Economic gender divide

*controversial opinion*

Yesterday I heard the term she-session for the first time. So I searched up the term and discovered a number of explanations dating back to 2020.

Huh.

I’m irked.

I find the constant battle between men and women irksome. Must we continually label everything as his or hers?

I am well aware of all that has occurred against women over generations and understand why we have political movements and hash tags driving the trends.

I don’t want to participate.

Let me give you an example:

When the Harvey Weinstein thing happened and MeToo became a social media driven hashtag, I was still hanging around in Facebook (I rarely do now and may delete my account in 2022).

One day a neighbour/hockeymom posted the words MeToo on her page which showed up on my feed. So did about half the women I was connected to.

It sent me back to that time I was molested by a doctor. I thought, yeah it happened to me, too.

But I didn’t post.

I didn’t want to be lumped in with the women who chose to express their solidarity with that hash tag.

To be clear, I feel solidarity with them, of course I do. But I don’t want to claim a hash tag on the public forum.

Why?

Because it feels like I’m bashing all men.

I don’t want to do that. Most men in my orbit are not abusers, assholes or jerks.

So, when I came upon the she-session term, I got curious. What is it about that term that makes people want to label the gender divide?

Further research tells me that the majority of people whose careers and jobs were affected negatively by the pandemic was women. I’m not clear if the statistic refers to a country or a continent, I didn’t dig deep enough, but the two sources I searched were a Canadian news network and an American business newspaper.

Ok, I can appreciate with all the remote learning and virtual teaching and school closures etc that women, moms especially, have carried the brunt of this recession in the past couple of years.

I definitely see the struggles, the frustration and the losses.

So I can appreciate that a trendy term was created to hurl out into the internet abyss.

But it still irks me. I happen to know two men personally whose careers were affected more adversely than any of the women I know or am aware of in this pandemic. The women in my orbit carried on whereas the men, mostly midlifers, struggled.

Why do we have to differentiate all the time? Why do we need to zoom in to gender, skin colour, socio-economic status and similar labels?

Do I do this too? Am I conditioned to make statements that people read as “all men” or “all women”?

I will work on being more aware of this in the coming year.

Thoughts?

31 thoughts on “Economic gender divide

  1. I understand where you’re coming from, and it’s hard to take anything seriously when all we see are hashtags and empty gestures of solidarity online. However, as a person that encompasses multiple marginalized groups, it’s necessary to see some recognition of struggles that comes from disenfranchised groups, though it becomes pointless when everyone misses the point by doing something useless like replacing their profile photos with black boxes or a black and white selfie. The real work towards change is investing in those marginalized groups by supporting their community initiatives, whether it’s through donation, petitioning, putting pressure on the powers at be for more inclusion, marching alongside those groups, etc.

    As for the men vs women issue, though there are a lot of men suffering out here, there are still a lot of injustices against women, especially queer women of color. I have a son, and I definitely don’t believe “all men” are the problem; society is the problem.
    I could go on and on about this, but I’ll leave it at this: this world is a dumpster fire of inequality that should’ve been put out ages ago.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m a little tired of labels and hashtags. Society keeps trying to draw attention to smaller and smaller groups… minorities within minorities and everyone is shouting and no one is listening.

    I’ve been working on removing “always” and “never” from my everyday vocabulary. Too general… and not true.
    I didn’t use MeToo either, not because I don’t have stories to tell, but what would it do except generate more noise?

    I’m very open and willing to share my experiences if I think it might help someone. But just to “belong” to a group? No thanks! Not my vibe AT. ALL.

    Okay, I jabberred enough🤐 Happy New Year!! 🥂 💌💌

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Last year, the company I was working for wanted to run a marketing campaign related to the she-cession, with the goal of promoting women’s empowerment. The marketing team put together a concept deck for a draft PR kit. The deck had statements like women were disproportionately affected economically by the pandemic (I’m making this up as an example – I don’t remember exactly). Legal asked for the source. Marketing provided it. Turned out the statement wasn’t even really true – it depended on what metric you were looking at and at what time point. Like the source showed that more men had lost jobs during the pandemic between a certain set of dates (don’t quote me, these are just examples). Eventually, Marketing cobbled together the deck based on appropriated cited and properly qualified truthful statements. But the whole practice of cherry-picking the data that suits your conclusion really bugs me.

    I didn’t participate in #MeToo either. I couldn’t decide if anything I had experienced in my life was “enough” to “count”, but the examples that came closest to the bordering on workplace sexual harassment or inappropriate groping were actually perpetrated by women.

    I liked this post

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This comment gives me a lot of food for thought and a possibility of a follow-up post.

      I think the whole she session thing depends on geographic location as well. In some cities it may be possible that women were much less affected by the pandemic than men were whereas the opposite might be true in other areas.

      I’m getting more cynical every time I watch the news… They pick a side and report from that side. It’s always subjective.

      I will revisit MeToo because it looks like a lot of people have things to say.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just heard the term she-cession quite recently, and haven’t done any reading to explore it. In a broader sense, though, I think understanding sociodemographic trends is important in recognizing groups that are at a greater disadvantage given various current conditions. Recognizing these types of trends is important in order to intervene on a societal level to mitigate the factors that are producing these disadvantages.

    I think that the problem comes when people generalize sociodemographic trends and interpret them as applying to all members of the relevant groups. That kind of data simply isn’t useful in that way.

    However, ignoring that societal-level data simply because it can’t be extrapolated to an individual level isn’t helpful either. If, when looking at the broader population, females do in fact experience greater negative economic impacts from the pandemic, that says absolutely nothing about what a given individual female or individual male experiences. However, it does indicate that there are likely factors at play driving that disparity, and perhaps interventions are needed to address those factors. Ignoring that those disparities exist simply because they highlight differences means missing out on the opportunity to try to identify what those underlying factors are and ways to mitigate them. That might mean, for example, changing eligibility requirements for government COVID benefits to better reflect the different types of work that people may be doing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s a lot of shallow virtue signaling. And many people (it seems) are too lazy to put in the work to make actual change in their own lives let alone in others. A lot of it too is simply people marching lock-step without even thinking about what they are marching for or towards.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I failed to see how using that hashtag on FB without any sort of supplemental content or action did anything for the cause. Yes it showed vocal solidarity. Is that a first step?

      I’m just uncomfortable with it.

      I write about stuff, invite engagement, ponder out loud here and in other places. Sometimes it opens conversation. Sometimes not. Is that enough?

      I have no answers…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that particular hashtag falls into the trap of most hashtags. It starts out as representing something of legit concern that should be taken seriously and is perverted and manipulated into something to be used for money/power/politics, etc. It seems that most legitimate causes get highjacked at some point.

        As with anything, we have to look into our own heart and find what our true motivation is behind what we are doing. Often times, we will find selfish motivations and very little real concern for others.

        I say if there is an issue you feel like bringing up and discussing, then go for it. But do it because YOU think it is the right thing to do, not because the group/mob makes you feel obligated to.

        Of course, these are just my thoughts, I don’t claim to have any answers either.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Humans are a tribal species. We feel safer in groups in which we find similarities.. be it race, gender or politics. Is it a healthy practice? Maybe not, but I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Interesting. I’d never heard the term she-session before this post. I am with you about resisting the divide. It doesn’t feel like any divide is helpful and when we look at families, what impacts one person of any gender ripples through the whole family.

    One of my favorite maxims is “when the water in the harbor goes up, all the boats rise.” Let’s work on recovery from all of this COVID stuff together!

    Happy New Year Claudette!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think the act of labeling is actually rather immature. While we need to bring to light the system-wide predominantly white male oppression of women and people of color, hastags are a simple way to feel like one is acting by actually doing precious little.
    Real activism, real change comes from standing together to do truly difficult work, not a label, or hastag.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Different, but not necessarily better 😘
        We all must do better. But before we do that, we must care enough to actually do.
        I see so many active young people in my country, they’re doing that hard work, but they don’t stand a chance until the ‘old guard’ comes out of power. The young people will change the world. But I believe the difference between them and the activists that came before them will be that they won’t rest control and refuse to give it up. At least that’s my hope.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I do understand where you are coming from, nonetheless I personally believe it is important to distinguish because there are learned behaviours stemming back years and years as a result of sexism, racism etc and whilst it would be ridiculous to label all men as misogynisists, often they have sexist beliefs which they are not necessarily conscious of.

    Liked by 2 people

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