    But it’s going to have to be BIG – big enough to out shine the numerous attention grabbers and shiny objects the media throws at us everyday. It will have to not only be a big message but also a sustaining message. To wiggle through that massive media montage.

    I think I’m talking about a movement and a coalition of brave women that truly believe in the strength and influence of women artists today and through history. As they say there is always power in numbers…

    I believe that is what it is going to take to save ourselves and humanity from the loss of uniquely vibrant women artist’s ideas and messages.

    • You, Michelle, are one of the many voices coming out of what I call harmonious feminism, an awareness of what is and what is emerging in the consciousness of both men and women (see reply to the first comment above).

      You do not hide, downplay, or bristle at the issue; you respect the complexity and nuance within a context of enlightened action.

      One key, I believe, is once the awareness has been brought to the surface (the gender disparity), and the match struck, it’s critical to tend the flames with great love and attention.

      Too much stoking and it turns into a hell fire that turns everyone away; too little and the fire grows cold and we warm ourselves somewhere else.

      Time for us to talk…

  7. P.S. I also think that there is some missing kernel(s) of truth as to why men are dominating the arena. This too needs to be sought out, the answer may be surprising.

  8. Absolutely! One blog post is only enough to peek into what you and I know is the real Garden of Eden.

  9. Sari says:

    Ok, I just wrote about it on my blog, under the movie…
    (right now at) sarigrove.com (first post, for now)

    • ok, I just left you a comment – funny lady that you are…

      • Sari says:

        Ok, so if you click on Sari it takes you(let’s hope) to my blog post, Ariane’s reply, & I edited the post to give a proper answer to our Spider…Oops, No, Ariadne is not Ariane(smile)…Am I the only one who thinks of Ariadne the spider when I see the name Ariane? (love that spider btw)…

  10. Annette Hall says:

    I have one question for everyone: who buys the most art, women or men? I suspect it’s women.

    • Depends on which arena of the art world you are talking about. For what I’m calling the 1% of the Art World, auctions and high end galleries, it’s the men, hands down (or up, as the case may be…).

      If you are talking about the other 99% – lower-end prices, less notoriety and global recognition – then you may be right.

      One of the issues is that no one’s taking in the hard data from the 99% (only the 1%), which could weed out the folk tales from the reality.

  11. karen Davis says:

    My very first mentor told me that if I wanted to make it as an artist professionally that I must sign my work with a male signature. I refused, pride and stubbornness persisted.
    I still see after 30 years, that a male artist is respected and accepted differently than a female. I have guest artists instruct at my studio and it is interesting to see how the same critiques can be offered to the students and yet, if a female artist makes the observation, it is does not have the same impact as a male’s.
    Over 30 years of observation and little change.
    I find it extremely interesting.

    • I’m curious, Karen, if you were to pick another word for “interesting,” what would that be (or maybe even more than one…)

      Or, you can ask yourself, “what do I mean by ‘interesting?'” If you do this as a writing exercise it can become enlightening…

      • karen Davis says:

        Intriguing, puzzling, disappointing are all feelings that come to mind.
        As a woman instructor and artist, I was feeling all of the above emotions as I have listened to male instructors repeat my same observations during a critiquing session and watched and listened to the different responses of the students.

  12. […] be alerted for sure that they are there!)… Ok, so two things…I had mentioned sports http://smartistcareerblog.com/2013/06/women-zero-men-100/#comments because women seem to want to admit that men are better at that & deserve to be paid […]

  13. Michelle says:

    The more I think about this disparity, the more I think it has to do with the artist’s ability to communicate he or she’s in business. Period. Because from my 30 year career as an independent graphic designer, women were every bit as successful, highly paid and acknowledged as men. All of our clients are businesses and choose us based on how well we communicate business values for ourselves and others. We may have been called “commercial artists” in the “olden days” but now I see more reasons why…perhaps we should put more emphasis in our brands as being “artists in business” rather than just artists if that’s not automatically assumed for women…

  14. Michelle has a good point here. on Scribd there is a Facts on File Library of American History : A to Z of American Women in the Visual Arts, by Carol Kort and Liz Sonneborn. My question is how often does the assumption of bias stand in as a reason why not to examine other reasons why, say I, as an individual, am not as successful as I ought to be?

    link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/117914568/A-to-Z-of-American-Women-in-The-Visual-Arts-by-Carol-Kort-and-Liz-Sonneborn

    • Nice work, Sue – good resource for all of us.

      And… in my world of thousands of mostly women artists, I’ve never found ONE who even talks about the bias, much less uses it as an excuse.

      I don’t think it’s so much that women consciously think about the bias one way or the other as it is how the strong undercurrent and actual reality of women-as-second-class-citizens subliminally impacts all of us, men and women.

      Acknowledging this is not to place blame or find an excuse for self-improvement – only to understand why, sometimes, when you’re doing it all right – the wheel still isn’t turning…

  15. gosh I need more coffee – that sentence didn’t make a lot of sense! What I question: do we just assume it is bias and say we can’t do anything about it? Or do we take the risk to examine where we are and evaluate success and failure from a realistic standpoint?

    • Sari says:

      Sue Favinger Smith- I totally got you the first time, though I had to read it twice to get the gist…I like your first version better actually-if I may give how I got what you were saying…
      I got: Do we just assume we are being discriminated against for being female & let it go from there, instead of examining further other possible issues like we didn’t work hard enough on it, we don’t have enough peer support, we were nasty one day to the wrong curator ’cause we were PMS-ing or some other aspect that we could actually improve upon…Instead of just saying:”Oh, we lost because we weren’t a man, & it is their fault for being biased or misogynistic not our own fault for being facile?” …Something like that…

      • Sari says:

        Or maybe we did win, ARE winning, just our values (concerning what winning means) are different from men’s?

        • Ah, yes… you’re onto something here Sari with “what does it mean to win” anyway?

          Or, as I always asked in the smARTist Telesummit vision questionnaire: What does success mean to you?

          Now, if I only had the time to compare the gender responses…;-)

      • Michelle says:

        Generally speaking, women spend way more time worrying, wondering, whining and wishing than men do. Men, if they even notice half the nuance we believe we do in every facial expression or choice of words, take the easy route and anything perceived as “open to interpretation” is the other person’s problem and move on with their agenda. The plight of women in business (artists or otherwise) is to figure out a way to turn our sensitive radar into a business advantage or turn down the sensitivity level. We can’t have it both ways.

        • Sari says:

          Michelle, I think the sensitivity thing is ’cause we often don’t have the same amount of access to information, so we have to rely on weird signals such as gesture or intonation…When you actually get to see the real “books”, the real bottom line, say on art sales by a gallery in a year, you don’t have to guess…Which sometimes means you need an accounting degree, just to get that access…

          • Personally, I think you are both right.

            Studies have shown that women have a different sensitivity to nuance, and there are several theories about why – which don’t change the “what.”

            And, I like this idea of turning the awareness level and nuance into an advantage – how about turning it into art??

            I can think, even if I’m not the one to execute, about 3 ideas right off the bat…

  16. Kate Aubrey says:

    You rock, Michelle. I like the turning what’s especially ours to our advantage.

    Also think it’s paramount to examine myself first before assuming someone else must be the problem. *Not over-examining or assuming I must be the problem, either, Ariane :) *
    Personal rule of thumb: Lying is generally counterproductive.
    Corollary: Lying to myself is always counterproductive.

    So…ideas of how to turn our sensitive radars into business advantages, anyone?

  17. karen Davis says:

    Hi Ladies, It has been interesting reading the different comments.
    Observations are coming from different viewpoints and that should be analyzed and without emotion. lol.
    Yes, we may react differently to our particular situations. My main focus has been in the teaching world with the professional artist and their students.
    Many of the current students are women in these classes and there IS a marked difference in the way they respond or react to a male instructor. They will not argue their position or opinion during coaching with a male, but feel the freedom or is it comfort to voice their argument with a female coach.
    I perceive that there is an attitude shift depending on the sex and not the expertise of the teacher.
    I did not gain this opinion overnight and the male instructors have noted the same.
    The male instructors, now, reinforce the female instructors to the classes and that seems to have made some difference. But note, the males endorsement should not be necessary.
    I find the situation fascinating.

  18. years ago, in grad school, a whole slew of elementary classrooms were video-taped (all, young, white women teachers – nearly 90% of all elementary teachers) and they were asked: Do you favor your male students over your female students?

    Most were horrified or indignant, replying, that, of course, they didn’t do this.

    Then they were video-taped and guess what you could see?

    Eyup! Those boy students who raised their hands alongside female students were called on first many times more than the female students were.

    The boys were also given first choice, first in line, etc. at more than double the rate of response to the girls.

    Starts darn early…

  19. karen Davis says:

    The info you provided on the grad school video was most interesting.
    It did reinforce what I have witnessed.

  20. Michelle says:

    Ha! I always assumed in school that the boys got called on more because it was the teacher’s way of A) keeping their minds in the classroom when the girls’ were already there; and B) knowing the boys would need more help. I saw it as pity, not favoritism. Also, if women in art classes are afraid to speak their mind to a male teacher but not to a female teacher, is that the man’s fault? Thinkin’ not. If he has an abrasive way of teaching, or if ANYone has an abrasive or otherwise “scary” way of teaching, it’s the females’ job to put on their big girl pants and deal. There have been several instances in my past where a man has attempted to steamroll over me or someone else and I have basically asked them to step outside with me and told them how they come across and asked if that’s their intent and if so, teach me how it works for them in the long run. They either go all ego and brag, or they get sheepish and apologize. Either way, it works for me and they don’t use it on me anymore.

    • Wow – you’ve definitely got the big girl’s pants down pat (on pat?)…

      When a male social studies teacher stopped me in the empty hallway (I was a junior) to tell me that “Ane, if you keep asking the kind of questions you do in class, you’ll never get anyone to marry you,” it pretty much devastated me and dovetailed with a fatherless childhood that already had me questioning my state as a woman-to-be.

      I think it’s dangerous to assume because we can do something, therefore anyone and everyone can.

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