In the same coffee-stained hour the Internet’s attention can change dramatically. This week though, The New York Times’ report on ‘The Top Jobs Where Women Are Outnumbered by Men Named John’ came out with controversial findings that will have people salty on Twitter for quite some time.
At a coffee shop last month, I overheard a young man saying he was going to be unable to get a job because “women are taking over.” His name was John…Top Jobs Where Women Are Outnumbered by Men
**Named John** https://t.co/yr18SvcKKT TY for this @clairecm @KevinQ @sangerkatz pic.twitter.com/MvPN7khk3g
— Soraya Chemaly (@schemaly) April 25, 2018
Not only are fewer women Fortune 500 executives than men named James (women ‘outnumber’ the number of men called John in this area by 2…) but, “Fewer Republican senators are women than men named John—despite the fact that Johns represent 3.3 percent of the male population, while women represent 50.8 percent of the total population.”
There was also a disparity found between the number of male and female Liberal (the loose US equivalent of Australia’s Labour party) senators, however the gap wasn’t so big—they had to add the Benjamin, Brian, Charles, Chris, Christopher, Cory, Doug, Edward, Gary, Jack, Jeff, Joseph, Richard and Robert’s to the list (in addition to John), to find an imbalance.
So there’s an issue in both parties, but in Trump’s it’s worse. Who’d have thought? Researchers often point to the different cultural (and biological) expectations women deal with to explain their lack of representation high up the corporate ladder (women are more likely to take breaks from their careers to raise children, for instance), however in the context of politics, perhaps equal representation (even if initially we have to get there artificially, through affirmative action) is more important than it is in business (because being a senator is literally about representing your populace, 50% of which are surely not called John).
As affirmative action is a key liberal policy, it makes sense that they are closer to 50/50 representation. But what do you think? Is the short-term ‘engineering’ of equality worth it for the natural checks and balances it will create down the line (when more women become CEO’s and senators)? Or is it better to focus on promoting more open-minded social-expectations and let the results slowly look after themselves?