Summary of “Boudica: how a widowed queen became a rebellious woman warrior”

In the 1st century CE, Boudica, warrior queen of the Iceni people, led an army of 100,000 to victory against the mighty Roman Empire.
The authors differ in their details, but agree that Boudica unified the Britons as never before and led a revolt against the Romans in 60/61 CE. Her story creates a parallel between different views of gender equality held by the Romans and the Britons, and the dichotomies of empire and colony, power and subjugation.
In the Roman accounts, Boudica fought for freedom from the Romans, a colonial oppressor she viewed as greedy and immoral.
An honorific epitaph for Boudica in Roman terms would have been composed following a formula based on a Roman understanding of normative gender roles: she would have been identified in relation to a man, noted for her success as a mother, and praised for her domestic virtues.
After suffering at the hands of the Romans, Boudica united the Britons and took her revenge.
While the Roman general Suetonius Paulinus was away in Wales, attacking the Druidic centre at Mona, Boudica formed her army.
Even the gods are on their side, so how could they lose? Despite her exhortation, the Romans win handily, and Boudica commits suicide rather than allow herself to be taken prisoner.
In her speeches, Boudica juxtaposes Roman avarice with British freedom.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Times Are Good, the Gender Gap Grows”

In their study involving 76 countries and 80,000 people, they found greater national wealth and gender equality are tied to bigger differences in preferences between men and women rather than to stronger similarities.
One of them, which the authors dub the “Social role hypothesis,” predicts wealth and gender equality will lead to more similarities in preferences between genders.
When they mapped the survey responses against an index of gender equality in each country-based on factors such as when women gained the right to vote-they found again greater equality tracked with an increasing gender gap in preferences around trust, altruism and the other variables.
The same pattern applied for gender equality: Across four bins of gender-equality index values the lowest values were associated with the smallest gender differences, the highest with the greatest gender differences in preferences.
“The main takeaway is that gender differences in preferences are increasing with country level of economic development as well as gender equality.”
“What should matter is conditions when the respondents of the study were socialized.” He points out that with survey participants ranging in age from adolescence to the 90s, socialization could have occurred decades ago for some, when gender divisions even in the richest economies “Were very sharp.” He adds, “Gender-preference gaps among millennials would tell us something about how boys and girls were socialized in the last 25 years or so whereas preference gaps for older cohorts would be informative on conditions in earlier times.” Having more resources, he notes, might simply mean parents have more time to socialize their children in gender-specific ways.
These social roles “Are very powerful in explaining gender differences and preferences,” he says, but the current study did not measure such factors.
“The biggest misinterpretation could be that our results indicate that social or gender-specific roles do not matter in the formation of gender differences in preferences,” he says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why figuring out what’s behind a big gender paradox won’t be easy”

In a paper published in Science today, Armin Falk and Johannes Hermle report that gender differences in preferences like risk-taking, patience, and trust were more exaggerated in wealthier and more gender-equal countries.
The researchers compared these results to GDP for the 76 countries and also to a measure of gender equality that took into account things like international rankings and how long women have had the vote in each country.
Research exploring the paradox could tell us some fascinating things about how gender interacts with culture, but the list of open questions is dizzying.
Mac Giolla and Kajonius argue that the paradox creates a problem for social role theory: if culture is responsible for creating gender differences, they suggest, and the culture becomes more egalitarian, we should expect the gaps to close.
In some cases, they do: there are “Some psychological sex differences that do become smaller in more gender-equal nations, but these are not mentioned by the authors,” says Alice Eagly, a proponent of social role theory, pointing to findings that gender gaps in math performance close in more gender-equal countries.
The Global Gender Gap Index, the metric used by Mac Giolla and Kajonius, involves a phenomenal attempt to pack all the complications of gender equality into a single ranking-but it understandably can’t capture absolutely everything about how gender works in myriad cultures across the world.
There’s evidence of greater gender stereotyping in precisely those countries that come out on top of this ranking, which could be a result of older and more entrenched cultural ideas, a cultural backlash, or something else entirely.
Of course, there’s a strong relationship between factors like GDP and the Gender Gap Index, and they look at economic development as well as various measures of gender equality, finding the correlations all the way through.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A record number of women are running for office. This election cycle, they didn’t wait for an invite”

A record number of women are running for the U.S. House, Senate and state legislatures this year – more than any other election in U.S. history.
“Women are running whether or not Democrats and Republicans invite them to,” said Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, a political science professor at USC. Alfaro attributes the record-breaking turnout in large part to a groundswell in localized programs encouraging women to run and educating them on the process.
In the first few weeks after President Trump was elected over Hillary Clinton, about 1,000 women reached out to Emily’s List about running for office.
By the end of 2017, as the #MeToo movement exploded and Women’s March anniversary rallies were planned throughout the country, the record was shattered again with more than 25,000 women signing up online to learn about running for office.
Since Trump’s election, Emily’s List says, more than 40,000 women have expressed interest in running for office.
A record 3,379 women have won nomination for state legislatures across the country, breaking 2016’s record of 2,649, according to the Center for American Women and Politics.
The Center for American Women and Politics ranks the most populous state at No. 26 for representation of women in the state legislature compared with the proportion of women in the state.
Although the number of women running in 2018 is impressive, she worries that if women don’t double their representation in Congress this election cycle, it could be perceived as a failure.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Lessons from the Last Swiss Finishing School”

Housed in a traditional chalet, built in 1911 for a Dutch baroness, the institute bills itself as the last finishing school in Switzerland.
“It’s the same as the watch industry,” Neri’s son, who tends to the school’s business matters, has said.
Though invited to spend a week attending classes, I was scolded on more than one occasion for photographing the chalet’s interior, for recording lectures, and for attempting to ascertain basic biographical facts about the school’s students, a group that Neri claims has included the daughters of Presidents and Prime Ministers.
One afternoon in an upstairs classroom, Neri told me, “My mother never liked the term ‘finishing school.’ It just means so many things to so many different people. The British, for example, think it’s a place for women too stupid to go to university.” Neri’s mother, Dorette Faillettaz, who never attended a finishing school, founded what became I.V.P. in 1954 with a loan from her parents, as no Swiss bank at the time would lend to a woman.
A translator of the Brothers Grimm and, according to Neri, “One of the first women to dare to ask for a divorce in Zurich,” Faillettaz established a school that was, for its time, a kind of proto-feminist alternative to the tea-party training occurring elsewhere around the canton.
“They would maybe go to England, because it’s a kingdom, but not to a peasant country.” Every so often, the school received what Neri referred to as “An exotic student”-once, she said, the school hosted a cousin of the Emperor of Japan.
Neri grew up in Zurich, attended school in England, moved to Montreux after her mother’s divorce, and then to California, where she majored in Latin-American studies at U.C.L.A. She returned to Switzerland after graduation and married the director of a textile-machine company.
In 1971, women in Switzerland gained the right to vote, and the following year Neri’s mother retired and Neri assumed leadership of I.V.P. “It was 1972!” she exclaimed.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Research: Women and Men Are Equally Bad at Multitasking”

Women came out as better multitaskers when researchers used fMRI scans to measure brain activity, computer tests to measure response times, and an exercise in which people walking on a treadmill had to simultaneously complete a cognitive task.
There are a few tasks in which men and women consistently outperform each other – on average: For example, it is well-established that men typically fare better when imagining what complex 3-dimensional figures would look like if they were rotated.
One reason for these inconsistent findings may be that, to date, the vast majority of studies have examined gender differences using artificial laboratory tasks that do not match with the complex and challenging multitasking activities of everyday life.
To address these concerns, we developed a computerized task – The Meeting Preparation Task – that was designed to resemble everyday life activities and, at the same time, that was grounded in the most comprehensive theoretical model of multitasking activities.
He defines two types of multitasking – concurrent multitasking, in which you do two or more activities at the same time and serial multitasking, in which you switch rapidly between tasks.
It’s this latter type of multitasking that most of us do most often, and this type of multitasking we wanted to test.
Our idea with the present study was simple yet rare in the scientific literature: to use a validated task to assess whether there are gender differences in multitasking abilities in an everyday scenario in the general population.
We found no differences between men and women in terms of serial multitasking abilities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Thousands of autistic girls and women ‘going undiagnosed’ due to gender bias”

Hundreds of thousands of girls and women with autism are going undiagnosed due to it being viewed as a “Male condition”, according to one of the UK’s leading neuroscientists.
Prof Francesca HappĂ©, director of the Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King’s College London, warned that the failure to recognise autism in girls and women was taking a stark toll on their mental health.
“We’ve overlooked autism in women and girls and I think there’s a real gender equality issue here,” she said.
More recent work suggests there may be subtle differences in how autism presents in girls and women.
Teachers and clinicians tend to be less inclined to consider autism as a likely explanation for girls and women struggling with social and communication problems than with boys and men.
If the real ratio were shown to be 3:1, this would suggest that up to 200,000 girls and women with autism have been omitted from the national tally.
Carol Povey, director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism, said there was growing recognition of the issue, with a steady increase in referrals of women and girls to specialist diagnostic centres during the past few years.
“The problem is that professionals often don’t understand the different ways autism can manifest in women and girls, with many going through their lives without a diagnosis and an understanding of why they feel different.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Beth Moore: The Evangelical Superstar Taking on Trump”

For the moment most evangelical women look like Beth Moore’s traditional fan base: white and middle-aged.
The event was billed as an “Intimate” gathering, but 5,000 women sitting in a church auditorium is intimate only by contrast with the arena-size crowds Moore hosted in the past.
On her way to the stage, Moore worked the room in stiletto boots, greeting strangers like old friends.
“Some of you are here to see if I’m as big a fruitcake as they say that I am, and”-here Moore emitted a theatrical little gasp-laugh, like helium escaping a balloon-“You probably already have your answer.”
Debbie, 54, my seatmate, had been to eight Beth Moore events.
Moore walked slowly among them as if in a trance, pausing to rub a back or whisper a prayer.
Above all, what women seem to want from Moore is to be seen.
This article appears in the October 2018 print edition with the headline “Will Beth Moore Lose Her Flock?”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Emma Thompson, In Conversation”

“The way in which I frame my past,” says Emma Thompson, sitting in her cool Manhattan hotel room on a sweltering late-summer day, “Is always changing.” And yet some things stay the same.
You think a “Crumbling” happens in every long-term relationship?Not necessarily crumbling, but if the relationship hasn’t changed for long periods of time then the people in it are probably serving a facsimile of what the relationship used to be.
You think about what might happen here with Roe versus Wade, and then also think about what happened in Ireland where abortion and gay marriage were made possible – extraordinary.
The thing is, you were asking how my thinking has changed: I was reading The Madwoman in the Attic.
If you think about – okay, another story: I was doing a thing with trafficking.
The thing is, I don’t think of my career in phases.
For a while that belief persisted, but I think everyone’s beginning to realize that good acting can be all sorts of things.
You clean out the cupboard and you find something in it that leads you to another task, which you get terribly involved in, and you think, Great, that’ll take me another day.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How I Learned to Embrace Power as a Woman in Washington”

Throughout my career, I’d been called “Tough.” It was a compliment that was regularly paid to women in Washington who demanded excellent work, but of course, it always sounded less begrudging when it was said of a man.
The question of how women use their power is far more complicated, more difficult and more urgent today than it is for men.
Women are often in denial about their own capabilities and search for others-groups of women or commanding men-to establish their power.
The real drawback of this dynamic is that it affects how women do their jobs.
More than anything, women have to become more accustomed to getting power.
Women need to stop thinking that “Power” is a dirty word, or that the trappings of power matter less than the work.
Women have a tremendous amount of power that comes with the roles we play in society, far more power than we ever had before.
At the same time, we have to appreciate that so many of the remaining obstacles to women’s advancement- most blatantly, perhaps, the sexual harassment in the workplace that has become an important topic of conversation-are all about power.

The orginal article.