The Authority Gap, Mary Ann Sieghart – A MUST READ

As I was reading this book, I realized right away I wanted to post about it, so I started making a list of bits to mention, but very quickly there were just too many!!  So – A MUST READ.  This book is FULL of all the stats you ever wanted to support your personal experience: it’s NOT just you, it wasn’t just then, it wasn’t just there …   For every bit below, I’ve underlined in my copy of the book twenty more …

70% of men rate men more highly than women for achieving the same goals (p4).

“We will continue to assume that a man knows what he’s talking about until he proves otherwise” (p7).  Yes.  And we shouldn’t (as the book shows).  So, NEW RULE: Assume that men are full of shit until proven otherwise.

“It’s as if men are swimming with the current in a river and women are swimming against it” (p17).  Yes.  YES!!  “[Men] don’t experience the myriad of little insults to their self-esteem and confidence that women have to put up with daily …” (p17).  “Even when a woman gets a top job for which she’s qualified, people ask her what her qualifications are in a way that men are never asked” (p55).

Re women in government, “Women read their briefs, they don’t just read the summary of their Cabinet papers, they’ve actually done the homework, often much more diligently” (p78).  And THAT’S why fewer women seek such positions: we see the responsibility; men see just the power.

“Think how hard it must be for a female economist to thrive in a world of such intellectual rigour when the words most likely to be associated with her [previous statistic] are ‘tits’, ‘anal’, ‘horny’, and ‘prostitute’.  And these are written in a public forum!” (p89).

In all nine countries, boys were much more likely to claim they knew and understood proper numbers, subjunctive scaling, and declarative fractions.  A delightful study to read about because THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS!  Proof of men’s bullshitting through and through.

Female job applicants who negotiate their offered salary are twice as likely not to be hired as male applicants who do so.

Information offered to a group by a man was twice as likely to be used by the group for a decision as information offered by a woman.

“The cat sat on the mat.”  Excellent analysis (too long to reproduce here).  p144-5.

Male judges on literary prize panels not reading books by women.  Just not reading them. p145-6

“There’s something innately very patronizing about knowing that half the population considers my thoughts on anything to be completely irrelevant to them” (p150).  Well-put.

News coverage on abortion … 81% of those quoted were men.  Re birth control?  75%.  Were men.

Re being White Dude Alex online instead of Lady Alex.  “For an entire week, I got to see what it was like to be treated with respect.  As a man, I could use the same words and be met with discussion, with disagreement, or even nothing at all, instead of insults.  [and rape threats and death threats] I became an equal human being, one whose voice deserves to be heard.” p265

“What kind of a person read through a newspaper and thought ‘Hmmm.  I don’t appreciate Reporter X’s writing.  I think I’ll send some hard-core porn mail recommending a good, solid raping.’ …” (p268).


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