When I found out that the director of “The Hurt Locker”—a testosterone-rific movie about a team of soldiers disarming roadside bombs in Iraq—was directed by a woman, I wanted to kick myself. Not out of surprise, but because I was surprised. Why did I automatically think that only a man could direct an intense war movie filled with explosions? Nope, the film is being called an “adrenaline-soaked tour de force of suspense” and it’s all thanks to the directing genius of Kathryn Bigelow. It’s not that I think women can’t make amazing war films. Quite the contrary—I think women have a knack for tapping into raw emotions, and Bigelow creatively mixed high-octane action with emotion and personal relationships. My surprise was simply an innocent, unconscious, yet totally sexist brain fart. And I don’t think I’m the only one. Keep reading »
If you want a job done right, hire more women. According to data from Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Columbia University, and Pepperdine University, having more women in senior management positions means higher profits for a company. So could turning up the estrogen level in big corporations be a lasting fix to the financial crisis that does not involve another bailout? That’s what Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of Womenomics, argued in yesterday’s Washington Post. They say that this latest data makes sense—after all, women are generally better at working with others, not to mention that we make more cautious decisions and think in the long-term, while guys are often about high-risk competition. Could the financial melt down of this year be the death of macho on Wall Street? [Washington Post] Keep reading »
Some say the eyes are the window to the soul, but when it comes to women, I’d argue that it’s what’s in her purse that offers the real clues as to who she really is. Every so often, we’d like to delve into the depths of one woman’s bag and look at what she can’t leave the house without. To get the ball rolling, today: the innermost secrets and pockets of my own handbag. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours: Send us a pic of your bag and all its contents and tell us why you love these products. Spy in my bag after the jump, if you dare… Keep reading »
A doctor in England is bursting the bubble for women who are thinking of freezing their eggs. Robert Winston calls egg freezing a “confidence trick” on women, since there is only a 6% chance of conceiving through a frozen egg. The process, originally developed for cancer patients wanting to conceive after chemotherapy treatments, has more than doubled in popularity with women hoping to wait for a few years before jumping on the baby train, so that they can get super comfortable in their career or clock a little time with Mr. Right solo before having a baby. Lord Winston warns that “social freezing” is a risky procedure and more research about freezing eggs and the long-term genetic effects of children born via frozen eggs is needed before clinics make freezing services more widely available. The European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology will discuss the eggy process in an upcoming meeting. As women pile more and more things on their plate, do you think it’s safe to save your eggs in one frozen basket? [Daily Mail] Keep reading »
Talk about sticking it to the man. A group of 26 women in Saudi Arabia are now “lingerie graduates.” At a 10-day retreat led by an Australian woman, the group spent 40 hours learning how to correctly fit a bra, display merchandise, and deal with customers. Victoria’s Secret even donated bras to help out with the undie education.
So why was this training needed? In Saudi Arabia, only men can work at malls, meaning that most lingerie stores are staffed by dudes. And come on, who wants their chest measured by some fumbling man who doesn’t know what he’s doing? Plus, there are no fitting rooms in Saudi stores because a woman is prohibited to undress outside her home. Keep reading »
Have you ever berated your boyfriend for looking “just a little too long” at that girl walking by? Well, now he can tell you it’s just science. A new study out of Indiana University found that a woman’s partner status—whether she has a significant other or not— influences her interest in the opposite sex. But the same is not true for dudes. Neuroscientist Heather Rupp asked 59 men and 56 women, ages 17-26, both single and taken, all heterosexual, to give their “gut” reaction when describing pictures of the opposite sex. Rupp found that while subjectivity in describing the photos as attractive, masculine, feminine, etc was not influenced by whether the man or woman had a partner, single ladies looked at the male photos for a longer period of time than those women with partners. The men, on the other hand, stared just as long at the female photos whether they were taken or single.
I’m not too surprised by these results, but speaking as a woman with a boyfriend, a strong “look, but don’t you touch” policy works for me. Is this study true for you? [Science Daily] Keep reading »
Cocaine use in England rose sharply in the five years leading up to 2008, according to a report released Wednesday. The average of English individuals aged 16 to 59 who had used cocaine at least once in their lifetime was 55.7 per thousand people in 2002-2003, but over five years it rose to 72.5 per thousand people. And leading the rise are women, whose consumption of coke almost matched the men’s. The amount of women aged 10 to 25 who had used cocaine in their lifetime was 4.8 percent in 2003, compared with 8.2 percent of men. In 2006, the percentage of women was 6.66, compared with 7.2 percent of men. The study cites three reasons for the rise in use: cheapness, availability, and increased social acceptance. About $70 now buys a gram of coke in England, whereas in the ’80s, a gram cost about $160. “We’re very much in an age of chemical enhancement and a pill for every ill,” said Jim McVeigh, head of substance use at the Center for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University. So, he added, cocaine is just viewed as another accepted chemical compound. Researchers also say women used cocaine as they became more independent and drank more — drinking and snorting going hand in hand. [Reuters] Keep reading »
I was raised by a working, single mother. She went to Stanford, majored in economics, became a public school teacher, wrote a book, and now works as a journalist. She didn’t give up her job when she had my sister or me, and she certainly didn’t give it up after she and my father divorced. I consider her the ultimate feminist — she’s worked her butt off, made a living on her own, and raised two perfect daughters (just kidding). She’s my hero. But if she had quit her job when I was born, retiring at age 31, would she still be my #1 role model? It’s hard to say.
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For the first time ever three women competed in an annual Israeli truck-pulling competition. The female contestants had to pull a 7.5-ton truck (about 16,535 lbs.) 30 meters (about 98 ft.). Vera Spaniev, a 32-year-old former weightlifter, won the ladies competition. Check out the video above to see women with bulging muscles and painful looks of determination and focus. [Reuters] Keep reading »
While you’re more likely to hear women complain about their boyfriends and husbands never listening to them than the other way around, a recent poll discovered that men actually listen more carefully to others than women do. “The poll of 2,000 people found that more than one in five men reckon they always listen carefully to every word, and while less than one in five of women said the same.” Among the situations where women tend to tune out: listening to work colleagues (the average woman listens intently just 64% of the time), listening to their boss (women pick up just 2/3 of their boss’ communication), and listening to their partners (they catch 70% of those conversations). If women aren’t listening to their colleagues, bosses, or partners, what are they paying attention to? The poll says women give the most focus to gossip and eavesdropping! Don’t worry, though — “when it comes to talking to their best friend, women give their full attention to more than three quarters of what is spoken.” I’m guessing the 25% of the time women are tuning their best friends out is when the following is being discussed: their kids, how the wedding planning is going, or how, like, totally great their relationship is. Snooze-ville! [via Telegraph U.K.]
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