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Women's Networks and their constant emphasis on men

(63 Posts)
MrsFogi Tue 26-Jan-16 15:17:34

Over the years I have been active in womens networks (both work ones and wider industry/sector ones) but I am always amazed at the sheer effort and emphasis that seems to be put on attracting men/increasing male membership/getting more men to attend. Somehow networks that are supposed to focus on women end up spending 90% of their time on men. This seems crazy to me - ethnic minority networks don't seem to have attracting white people at the top of their agendas, lgbt don't beg hetrosexuals to run them. Why do womens networks seem to do this? Tbh it is why I always leave as I don't want to attend panels where men are speaking with the sole "qualification" that they "let their wife work" so "must understand working women's issues". Whenever I have mentioned this at network meetings I have been absolutely shot down in flames so I suspect I am missing something/the same may happen here on my first foray into the feminism chat forum.

grimbletart Tue 26-Jan-16 15:32:12

Sounds like your networks definitely don't pass the Bechdel test MrsF. grin

MrsFogi Tue 26-Jan-16 15:37:18

They probably do (but not for want of trying not to) as a great deal of effort seems to be spent trying to get men to join/support/run (and don't get me started on talking about CSR) with little ROI as far as I can see hmm.

TeiTetua Tue 26-Jan-16 16:41:04

I don't get this. If the issue is "women's networks" then why does anyone care if men attend--if the concern isn't actually whether men should be allowed in or not? (Maybe, if they sit at the back and don't say anything.)

It sounds as though these are networks theoretically for everyone but actually with an all-female membership, and they want to get men to take an interest.

MelindaMay Tue 26-Jan-16 16:46:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 20:32:16

Networking or Not Working?

NeverEverAnythingEver Tue 26-Jan-16 20:49:02

" why not 'how not to be unconsciously sexist' courses for men?"

I said this many times to various men above me in the hierarchy.They don't seem to think it's an issue. After all they are talking to me, a woman, aren't they? hmm

slugseatlettuce Tue 26-Jan-16 20:49:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

museumum Tue 26-Jan-16 20:57:11

Well you've got two choices:
either you have a women's network just for women and you talk about what women can do about equality issues.
You want to talk to men about what they can do about gender equality (cause it's not all up to women to change) but men aren't naturally inclined to attend so you spend all your time talking about how to encourage more men to get involved.

Both approaches will be criticised. Naturally. grin

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 21:19:30

Have any of these networks ever achieved anything worthwhile? Just an excuse to get paid for whinging and whining.

MelindaMay Tue 26-Jan-16 21:36:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 21:50:35

I'm on my own dime right now so I can whinge and whine as much as I want. Name me one thing of genuine value that these notworks have achieved. Name me one female entrepreneur that would be happy for her employees to get together to whinge and moan and achieve precisely nothing.

MelindaMay Tue 26-Jan-16 22:23:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 22:26:35


If any MNers would be happy to pay for their nannies and cleaners to attend a woman's notwork I will eat my hat.

MelindaMay Tue 26-Jan-16 22:27:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MelindaMay Tue 26-Jan-16 22:28:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 22:36:41

You will have to do a LOT of convincing to prove that that the Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships arose out of a notwork.

I am going to put this out there. Emperor's New Clothes... Big corporations "tolerate" all of the payroll expense devoted to employees attending Notworks and Notworking Conferences because they think it is a price worth paying against charges of sexism and that it will serve as useful defence in employment tribunals.

Meanwhile the notworks themselves turn into a "Ain't it awful?" orgy of blaming the patriarchy and wishing and waiting for "them" to change.

All in all - a nice way to get paid for doing sweet FA

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 22:39:55

And of course the public sector is especially frightened of offending any sensibilities. ..

MelindaMay Tue 26-Jan-16 22:46:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 22:46:51

MelindaMay have you ever started a business? Ever known what it takes to find and then keep a customer? Ever managed a P&L? Ever had to find funds to make payyroll while your customers sit on invoices rather than paying them on time?

If you have, them I will respect your support for such Notworks.

If you haven't. ..I think you enjoy a privilege funded by someone else

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 22:50:56

Yawn as much as you can. But at the end of the day, your salary is paid by someone or an institution or a public sector body that adds value in some way...

It doesn't grow on trees

MelindaMay Tue 26-Jan-16 22:54:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 22:58:10

Coo. Simply saying "how wrong" I am obviously absolves you of any responsibility to put forward any evidence.

Ever started a business? Ever paid anyone?

IrenetheQuaint Tue 26-Jan-16 23:03:10

My Women's Network is lovely and does lots of nice confidence-building events.

Although we do have a senior male sponsor who is obsessed with getting men in. All events are open to men but they don't come, presumably for the same reasons that I as a white person wouldn't go to a BAME event.

(A friend of mine has a Dorothy Hodgkins fellowship. Such a good idea!)

SlowFJH Tue 26-Jan-16 23:10:17

Well that's just LOVELY... Irene. Do you pay the salaries of all the employees that need to have "confidence-building events"?

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