Today in Cis Privilege: Sexism and Misogyny Rampant in Tech Industry

The tech industry — both startups and big companies like Google and Yahoo — have struggled with gender inclusion and its overall “brogrammer” culture. Men in tech outnumber women seven to three and make up an overwhelming majority of leadership positions. That disparity has been shown to shut women out for not “fitting the culture” or because they are considered unqualified. Once hired, women in tech frequently face sexual harassment and discriminatory policies that ignore gender-based harassment in the workplace. This kind of culture has also been blamed for the droves of women leaving science and technology jobs much sooner than their male counterparts.

The tech industry’s homogeneous culture has also been attributed to cultivating bad policies that alienate female customers by painting them as technologically challenged or excluding them altogether. Assassin’s Creed video game developer Ubisoft recently angered fans for refusing to add a lead female character to its newest game because it “too much work,” ignoring the fact that half of all gamers are women. Microsoft also fended off backlash earlier this year after it released a controversial commercial implying that women only use computers for wedding planning and checking Pinterest. Google faced similar allegations after airing a Gmail tutorial that suggested a woman could use the email service’s new format to easily confirm dates and shop for shoes. Since then, the company has launched new initiatives to get more young girls and women interested in tech and improve diversity.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/07/01/3455494/tinder-sexual-harassment-lawsuit/

Today in Cis Privilege: U.S. Supreme Court decides corporate interests trump women’s reproductive health

The Supreme Court ruled Monday morning that the government cannot compel closely held corporations with religious owners to provide contraception coverage for its employees.

Two family-owned companies, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, had argued that the insurance requirement in President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 health care law violated a 1993 religious-freedom law.

The health care law already excludes churches and other religious entities from the contraception mandate.

The Hobby Lobby arts-and-crafts retailer is operated by evangelical Christians, and cabinet manufacturer Conestoga Wood Specialties is owned by Mennonites.

The Obama administration argued that for-profit companies – even closely held ones – do not exercise religious rights as individuals and therefore are not covered by the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

But the court, in a 5-4 vote and majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, upheld an appeals court ruling on the case, finding that the government had failed to show that its mandate is the “least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to birth control.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/06/30/hobby-lobby-wins-supreme-court-case-limits-the-aca-contraception-mandate/

Today in Cis Privilege: Tufts University Kicked Out Student After She Was Raped

Wagatwe Wanjuki was sexually assaulted by another student while attending Tufts University. But instead of punishing her attacker, the school asked her to leave.

Wanjuki first came forward about her assault in 2009. In 2008, she says, she was repeatedly assaulted by a fellow student she was in a relationship with. When she tried to report him to the administration, Tufts responded by telling her that their legal counsel said they didn’t have to take action.

http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/06/campus_rape_tufts_university_kicked_out_student_after_assault.html

Today in Cis Privilege: Male claims that female rape victims have privilege, keeps his powerful job

Washington Post syndicated columnist George Will is standing by his recent article on sexual assault that sparked considerable backlash and led at least one prominent newspaper to drop his byline.

In an interview with C-SPAN that will air in full sometime in July, Will said he wouldn’t take back a word of his controversial column, and dismissed his critics as overreacting. “Today, for some reason, indignation is the default position of certain people,” Will said. “I think it has something to do with the internet.”

Will takes issue with the Obama Administration’s recent report on the scope of the campus rape crisis, which cites data from the Department of Justice to conclude that one in five college women are the victim of sexual assault. He claims that statistic is much too high and doesn’t line up with the other data about sexual assault reports.

Over the past week, experts who research violence against women have pointed out the flaws with Will’s interpretation of the data, which relies on a dubious analysis from the American Enterprise Institute — a right-wing group that has a long history of downplaying campus sexual assaults. Nonetheless, Will is defending his column as an important tool to educate people about the real data at the heart of the issue.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/06/21/3451623/george-will-defends-column/

Today in Cis Privilege: Only 2.6% of construction workers in the U.S. are women

The share of women in the construction industry has remained shockingly low—under 3 percent—for decades, due in large part to the discrimination that blocks women from entering and staying in the field. Sexual harassment and hostility, lack of mentors, and stereotyped assumptions about women’s capabilities all contribute to the problem. Unequal access to construction jobs in turn negatively affects women’s income, as traditionally male fields pay higher wages and have a lower wage gap than those dominated by women. More must be done to reverse this trend in construction, and the growth of women’s participation in similar nontraditional fields shows that it is possible.

http://www.nwlc.org/resource/women-construction-still-breaking-ground

Today in Cis Privilege: 49 Years After Birth Control for Women Became Legal, It’s Still Contested

With almost half a century of pills, IUDs, patches and injections on the market and in our bedrooms, you’d think that pregnancy prevention would be a pretty settled issue.

But it’s not. Even today, there are a number of high-profile people in America who believe artificial means of preventing pregnancy are wrong – and sadly, a number of them have massive influence on our daily laws and culture.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/decades-after-birth-control-became-legal-its-still-controversial-20140606?utm_source=nar.al&utm_medium=urlshortener&utm_campaign=FB

Today in Cis Privilege: White dude thinks that being a victim of sexual assault is a “coveted status that confers privileges”

Washington Post columnist George Will doesn’t believe the statistic that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. Instead he believes that liberals, feminists and other nefarious forces have conspired to turn being a rape survivor into a “coveted status that confers privileges.” As a result of this plot, “victims proliferate,” Will wrote in a weekend editorial that ran in the Washington Post and New York Post.

Further compounding the crisis of people coming forward about sexual assault to stay de rigueur is the fact that “capacious” definitions of sexual assault include forcible sexual penetration and nonconsensual sexual touching. Which is really very outrageous, according to Will. It is really very hard to understand why having your breasts or other parts of your body touched against your will should be frowned upon.

It’s not very surprising that George Will does not think that sexual assault on campus is a big deal. It’s also not very surprising that he thinks that definitions of sexual violence are somehow overly broad because they factor in forms of sexual contact other than penetration. But what is puzzling — about this editorial and the army of nearly identical pieces of rape apologia that find a way into national newspapers with some regularity — is how much one has to ignore in order to argue these points.

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/09/george_will_being_a_victim_of_sexual_assault_is_a_coveted_status_that_confers_privileges/