This article is depressing: read if you are feeling either robust or sadistic.
A UN report released in 2020 has found that 90% of humanity is biased against women. That’s correct pals, 90% of the population is biased against 50% of the population. This data is gathered from 75 countries which comprise approximately 80% of the Earth’s inhabitants.
Since we all hate women, you will be happy to learn that things have gotten worse over the last ten years. The report from the UN shows an increase of mild to intense bias against women has increased by between one and three percentage points, depending on if we are talking about whether or not men make superior political leaders, whether going to university is more important for men or for women, or if physical violence by a partner is ever justified, among other juicy subjects like whether or not women should have reproductive rights, and if men have more of a right to jobs than women.
Special mention to Europe’s favourite progressive utopian fantasy, Sweden, whose bias against women has increased the most.
What do we not like about women?
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t like beautiful women. In 2019, the journal Sex Roles published a study demonstrating that beautiful women are deemed to be less trustworthy, less competent, and more deserving of being fired. Ironically, women deemed to be unattractive are also less likely to be offered jobs in the first place and will be paid less throughout their careers.
TLDR: don’t be ugly because people won’t like you. Also, don’t be pretty because people won’t like you.
In a notorious study very much in-keeping with the bleak hellscape of evidence that we are marching through, researchers from Stanford University provided a CV to two different groups of participants and asked them to describe the personality of the applicant, their suitability for the role, and to advise on whether or not the person should be hired. The CV’s provided to the participants were identical in every way except one applicant was referred to as John, and one as Jennifer. Jennifer was rated as being significantly less competent than John and was less likely to be offered the position. When she was offered the job, participants recommended on average a 13% lower salary for Jennifer than for John.
These findings have been replicated and expanded on elsewhere. A 2015 study published in Academic Medicine showed that we don’t like women who apply for jobs typically deemed to be ‘male’ jobs, such as positions in STEM or construction. We also don’t like women who express self-promotion, which can be somewhat of a hinderance in a job interview. Our desperate need to cling to the notion of masculine superiority is such that any job candidate can raise their chances of success at interview by wearing ‘masculine scented’ perfume. The article suggests slathering yourself in motor oil and loneliness.
It is a common rhetorical story arc to deliver some depressing truths such as the above, and then rally the troops by offering platitudes about how things are getting better and don’t you worry because now black bodies and slightly fat bodies and trans bodies can also be included in adverts to make you buy stuff and that’s progress.
Miserably, the message of this piece is that progress is not inevitable, and it can be reversed. Not just that it can be reversed, but that it is reversing.
In the wake of the Brexit referendum in 2016, hate crimes against people of colour increased by 27.5%. Taking a longer view, data shows us that racially or religiously motivated hate crime in Britain increased by 111.8% between 2011 and 2018.
A mind-bogglingly bad ad campaign by Dove in 2017 showed a woman of colour peeling off her dirty brown skin to reveal a ‘clean’ white woman underneath.
Caption: What the literal fuck, Dove?
Income inequality in Britain has increased significantly over the last ten years of Conservative government, and the life expectancy increases that Britain had been enjoying have ceased and are now declining for the poorest 10% of women.
Don’t feel left out though, because even if you are not a woman, you can still expect to spend more of your life in ill health or living with a disability. Remember, we’re all in this together. Or we are all in a big society group hug, or something.
Except if you’re homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. You’re not invited into the big society and we are not in it together. Hot tip: 67% of all statutory homeless people are women.
Source: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Also, not if you are a child living in poverty. You can do one as well. Just to clarify, this is children living in working families, so this is in addition to the data above which considers statutory homeless persons and families. Analysis by the Trades Union Congress shows that child poverty in working families rose to 2.9 million in 2018, an increase of 38% since the Conservative party gained power.
According to the most recent data, more than 75% of UK employers are paying women less than men on average. And the gender pay gap is actually growing at roughly half of the companies. The special mentions here are HSBC Bank, Lloyds Bank, and UBS which boast gender pay gaps of between 30% and 45%, but the real show stopper is Jeffries Financial Group where the median woman at the investment bank is paid half what the median man gets. Represent.
In the UK, our new Equalities Minister Jessica Butcher has gone on record stating that she doesn’t believe in the gender pay gap because women choose to leave the work force and take on the unpaid labour of raising the next generation of people. She also thinks that the #MeToo movement is bad for women and unfairly damages men. The UK’s Equalities Minister also thinks that women who have been discriminated against should find a way around it.
There is no cheering motif to end this piece with. As a researcher, I have a longstanding infatuation with and commitment to reality, and I hope that the evidence marshalled here speaks for itself. I also hope that reading these words made you frightened or angry or have some kind of feeling that has strength and energy to it. A woman’s right to vote was long and hard won by the combined action of many thousands. The passing of legislation that makes it illegal to discriminate against somebody on the basis of their ethnicity happened because normal pals like you and I did some stuff, took some action.
Progress is not a linear ascension towards a better world and the rights and freedoms you enjoy can be eroded and stolen from beneath you. By the same logic, our actions can expand legal protection, a culture of tolerance, and vote in governments that are more likely to treat us fairly. What are you going to do about it?