Tag Archives: gender

Transas City Founder Speaking at iCON16

iCON16_Presentation
Tomorrow I shall be speaking on both gender and transgender issues in the workplace at iCON16, the regional Society of Women Engineer’s conference in Boulder, Colorado. This is my first professional presentation on gender/transgender subjects, and the audience will be composed mostly of women engineers, engineering managers, engineering interns, and students. For my topic I shall be comparing and contrasting the differences in the workplace as a “woman” versus a “man,” drawing on not only own experience but that of Ari Copeland, a transgender man who also works at my company.

If there are any readers in or near Boulder who would like to stop by and say hi while I’m at the conference this weekend, please let me know.

I have submitted an abstract to another conference to talk about this same issue, and I intend to post a version of the presentation on Transas City here after the conference.

The Straight Dope: Was Pink Originally the Color for Boys and Blue for Girls?

Pink_Blue_Sweeteners
Yours truly helped do the research for this column for the Straight Dope – in fact I was the person who interviewed Professor Paoletti who is quoted in the column. I thought given the other article I posted tonight, this would be an interesting read. But before I direct you to it, let me tell you a story.

A very long time ago, I used only Equal, in the blue packet, to sweeten my drinks – coffee, tea, iced tea, etc. One day I was running really low on Equal, and decided to use up some old Sweet n’ Low which was in the cupboard. It tasted strange, and so I thought “what if I just mix the two together – use one Equal packet and one Sweet n’ Low packet? So I did, and found a very strange result – having the two packets mixed tasted better than either of them.

Fast forward a few years, and one day I was out with a client at dinner, and this client was addicted to iced tea, and he always used two Equal packets. I was having iced tea as well, and the client noted and asked why I always used “one pink and one blue packet.” After telling them it tasted better, he tentatively tried it in his iced tea, and he was stunned at the improvement in taste.

The next day we were out to dinner again, and I noticed he was back to his routine of two Equal packets and no Sweet n’ Low. So I asked him, “the taste didn’t work out for you?” He replied “no, it tastes better that way. It’s just…you know…if you start using the pink packets, then people will…you know…look at you funny.”

So I replied, intelligently, “Bwahuh?” And he said “I know it doesn’t matter, but people pay attention…you know…using the pink packets when you’re a guy just isn’t right.

So then I replied “well, I’ve always used the pink and blue packets, mixing them evenly. What does that say about me?”

And he looked at me and said simply “ummm…never mind.”

Anyhow, take a gander at the article below and note some of the strange history of pink and blue and gender.

The Straight Dope: Was pink originally the color for boys and blue for girls?.

Obsessing Over Cultural Gender Norms: What’s the Problem if Girls Act Masculine?

I like this article, which gives many concrete examples as well as expounding thoughtfully on “the gender trap” which most of Western civilization has bought into lock, stock, and barrel.

From the article:

Gendering kids starts immediately after birth, when we wrap a baby in a pink blanket or a blue one. Babies have no idea what they’re even wearing and just need to be kept warm. It’s parents who buy into the binary, and the rest of us who are thoroughly uncomfortable when they don’t. There’s the yellow aisle of gender-neutral toys and apparel, but show up to a baby shower with a pink onesie for a male baby and see what kind of looks you get…

While gender identity is a real thing, the trappings we put onto gender – the colors, the clothes, the assumed preferences – are all cultural, not natural. There are certainly behavioral patterns that are influenced by hormones and body chemistry, but we don’t know exactly what, or to what extent. We can take educated guesses, but we’ve never lived in a world without cultural constructs around gender, so pinpointing “X personality characteristic is male” becomes impossible.

(emphasis added)

Obsessing over cultural gender norms: What’s the problem if girls act masculine? | The Raw Story.