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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I'm Sorry, but We Need to Stop Apologizing

I'm in Tel Aviv where I am reminded I was born to Chutzpah but I was also born a girl. Here in Israel mansplaining takes on new levels, with some colleagues (who I really love and appreciate, I should emphasize) actually starting sentences to me with "I will do you a favor and help you understand your project - here is what I can tell you and now you will know" (word for word). I am currently doing research on gender differences in negotiation and recognition - the first of the articles is forthcoming - Knowledge Pays: Reversing Information Flows, Columbia Law Review 2020. Another article, Gentlemen Prefer Bonds examines labor market monopsonies and their gendered effects. The next papers will be about exit and voice and innovation - I blogged about it here

Apologizing for one's speech, ideas, presence, advancement, needs and success is a highly gendered quality and I laughed and cried watching Amy Schumer nail it here. A colleague here in Israel told me he has no patience hearing about gender differences in behavior in the workplace, because "then it's not discrimination". I think this is part of what I worry about with #metoo -- that it narrows the policy lens of inequality and disparities at work. I am curious about why behavioral economics hasn't been more helpful in suggesting nudges and predictions in relation to gender relations. I've written a bit about gender differences in whistleblowing and social enforcement but I don't know about a lot of policy thinking with equality efforts, other than in the context of socio-economic disparities and consumer/health/financial.

 

Posted by Orly Lobel on June 18, 2019 at 03:35 AM | Permalink

Comments

Orly,you may find great interest here:

"ILO: New Treaty to Protect Workers from Violence, Harassment"

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/06/21/ilo-new-treaty-protect-workers-violence-harassment

Posted by: El roam | Jun 29, 2019 12:52:31 PM

Dear Diary...

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Jun 20, 2019 12:08:00 AM

Interesting - I indeed saw the skit differently - comedians always exaggerate but I think she is making a point: the point in the title - that women need to be more assertive and confident about their positions - she is showing a panel of uber accomplished scientists, one nobel laureate even, and showing how the men around them have little appreciation of their accomplishments while they tend to downplay their own achievements and status. I tend to focus on systematic policy and institutional changes rather than telling women to lean in and stop apologizing but I see the value in that message too as long as it doesn't distract us from the bigger picture. I definitely don't see her as "exploiting" women's weakness - she is commenting on a flaw and - well I have to wonder if she would receive the same critique if she were a male comedian making fun of men....female scientists and female comedians are not that different - they need to do more to be equal and when they are successful they face more attacks on their work...

Posted by: Orly Lobel | Jun 19, 2019 5:12:40 PM

I had not seen that skit by Schumer before; I see it in a different light than Orly does. Schumer is a comedienne and she exploits the topic for laughs. On one hand, that is exactly what a comedienne should do but on the other hand this laughter undercuts the seriousness with which Orly wants to take the topic. The over-the-top nature of the skit leaves one with the impression women are acting silly, not that they are reflecting acculturation to a patriarchal system.

So all I saw in that skit was a woman exploiting the difficulties of women generally for her own professional gain. If that is to serve as an exemplar of liberation or equality, I freely admit I don't get it.

Posted by: James | Jun 19, 2019 10:59:39 AM

So Orly, we are deadly curious, what was your reply to that moron stating that : " I will do you a favor and help you understand ....." ? For, he has ( like many men ) extremely low emotional intelligence it seems.Lower than the "dead sea"( speaking of which ).But important post of course.Keep in that way.Just emphasize more excellence and achievability over discrimination.Endless victimization, generates antagonism indeed. You had to take him down, at once .That's it! No mercy.

Thanks

Posted by: El roam | Jun 18, 2019 5:28:32 AM

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