I like Madonna’s take on the election

I love Madonna for her music, but I love her even more for her election analysis as it relates to women.  Women who voted for Donald Trump (including my mom) have a deep distrust/hatred of other women simply because they are women. They believe in women having a proper place in society which is the home. They looked at Hillary and saw a traitor to what being a woman meant. My mom would talk about how crooked Hillary was, and she talked about the emails as if Hillary was handing the soviets all of our secrets. In my opinion, it’s dumb to debate Hillary’s crookedness because it’s a moot point. What Trump demonstrated through the election was a lot of male rhetoric used to answer questions which allowed him to provide no details to his ideas for his policies which appeal to a society that loves discriminates.

I was amazed that my mom could still support Trump after the “grab her by the p*ssy” comments. My mom would rather her daughter meet Trump than Hillary. And that to me is terribly sad. It’s disheartening to see my sister trying to make sense of how my mom could ignore everything Trump said and hate Hillary with such vitriol. My mom would try to distance herself by saying that she really dislikes both of them, but in reality, Trump could do anything, and she’d vote for him over Hillary. What’s so sad to me is that I’m a minority! Most of the country is drinking the Trump kool aid. Will we ever wake up?

I want to ask you about ageism in the music world. In Hollywood, as you know, it’s rare for women to find great roles as they get older. I imagine it’s even tougher to be a woman of a certain age in pop music. When you go into the studio or mount a tour like Rebel Heart, are you concerned about staying relevant?
I don’t care. It’s the rest of society that cares. I don’t ever think about my age until someone says something about it. I feel that I have wisdom, experience, knowledge and a point of view that is important. Can a teenager relate to that? Probably not. But that’s OK. I understand that. “Relevance” is a catchphrase that people throw out because we live in a world full of discrimination. Age is only brought up with regard to women. It’s connected to sexism, chauvinism and misogyny. When Leonardo is 60 years old, no one is going to talk about his relevance. Am I relevant as a female in this society that hates women? Well, to people who are educated and are not chauvinists or ­misogynists, yes.

Speaking of: How did you feel about the outcome of the election?
It felt like someone died. It felt like a ­combination of the heartbreak and betrayal you feel when someone you love more than anything leaves you, and also a death. I feel that way every morning; I wake up and say, “Oh, wait, Donald Trump is still the president,” and it wasn’t a bad dream that I had. It feels like women betrayed us. The percentage of women who voted for Trump was insanely high.

Why do you think that is?
Women hate women. That’s what I think it is. Women’s nature is not to support other women. It’s really sad. Men protect each other, and women protect their men and children. Women turn inward and men are more external. A lot of it has do with jealousy and some sort of tribal inability to accept that one of their kind could lead a nation. Other people just didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t like either candidate, or they didn’t think Trump had a chance in the world. They took their hands off the wheel and then the car crashed.

Were you surprised?
Of course. I was devastated, surprised, in shock. I haven’t really had a good night’s sleep since he has been elected. We’re f—ed.

Do you know anyone who voted for Trump?
Yeah, and I’ve gotten into major arguments.

What did they say?
That they would rather have a successful businessman running the country than a woman who lies. Just absurd. But people don’t have faith in government as we know it. We live in a country that’s run by ­bankers. In a way, it makes sense that Donald Trump is the president. Because money rules. Not intelligence, not experience, not a moral compass, not the ability to make wise ­decisions, not the ability to think of the future of the human race.

Check out the full interview with Madonna here.

Television as a field from 1951 – 2013

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After making some changes to how I quantified the data, I created some charts that will hopefully have a story to tell.

These are some early writings on the above multiple correspondence analyses.


During the first period, women averged 5.096 percent of  producers and 9.523 percent of writers

From 1951-1980 men actors and writers are central to the field of television. Their central location indicated that men were present in large numbers across all genres and most shows. Female writers are located in the top left of the graph surrounded by comedy, family, and fantasy genres. Although it may seem to indicate that women dominated comedy, this is not the case. No show out of the nine analyzed during this time period had more women writers than men. Fawlty Towers had the highest percentage of female writers at 50%, and the show with the next highest percentage was I Love Lucy where 20% of the writers were women. The average percentage of women writing for a show during this time period was 9.583. Notice how Fawlty Towers and I Love Lucy are both located in a position where they are farthest from “m_writer” indicating that these shows were where men composed a smaller portion of the writers than other shows which were located closer.

Despite faring better than writers on average, women actors still struggled to find equal representation averaging 30.58 percent of actors. The shows closest to achieving gender equity were most often comedy shows which explains why f_actor is in close proximity. “F_actor” is located on the left side of the chart closer to fantasy, family, and comedy genres than men indicating a more equal gender composition than that found in thriller or mystery.

“F_producer” is located opposite the other female roles on the upper right of the graph. We might be quick to guess that women produce a majority of the dramas. This isn’t the case, however. In fact, the majority of shows during this time period had no women producers credited. The few shows that did    were dramas most often.

From the years of 1981-2000, we see men still centrally located in relation to other positions. Female actors are somewhat closer to the central location of male actors during this second period. Women made up a smaller percentage of actors in sci-fi and family. Across thirty-six shows, women made up 33.43 percent of actors, 14.87 percent of producers, and 18.47 percent of writers.  Multiple correspondence analysis allows us to see what genres and shows


In period 3, women composed 35.83 percent of all actors, 24.27 percent of all producers, and 26.50 percent of writers. Clearly, there is a trend of women finding more opportunities that continues from the previous two periods. We can see this change across the three mca charts by looking at how all the “f_(role)” positions move towards the center. Moving towards the center indicates that women were no longer strictly constrained to particular genres or shows.

Why men succeeded in the third golden age of television

Men alternately setting loose and struggling to cage their wildest natures has always been the great American story, the one found in whatever happens to be the ascendant medium at the time. Our favorite genres— the western; the gangster saga; the lonesome but dogged private eye operating outside the comforts of normal, domestic life; the superhero with his double identities— have all been literalizations of that inner struggle, just as Huckleberry Finn striking out for the territories was, or Ishmael taking to the sea. It should have been no surprise, then, that the Third Golden Age of TV began by revisiting those genres.

The field of television grew dramatically at the beginning of 21st century. With an increased demand for original content came more opportunities to have a show greenlit.  The increase in opportunities were not distributed evenly between the genders due to a dual queueing process described by Barbara Reskin. Within the field of television, there are potential producers of shows and there are programmers of the channels who decide what gets made and what does not. The potential producers are not a homogenous group of individuals. Within the potential producers group there are various ways of categorizing individuals. These categories are arranged hierarchically according to perceived worth or potential by the programmers. The programmers greenlight the shows of the producers in the highest ranked categories first and continue greenlighting shows of this group until it is more or less depleted. It is then that programmers will settle for less highly ranked groups.

The programmers are not the only one whose perceptions matter. The potential producers categorize the channels that programmers represent as well and rank them according to these categorizations. Sometimes these rankings determine who a potential producer will pitch a show to and other times it influences what offer to accept when there are multiple channels interested in a show.

Unfortunately for women, however they may be categorized in other areas, they are generally perceived as rankning lower than men, and this often means they get passed over if considered at all. Making matters worse is the limited opportunities available compared to the size of the pool of potential producers. Because there are so few opportunities available, potential producers usually must take what they can get. This high demand for relatively few positions means that programmers are able to pick individuals who they perceive as being the most capable based solely on the categories that an individual producer belongs. Women are not necessarily perceived as being less capable simply because of their gender. Their gender has impacted their opportunities at every stage of their careers that their resumes may appear to be less qualified. Programmers may not be out right sexists, but the proxies they use to rank producers generally affect women disproportionately compared to men.

The entry into the field of Netflix and Amazon has provided opportunities for women to produce shows in more recent years. As newcomers, these streaming services ranked below traditional television channels for potential producers. The traditional channels having depleted the pool of producers to the point that the streaming services were pushed to gambles in hiring women to produce some shows.


Works Cited

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Gendered Roles, Genre, and the Hollywood Reporter Top 100 Television Shows Across Three Time Periods

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Looking specifically at the gendered positions (squares), the first two analyses show that comedy is more highly correlated with all gendered roles. In the third picture, the gendered positions are no longer concentrated around comedy but are dispersed more evenly between comedy and drama.

If we look at the movement of drama specifically across the three analyses, we see it moves closer to the center and then crosses the dotted line in the third picture to be opposite of comedy. This suggests that drama has become equally significant as comedy over these three time periods. We can see the decline of comedy across the three periods as well. In the first picture, comedy is located well above the dotted line. In the second picture, it has dropped significantly and moved to the right before resting just above the dotted line in the third picture. If we look at other genres located near comedy, we see that these genres become less associated with comedy and more often are associated with dramas by period 3. Romance is the one genre associated with comedy that stays relatively stable between period 2 and 3, and it also happens to be where women are located in positions closer than men.

To me, these multiple correspondence analyses illustrate how drama has become a legitimate television genre from 1951-2013. This is most easily seen by focusing on the male and female producers. In period 1, male producers are much closer to comedy than female producers who are located approximately an equal distance from comedy and drama. Period 2, we see male producers move closer to drama than female producers albeit not by much. Female producers are located closer than men to romance, fantasy, and action during this time. By period 3, male producers have moved to a position where they are closest to all genres except comedy (which has been in decline) and romance.

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Gendered Roles, Genre, and Television Shows from 1981 – 2000

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Television Genres, Gendered Roles, and Shows from 1981 - 2000

Quality television from 1981 – 2000 still centered around comedy albeit drama had begun to gain influence during this time period which is evident from the shorter distance to other locations in the field. Family moved away from comedy somewhat. Men were more likely to produce the quality dramas as the distance is shorter to drama than for women. Action and fantasy were the two genres located most on the fringes. Comedies in general hire more writers while dramas hire more actors.

 Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Gendered Roles, Genre, and Television Shows from 1951 – 1980

Multiple Correspondence Analyses of Television Genres, Gendered Roles, and Shows from 1951 - 1980

Clearly comedy is central to the field of television from 1951 – 1980. Fantasy also had a central location in the field during this time with shows such as I Dream of Jeannie, Mork and Mindy, and Bewitched. All dramas during this time period had a location in the field where it was outside the norm as a quality television genre. Likewise, actors, producers, and writers of both genders were more likely to find work in comedy. Action and adventure were located on the extreme margins of the field.

Male actors were at the very center of the field about an equal distance from both comedy and drama. Female actors were not too far away, but they were more likely to work in comedy shows.

Feminizing Occupations

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The fundamental reason for women’s disproportionate entry into the occupations we studied was a shortage of male workers (Kindle Locations 4144-4145).

Women receive better career opportunities when men are no longer available or simply do not want particular jobs. Only when employers are desperate for employees do they seem to realize that women can do jobs just as well as men. Occupations that do begin welcoming women at a greater rate generate a demand for women workers.

Fostering desegregation in a few of our occupations was the emergence of a sex-specific demand for women. Four phenomena produced such a demand: antidiscrimination regulations and litigation that raised the potential cost of giving men preference; the growth within an occupation of tasks already labeled as women’s work; the growth of a female clientele; and economic exigencies that spurred employers to take advantage of women’s lower labor price (Kindle Locations 4156-4158).

So employees begin to hire women when hiring men puts them at risk of violating laws and/or being sure. Women are hired at greater rates when there is a greater demand to complete tasks that are typically performed by women. Higher rates occur when there is an increase in female clients. This means that all women can impact hiring practices indirectly through concerted consumption. Lastly, women are hired more often when employers need to cut costs.

Despite the prevailing wisdom that liberalized attitudes have opened male jobs to women, we could document an effect only in bartending, where women’s exclusion had been reinforced by public fears that tending bar would corrupt them. In the other feminizing occupations we studied, changing attitudes tudes were unimportant compared with labor shortages or economic pressures (Kindle Locations 4174-4176).

I imagine today a lot of people would say they have no problem with a woman doing any particular job.  Saying that and women actually getting the chance to the jobs are two different things.  Generally,  our attitudes regarding the employment of women have little weight on employer decisions. However,  instead of attempting to influence employers,  the focus should be on legislatures to whom employers must listen .

But men failed to resist women’s entry into many feminizing occupations because the latter were no longer worth preserving as male territory. Here, as elsewhere (Hartmann et al., 1986:60), most of women’s increased numbers in feminizing occupations did not result from their taking jobs away from men (Kindle Locations 4178-4180).

Rarely are women hired in place of men.  More often,  women fill jobs that have abandoned by men who have sought more benefits,  higher wages, and more autonomy.

Women’s increasing share of the labor force and the pools from which employers recruit workers (such as M.B.A.’s) contributed to their movement into some male occupations, but unless circumstances impelled employers to hire women, the increased supply of women would not have been sufficient to feminize these male occupations (Kindle Locations 4180-4182).

More women entering the pools making up potential employees certainly has helped women in some occupations. They are still ignored a lot of times by employers, and their numbers have never threatened to feminize occupations where men make up the majority by a large percentage.

Within desegregating occupations female and male workers were concentrated in different jobs (Kindle Location 4194).

These nominally desegregating occupations remained internally segregated gated for the same reasons that the labor force as a whole has done so: white men’s favored position ensures them the most desirable and most highly rewarded warded jobs and allows most of them to dodge less attractive jobs for which women must settle. This pattern occurs within as well as across occupations (Kindle Locations 4201-4203).

Even when occupations appear to be moving towards gender balance, men and women are still not working the same jobs.

Works cited

 Creating Gender Queues

I’m completing my thesis at the University of Mississippi concerning the relationship between gender, genre, and television production. I see no harm in sharing while helping to get my thoughts together.

Barbara Reskin describes how men dominate coveted labor markets at the expense of women. Labor markets become gender queues where women are held back in five ways.

First, sex labels that characterize jobs as “women’s” or “men’s” work influence day-to-day hiring and job assignments by affecting employers’ notions of appropriate and inappropriate workers for particular jobs. The force of custom tends to blind employers to economically irrational decisions, at least until external events galvanize them to change (Kindle Locations 508-510).

One issue facing women is the weight of history where they have been undervalued relative to men. We are not damned to repeat that history,  but generally speaking we will if there are not laws created to force change. Because women have been kept out of many professions until fairly recently, they are untraditional employees which means employers usually will not go that route unless they set out to do so.

Second, employers’ difficulty in identifying productive workers leads them to resort to proxies such as educational attainment, experience, and group membership (Kindle Locations 510-511).

Because employers have a difficult time spotting job candidates who will do well, they tend to rely on shortcuts that discount women. Proxies hurt anyone who do not have an ideal job history (like myself) with periods of unemployment. But each proxy tends to hurt women at a greater rate than men as women are less likely to be given the opportunities that men receive.

Third, some employers worry that male workers’ negative response to female interlopers will reduce productivity or raise labor costs by increasing turnover, or lead men to demand higher wages to compensate them for working with women (Kindle Locations 514-515).

Men are sensitive about their masculinity.  Any threats to the gender composition in a field that could change how it is perceived within society is met with resistance by men. They will go on strike or leave the job if it seems beneath them.

Fourth, some employers are not compelled to minimize wages. The level of competition they face and the share of all costs that wages constitute affect their incentive to find ways to cut wages (Kindle Locations 521-522).

The primary advantage women have in labor markets is that they cost less to employ.  When labor costs are trivial, women job candidates have less of a chance in being hired.

Finally, some employers willingly accept higher wages as the price for favoring men (Kindle Location 527).

To employers, hiring men at higher wages is better than paying less for women to do the job as it protects the job from having its status depreciate, and it legitimizes male dominance elsewhere throughout society. Employers seem willing to pay more to lessen their doubt even though that doubt is based on sexist assumptions regarding the quality of work performed by women.

Works cited