Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gender bias, Title IX, Higher Education, and the Media

The first couple of texts I found related to this topic were focused primarily on the issue of gender discrimination in higher education.  I ended up focusing a little more about this issue after reading the article on Dr. Bogad’s blog.  I couldn’t believe some of the incidents that the article mentions.  I guess I wasn’t shocked that some of the t-shirts were stolen for example, but the chant the fraternity members were chanting, about “no” meaning “yes”, was horrifying.  I can’t believe that anyone would ever consider that acceptable on a college campus.  I would like to think that something that extreme wouldn’t happen at RIC.
The first academic article I found related to this topic discusses the problem of gender bias in law school.  While more women are being admitted to law school than ever before, according to this article, some major problems remain.  For example, many students (both male and female) cite the problem of professors making sexist and demeaning comments.  However, the author of the article finds it very troubling that several male students in her sample expressed the view that those who complained about that sort of treatment just needed to grow up.  Another major problem is the fact that women are more likely than men to feel intimidated about voluntary contributing in class. 
I wanted to get a little more background about Title IX, so I found this website which gives a bit of an overview and history.  I also looked at some court cases dealing with the issue of higher education.  In particular, I found the case of Zimmerman v University of California-Berkeley really interesting.  In this case a mom who owned her own business wanted to go back to school to get her MBA at night.  She was told that moms were rejected for admission 100 percent of the time.  After she was rejected for a second time she sued, and ended up settling with the school.  I was really surprised that women still face discrimination like that in the admission process for higher education.  
Finally, on a slightly different note, I came across a bit of an article that I connected to Linda Christensen.  It is actually from a book on Google books, but the first few pages are really interesting.  The author opens her book by describing a situation she encountered with her daughter and an IKEA catalog.  Her daughter told her to look at a page in the catalog, and the author expected it to be another “provocative” ad such as the company had run several years ago of a gay couple shopping for a dining room set.  Instead it was pictures of a boy’s room, and a girl’s room.  The boy’s room showed that he was interested in technology and learning about the world.  The girl’s room was pink, frilly, full of stuffed animals, and reinforced every stereotype about little girls.  Just as Christensen demonstrates that Disney provides a “secret education” that reinforces stereotypes, this is true of almost any type of media.  As the video in class showed, advertising is a major way that this happens, as this example from an IKEA catalog demonstrates.


  1. I like the articles that you posted i thought that they were interesting. I didn't read the whole thing on all of them but what i did see was very interesting and liked the Zimmerman case that you put up

  2. You might be interested in a slightly different take on Title IX posted at

    "Why Are American Men So Dumb?

  3. I really like your blog mary, made me think! I cannot believe that they would reject a mother from admissions! I think it is admirable that with a job and family she would want to continue her education and they're holding it back! thats absolutely incredible to me!