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The Elders Speak Up About Religion's Role in Discrimination

July 26, 2009

Nelson Mandela and other acclaimed -- and independent -- international leaders have formed a group called The Elders.  Their mission is to ". . . offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity."  I just discovered the work of this global village of thought leaders who are working collectively for positve change.   One of their messages is the role that relgions continues to play throughout the world in the ongoing discrimination against women and girls.  I respect their courage and willingness to raise their voices to move humanity forward.  Click here for more.    

Was ESPN's Erin Andrews "Asking for it?"

July 25, 2009

First, the answer to my headline is absolutely not.  Voyeurism is a crime.  She didn't deserve that.  But the young woman who was named "America's Sexiest Sportscaster" by Playboy magazine has been playing the sex cards on sports sidelines for ages!  Here's more on my thoughts on this peephole incident.   

Was Erin Andrews Asking For It?

July 24, 2009

ESPN Sports Reporter Erin Andrews' deserves privacy in her hotel room.  I'm as disgusted as anyone by word of the nude video of Andrews that was shot with a tiny camera through a peephole and then posted on the Internet. So, the answer to my headline is: a resounding NO.

 But I'm also not surprised that this happened to a woman who was named "America's Sexiest Sportscaster" by Playboy Magazine.  Do a Google search of Erin Andrews and take a look at the way she dresses as she prowls sports sidelines, microphone in hand.  You'll get an eyeful of what she and ESPN regularly serve up to salivating sports fans:  stiletto heels, skin tight pants, short skirts and cleavage clinging tops.  

Sorry, but she's operating too close to Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" territory for my taste.  Professional women, particularly those working in very male fields -- such as sports, politics and the highest levels of business -- have to be very careful about how they play the gender card.  Erin is a beautiful young woman holding a handful of sexually charged aces.  She plays them constantly.  She's an entertainer, not a journalist.  She'll make plenty of money doing it.  And she doesn't deserve some creep invading her privacy, no matter how sexy she dresses.

This incident is just a reminder that sex sells and is on men's minds -- what it is about 100 million times a day?  Women often underestimate how little it takes to get a man's imagination going.  There's still a very fine line women must walk who want what they say to be noticed as much as how they look -- especially young, buxom blondes. 

Click here for more on Erin Andrews sideline wardrobe. 

Click here for another take on the story.

Does Sex Sell Women's Sports?

July 23, 2009

Fascinating debate broke out during the Wimbledon Tennis Championship this month.   Yes, Venus and Serena Williams -- perhaps two of the greatest athletes competing today -- took their sibling rivalry to Centre Court once again.   But what had everyone buzzing was the admission by officials of The All England Club that they routinely assigned "the most attractive female players" to centre court.   What's wrong with that, some sportswriters asked?  I'll leave that to Dave Zurin, sports editor of THE NATION.  Click here for an insightful column from a thoughtful man.    

History Awaits Sonia Sotomayor

July 14, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court offer a moment of powerful insight for white men who are enlightened enough to open their eyes and hearts enough to soak it in.

A lot has been made of a few comments that Judge Sotomayor has made over the years about the experience and insight that "a wise Latina woman" would bring to the bench that a wise man would not.  I'm fascinated by the umbrage -- feigned or real -- that her critics are taking over the suggestion that life experience, which is dramatically different from that of white males who have dominated every aspect of our culture for centuries, could lead to a "wiser" decision.  At the heart of the debate," as the Detroit Free Press put it, "is how race and ethnicity should be considered in public life.

The bottom line, as I see it, is this.  For centuries, white males have been considered "the norm."  Everyone else -- whether women or racial or cultural minorities of any group -- have been measured against white male templates.  Everyone else has been required to become "culturally multi-lingual" -- i.e. able to effectively navigate their own cultural cohort group's waters, as well as those intuitive to white men - in order to succeed in every professional arena.  The only ones who haven't needed to do much adjusting -- until now -- have been white males.  However, too many of them remain unconscious of this undeniable reality.  Men who recognize this truth and think about ways they, too, can develop the comfort and skills to reach out and operate effectively in cultures that are intuitive to women, to African Americans and to Hispanics, the fastest growing cultural group in this country, will open themselves to tremendous enrichment -- that just might make them a little wiser than they already are.

Here are two excellent Op-Ed pieces on the subject, through the eyes of an African American man, for the Washington Post, and an African American woman, writing for the Huffington Post.

History Awaits Sonia Sotomayor

July 12, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court offer a moment of powerful insight for white men who are enlightened enough to open their eyes and hearts enough to soak it in.

A lot has been made of a few comments that Judge Sotomayor has made over the years about the experience and insight that "a wise Latina woman" would bring to the bench that a wise man would not.  I'm fascinated by the umbrage -- feigned or real -- that her critics are taking over the suggestion that life experience, which is dramatically different from that of white males who have dominated every aspect of our culture for centuries, could lead to a "wiser" decision.  At the heart of the debate," as the Detroit Free Press put it, "is how race and ethnicity should be considered in public life.

The bottom line, as I see it, is this.  For centuries, white males have been considered "the norm."  Everyone else -- whether women or racial or cultural minorities of any group -- have been measured against white male templates.  Everyone else has been required to become "culturally multi-lingual" -- i.e. able to effectively navigate their own cultural cohort group's waters, as well as those intuitive to white men - in order to succeed in every professional arena.  The only ones who haven't needed to do much adjusting -- until now -- have been white males.  However, too many of them remain unconscious of this undeniable reality.  Men who recognize this truth and think about ways they, too, can develop the comfort and skills to reach out and operate effectively in cultures that are intuitive to women, to African Americans and to Hispanics, the fastest growing cultural group in this country, will open themselves to tremendous enrichment -- that just might make them a little wiser than they already are.

Here are two excellent Op-Ed pieces on the subject, through the eyes of an African American man, for the Washington Post, and an African American woman, writing for the Huffington Post.

 

 

 

 

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