News and links: Air Canada Flight Attendents Set to Strike Again, Patriarchy on Twitter, and Last Name Double Bind

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-Air Canada flight attendants have rejected the tentative deal their union made in September:

Air Canada’s flight attendants have rejected a tentative deal reached between their union and the airline and are poised to go on strike immediately after midnight Thursday morning.

“We ask the federal government, in the strongest possible terms, to respect our right to collective bargaining and not intervene unilaterally in this dispute”, Jeff Taylor, president of the union branch for Air Canada flight attendants, said in a statement Sunday night.

-More women use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter but that doesn’t mean that those online tools are free from sexism or the regular hierarchies.

Social networks give women a voice. A voice that many struggled to get heard before the Internet. A place to meet other women like them. As one woman told me, “When I had my first baby, I felt so alone. Twitter was a lifeline. It was my only connection to the ‘real’ world.” Twitter is giving women confidence. Women from all backgrounds. And despite companies thinking that women are only talking about shoes and babies, social networks are giving female entrepreneurs a place to nurture and grow their ideas and businesses.

And whilst social networks are still the privilege of the ‘middle class’ with half of Twitter and Facebook users making over $50,000 per year (Digital Surgeons 2010), there is an exciting future before us, as smart-phones become more affordable lending a voice and empowerment to the next billion women onto Twitter and social networks. Twitter will not just be place to get your ideas heard but will become a vital tool of expression for those women who struggle to get their voices heard.

However its not all rosy, social networks are not quite the egalitarian place they appear. When you dig a bit deeper into the statistics, men on average have 15% more followers. The average man is almost twice as likely to follow another man than a woman. Meanwhile, the average woman is 25% more likely to follow a man than a woman. (Harvard Business Review 2009)

-Not only is the patriarchal tradition of taking your husbands name thrust on women as a romantic and proper thing to do, when women go and do it, they face stereotypes and discrimination in the workforce:

Taking her husband’s name at marriage suggests to potential employers that a woman is less intelligent, less ambitious, inclined to work fewer hours and more focused on family. Recent evidence suggests that women who make that choice can expect lower wages and fewer job offers as a result.

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