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    June 09, 2008

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    BlackCowboy

    Calling women "broads"(as the boys and I often do)is VASTLY DIFFERENT from dropping "N" bombs on us folk of colour.For one thing,I don't believe many women were lynched in the pre-Civil Rights U.S.,but THOU-
    SANDS of African-American men were subject to such treatment,often capriciously.(Also,most feminists are
    blatant racists;see Obama-Clinton U.S. Democratic
    Party Presidential campaign,oh,and how many feminists have black husbands or boyfriends,not that we handsome black lads would grant a second look-or the FIRST if we can avoid it-to those fat,fugly,b***hy broads?)

    Joker

    Race and gender shall always be topics of discussion and sadly addressed mainly in rhetoric fashion since many people don't like to answer said questions or address certain issues.

    For instance, I'm a late 20's Hispanic I try to be respectful and well mannered even if I am the human equivalent of a cuss factory. That being said, there are some situations worth mentioning of my experience stateside in predominantly white agencies.

    1.) Why did an HR get tense every time I came into her office to ask something? I doubt it was attraction because for some reason it came off as if I was perceived as a threat... a sexual threat at that. Paranoia you might say? Possibly, but still, it always seemed like she got excessively tense with my presence.

    2.) I don't know how many times I got the: "Is that a Hispanic thing?".

    3.) Every time I spoke people asked why I didn't have an accent. I simply replied that all Hispanics are not "Tony Montana meng" and when I spoke accentless Spanish, they were just a tad more baffled.

    And that's just being Hispanic. Black colleagues got endless amounts of pain over their race and coming from a blatantly heterogeneous culture, it took a while for me to get used to prejudice and racial bias... oh wait, I still don't get it. The same went for Asian friends of all countries (India, China, Japan, Korea and even Pakistan).

    Then I have female friends who have faced the same situation on countless occasions. Talented, responsible women who get underpaid for the crass crime of having an XX chromosome, a pair of breast and a vagina. Do I understand this either? No. But I mainly don't understand prejudice and when you have to reduce any argument or situation to race, religion or gender, you're demonstrating why we fail to get along as a society.

    Black people are just different. Hispanics are just different. White people are just different. Women are just different. Any of these statements could be true with enough discussion and the acquiesce of someone who doesn't want to recognize or shout that we can all donate blood to each other.

    Regarding misogyny though, which is the topic initially illustrated, yeah, it exists and I think it's retarded, childish and ignorant. But those are the people that end up running our companies. Old white men who call women broads, savor the gin and tonic on their breath while ogling on a female employee's ass and wonder why Jeremy, Jack and Jose don't have a mop and bucket or simply go back to the brown or yellow country they came from. Ignorance is not bliss, it's just the way things are run by a lot of people but slowly but surely, there has been progress.

    People, a white woman and a black man were competing for the democratic presidential nomination. That's the bare essential of it and though people can make a case that it was an elitist black man and a power hungry woman competing, it still doesn't change the fact that gender and race came second in this primary race.

    Great post by the way.

    Cheers

    Black Canseco

    It's always funny how "sexism" comes up with little or no mention of the hypocrisy regarding how WOC (Women of Color) are treated.

    I'm a 17 year creative vet of the industry--midwest and east coast; and even today, I can still count the number of Black Women, hispanic women and Asian women in GM shops on one hand compared to the number of White Women in the biz.

    Renetta McCann's recent departure from Starcom reminds me of how few Black Women in any position of power this industry embraces.

    As for Black males? If you see more than 2-3 at a time, let me know.

    Now do White Women run into glass ceilings and discrimination? Sure. I've seen that up close.

    But what I've seen Black, Hispanic and Asian women go thru in the business would make the women who rail against glass ceilings check into an insane asylum.

    And what's sadder is quite often, Women of Color and even men of color are discriminated against by white women in this biz as well as by white males--who get blamed exclusively for this.

    And again, once you add Black Males and Hispanic male professionals to the discussion, that glass ceiling turns into a cement ceiling with barbed wire and armed guards.

    Everybody's got problems but don't get so self-absorbed as to not see the bigger picture.

    HighJive

    Well, as an individual highly interested in the bias and discrimination prevalent in our industry, here are a few random thoughts (which may not make a lot of sense, as it’s late at night):

    1. Sexism in advertising is not considered a big problem because among all the groups discriminated against in the industry, women are doing the best. That is, you’ve made the most progress. Yes, you continue to get screwed big time—literally and figuratively—but you’re still doing better than ALL groups not in the majority. Need proof? Take your post and replace the word “women” with any other minority label, and the points become truer and more dramatic. Even bonnie richmond’s Clio example works: 10 women probably still outnumber the Blacks, Latinos, Asians, etc. judging that event. This is not to say you’ve got it good, or even that you shouldn’t complain; rather, it’s simply an observation. In some ways, your “success” might be the biggest obstacle to getting anyone to realize there’s still a problem.

    2. Don’t know yasmin sahni (I’m presuming sahni is a female). But her points are both valid and destructive too. As with all discussions related to bias and discrimination, the only diversity you’ll find is with the generated opinions. Working at CP+B shouldn’t make one’s points more or less valid. Indeed, everyone knows that place is a total Boys Club, especially the boys running it. That aside, the global discussion always inspires all sorts of responses. Simply visit any discrimination-related post at The Big Tent at AdAge.com and you’ll see what I mean. Ditto any discussion about the racial components of Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign and candidacy.

    3. You wrote: “First, because - in general - I really don’t believe the men who are part of these boys club cultures mean any harm. Meaning: If made aware of their behaviors, they may be predisposed to stop.” Good luck. The same could be said about the other forms of discrimination in our industry, and there’s been little progress there too. Even subpoenas and threats of legal action don’t seem to faze folks.

    Before this all sounds too negative, I’ll say I think things will ultimately get better over time. It’s largely a generational thing, IMHO. We’ve just got to hang tough until the Boomers retire and/or die (no offense to the progressive Boomers like ad broad). At the same time, we also shouldn’t hesitate to call out the inequities, as you sought to do with this post. Otherwise, the bad habits, attitudes and behaviors will remain.

    Ad Broad

    Thanks for speaking out so eloquently on this issue which has, for some reason, become unmentionable. (Like maybe if we don't talk about it, it will go away?) Should be required reading at management off-sites.

    @Bonnie--interesting stats

    Advergirl

    Normally I'd want to take on Yasmin. But, hell, the woman works at CP&B. She's got a valid soapbox to speak from...

    I will say though that if assimilation and compromise are the answer, I am definitely part of the problem.

    yasmin sahni

    it is this kind of article that makes it even harder for women in this business.
    but attempting to define an "other" group and labeling it a boys club, only results in feeling like you are on the outs b/c you don't possess a penis. i say drop that martini and learn to drink a beer, and maybe just maybe you will learn to develop different kinds of relationships with agency leaders.

    Bonnie Larner

    Leigh, research shows that 83% of total purchases in the US are made by or influenced by women.

    Just popped over to the latest Clios Awards page and found this:

    Interactive Judges: 32 total, 4 women
    Radio Judges: 15 total, 1 woman
    TV/Cinema Judges: 15 total, 0 women
    Design Judges: 5 total, 1 woman
    Content/Contact Judges: 5 total, 1 woman
    Print/Poster/OOH Judges: 15 total, 3 women

    Total Clios Judges: 77 men, 10 women


    Best,
    bonnie
    richmond, va
    USA

    Phyllis R. Neill

    OUTSTANDING article - really enjoyed reading it.

    Phyllis R. Neill, www.shementor.com

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