I have been looking at the Weekly Assignments over the past few days as they have continued to pop up on the WordPress web site. Every time I saw a different search that yielded results I wasn’t expecting, I found myself fascinated. After a time, however, it seemed to me that most of the searches I was reading about were for the same jobs— doctor, fire fighter, teacher, etc. So I decided to try to personalize the assignment a little bit by searching (1) the job I currently have, (2) the job I am currently taking classes for, and (3) the job I hope to have one day.
- CIA Agent
In order to view results of people and not of a computer server, I had to adjust my search a little bit. My first change was to search “waiter” instead of server, but I was dismayed when the results were solely images of men. I then saw the option to choose waitress, and I realized that the gendered job titles were what was causing the results to be skewed in favor of one gender. In my attempts to attain a fair result, my last search was “restaurant server,” which produced the following.
My difficulty in finding a picture of a server illustrated to me how gendered job titles can create damage. I personally do not understand why I shouldn’t be able to refer to myself as a waiter, since my job is quite literally to wait on tables.
As for “journalist,” I was pleasantly surprised to find that a lot of the images were not of men or of women. To me this was a suggestion that journalism is not focused on the person who is doing the reporting, but rather the material on which they are gathering information. Of the pictures that did contain people, I found it interesting that more of the images were of men, although a lot of those also featured typewriters, smoke, and fedoras, which seemed rather outdated. In comparison, the images of women reporting appeared much more modern.
Finally the results for “CIA Agent” hardly surprised me. I was not really expecting to even see people in these photos, since the CIA is understandably very quiet about their employees. However the images of James Bond and black suits did make sense. Most of the images featured men, which makes sense as the field-agent category (and therefore the most visible and well known sector of the job) is primarily dominated by those of the male gender. The women featured in two of the images seemed to say to me that although females are not highly present, they are certainly welcome.
I resent the fact that it is much harder for women to “make it” in the working world, but I got a nice kick and a better understanding of it from our extra materials, The Glass Ceiling: A Game for Girls. I enjoyed the humor it attached to the situation while still providing a message that is factual and understandable. Although waiting tables is just a summer job for me, I became curious to see what the future holds when it comes to obtaining a “real” job. The Spring 2016 edition of “The Simple Truth About the Pay Gap” explained that although men and women are very nearly equally represented in the workforce (53-47; men), nearly 40% the women working are in traditionally female positions. Of course, these positions tend to pay less than those that are most often occupied by men. Curious to see what a position as a journalist would have in store for me, I looked up the gender distribution of journalists, and found that “the gender distribution of journalists resembles the gender distribution in the general population.”
Comedycentral. “The Glass Ceiling: A Game for Girls.” YouTube. YouTube, 2016. Web.
“The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap.” Spring 2016 (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
Weaver, David H., and Lars Willnat. The Global Journalist in the 21st Century. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.