6 reminders why we need International Women’s Day

For all of us battling the postfeminists, men’s right’s activists or just those  who forget why International Women’s Day is important – here are 6, concrete reminders for them:

1) Because men are assumed to be default persons. This ‘Male as default’ assumption can be seen in the above where Judi Dench and J K Rowling only count as ‘women’ but Ricky Gervais and Ian McEwan get to be ‘author’s’ and ‘comedians’ Source: @ Emma Kennedy
More examples here:

gender flipping

2) Because of how sexist popular representations of women are. Including in video games and comics. This Gender Flipping example shows us how male superheroes would look like if they were treated like female superheroes Source: http://junkee.com/flip-it-and-reverse-it-how-to-fight-the-gender-wars/15081

3) Because lots of research shows men are more likely to interrupt, patronize and ignore women in everyday conversations. And yes this happens in academia. The above image shows mansplaining on Twitter where a man corrects a woman on an article that she wrote. 

pay gap

4) Because sexism isn’t only about the interpersonal or representational. It’s also abut material deprivation. Globally women earn less than men. Even in academia. After controlling for hours worked, career type etc women are paid less than men and BME women are paid even less than white men and white women (the intersections of sexism are critical – the most oppressed women face the brunt of sexism plus other oppressions) Source: http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

sports covers

5) Because of how appalling women’s sports coverage is still https://leftfootforward.org/2011/01/coverage-of-womens-sport/Steteotype threat

6) Because of how sexism impacts women, becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and stops interventions that could undo sexism (such as education). The fantastic research by Claude Steele (one of the few Black Psychologists to make it in a historically racist discipline of psychology)  on stereotype threat shows positivistly, how the stereotypes that ‘women can’t do maths’ or  harms women by affecting their maths performance when it is enacted. More info here: https://antisexism.wordpress.com/tag/claude-steele/

Note: this is a cross post from ISCHP blog.

POWSR Call For Papers – Gender & Gaming

Call for Papers

Psychology of Women Section Review Special Focus 2018

Gender and gaming

Editors: Jenny Cole and Sarah Grogan

Video game research has been steadily rising over the last 20 years, especially as video games have become more realistic, more mobile, and more accessible to wider demographic groups (Chambers, 2012). Traditionally considered the realm of teenage boys, estimates over the last few years suggest that almost half of gamers are women, and in the US, women over 18 years of age represent a larger proportion of gamers (31%) than boys under 18 (17%) (ESA, 2016).

Women and other gamers who do not fit the ‘young white male’ stereotype are often excluded from video game marketing (Burgess, Stermer & Burgess, 2007) and can be ostracised from mainstream gaming community spaces (Fox & Tang, 2014). When calls for more diversity in video games have been voiced, this has been met with defensive and aggressive reactions such as the #GamerGate controversy which saw high profile female developers harassed on social media and offline (Chess & Shaw, 2015).

Despite these barriers, is important that digital gaming is accessible to wide range of players because the playing of video games has been linked to confidence and engagement with technology in other contexts such as school and work environments (Cassel & Jenkins, 2000). It is important, therefore, that we continue to add to the knowledge about these issues already gained from psychologists and researchers from other disciplines. This Special Focus issue of POWSR aims to facilitate awareness of this fascinating area in psychologists who take a feminist perspective.

We invite contributions that examine issues related to gender in digital gaming. Contributions may explore questions such as those below:

  • What are the barriers or benefits to participation in gaming culture for women and other groups who adopt gender identities not commonly associated with gaming?
  • How does gender identity interact with gaming experience and immersion?
  • What might be the barriers to digital gaming moving forward to become more inclusive of diverse gender identities, sexualities, ethnicities and bodies?

Contributions may take various forms including original articles (up to 6000 words), observations and commentaries (up to 2000 words) and brief reports/research in progress (up to 3000 words) and creative writing pieces (up to 2000). Submissions will be subject to the usual peer review process. The deadline for submissions is Friday 8th September. Queries can be sent to Jenny Cole (j.cole@mmu.ac.uk) or Sarah Grogan (s.grogan@mmu.ac.uk).

Editorial Vacancies – Psychology of Women Section Review

We are currently looking for two editorial assistants to join the Psychology of Women Section Review Team:

Post 1: Book Reviews Editorial Assistant

The successful applicant will commission and the editorially manage book review submissions. This may involve identifying books that resonate with themes of the edition or special issue features.

Post 2: Commissioning Strategy Editorial Assistant

Applicant Criteria

All applicants should be paid members of Psychology of Women Section (BPS) or be willing to become a member. We welcome applications from members at various stages of their career.

If you are interested in finding out more about these positions, please contact Psychology of Women Section Review Editor Lisa Lazard at lisa.lazard@open.ac.uk by the 4th of January.

POWS Academic Retreat 2017

We are pleased to announce that The Psychology of Women Section (POWS) is now taking bookings for our 3 day residential writing retreat on March 6th – 8th.  Please book early as places are available on a first come first served basis and booking will close on 5th January 2017. 

To book please follow this link to the BPS website:  http://beta.bps.org.uk/events/psychology-women-writing-retreat

Our funds are very limited so we are unable to offer subsidies. However, the retreat is run on a not-for-profit basis and the fee includes dinner on Monday 6th, all meals on the 7th and breakfast and lunch on the 8th March, plus accommodation. Also included in the price are additional refreshments, informal writing workshops and morning yoga sessions (allocated on a first come first served basis).

POWS members                                  £200

Other BPS Members                           £225

Non BPS members                              £250

The POWS retreat is open to all feminist psychologists and will provide you with some protected time away from distractions to make significant progress on a writing task.  You will be able to work alone or with others and to participate as you wish in the range of activities that will be on offer.

The retreat will take place in Rydal Hall, the 17th century mansion which is the former home of poet William Wordsworth. It contains several lounges, a library and plenty of additional spaces for writing individually or collectively.  Rydal Hall has a bar, a teashop with internal and external seating, a 34 acre estate which features formal Edwardian gardens, woodlands, ponds and a waterfall and is surrounded by the beautiful Cumbrian countryside.

To book please follow this link to the BPS website:  http://beta.bps.org.uk/events/psychology-women-writing-retreat

If you need further information please contact Sandra Roper (s.l.roper@open.ac.uk).

We look forward to seeing you there.

POWS Prize 2017 Announcement

At POWS we are acutely aware of the difficulties student feminist researchers face in what is still a largely neoliberal and often androcentric  discipline.

For example, in her brilliant article, Teaching About Gender: Rewards and Challenges (2013), Joan Chrisler discusses the issues she notes in bringing feminism into undergraduate psychology courses:

My own students sometimes write on their course evaluations that I did not teach them anything about the psychology of women, by which they mean how women think “differently.” The popularity of evolutionary psychology in social psychology and in the popular press is also undoing many of the gains made by gender researchers and feminist activists ( Chrisler & Erchull, 2011). Faculty who teach about gender are swimming against the tide of essentialist information in the mass media, which tells students that gender roles are natural and necessary (pg. 265).

At the same time there is a growing feminist backlash in which female undergraduate students are seen as ‘dominating’ their male peers in psychology . More broadly white working class men are now seen as the most disadvantaged in higher education. Women and BME people are regarded as tipping the balance and pushing out White men from the academy.

Not only does this blithely ignore the fact that those who rise in the ranks of psychology (let alone higher education) are still more likely to be men, it also skates over the actual source of the disadvantage that White, working class men face – their class (for a great outline of this argument see Sveinson). Furthermore class is a disadvantage that doesn’t belong to White men only, it affects compounds with the specific oppressions that women and BME people face too.

We need to challenge this feminist backlash. We need to recognize the pockets of feminist and intersectional resistance occurring in our discipline.

As a small way of doing this, we are pleased to announce, in  conjunction with Feminism and Psychology,  two awards: The POWS and Feminism and Psychology Postgraduate Student Award and The POWS Undergraduate Student Award. Both awards includes prizes of a complimentary place at our 2017 conference and opportunities for research dissemination.

Please do disseminate this to anyone eligible. Submissions need only send a 3,500 (postgraduate) or (undergraduate) Word.doc article to g.jankowski@leedsbeckett.ac.uk by 30th April 2017. More information can be found on the posters below also available in pdfs (cfp_prize2017_ugcfp_prize2017_pg) and any queries can be sent to g.jankowski@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.