Friday, December 10, 2010

wow, do you really need us to spell it out toronto star?

This is all over the 'news': women fare better during the recession than men!!

In the Toronto Star the headline was "Why women fared better in the recession than men."

Apparently "when it comes to employment numbers women were hit less hard then men during the economic downturn. They also continued to hold far more part time jobs than men, but made significant gains in professions where they would earn a higher paycheque."


According to a Stats Canada report(which you can see here) women "dominate in service industries" which includes the health care, educational, and social assistance professions.

In 2009 women held 67% of teaching, nursing, and other health positions.

In 2009 70% of part-time work was done by women in Canada--a stat that hasn't changed much in three decades.

So "women did better" during the recession than men. That means that women, who generally have to take more part-time jobs and do caring work for little pay got to keep their crappy jobs while big banker and lawyer men were losing their awesome jobs that paid a lot of money.

That's not "faring better", actually. not losing your job in the mall, or your three jobs at three different nursing homes is not "faring better." It means that while men are losing their jobs more frequently and staying unemployed longer, women's status isn't really changing at all.

And how is it "faring better" when women are supporting children and jobless partners? Then are they "faring better"? No, they're not. It means they're working part time jobs or long hours at demanding and low pay jobs and now they are the only provider for their family.

This is the problem with just grabbing stats and making it news--there is no analysis. The Toronto Star is just like "hey women are doing GREAT!" Why are we doing great?! Because we can still get jobs as servers at restaurants and bars? Because high paying, full time jobs were historically not available to most women so instead of doctors women became nurses? And because nurses were primarily women the job got less respect and less money than doctors did?

That's called the "feminization" of a work place. It means that a career or job is treated differently because women are the primary holders of it and it isn't an indicator of women "doing well."

It's too bad actually, the Toronto Star could have taken the stats and actually utilized them to write an interesting piece but instead they were just like "picture of pretty teacher, snazzy headline, and we're off to the printer! let's get drunk!"

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