OgilvyAsia Admin
Gender
Don’t Label Me

Welcome to today’s roundup, themed around the issue of how we all label ourselves—and others.

“Mr.,” “Mrs.” and “Ms.” are being shown the door at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In a new policy that has sparked debate among academics, CUNY officials have advised school staffers to refrain from using gendered salutations. And no, “Hey you” is not a valid substitute.

Data mining continues to reveal fascinating snippets about gender perception. Take, for example, the Northeastern University history professor who built a chart using data from 14 million student reviews on the Rate my Professors site. He found that students were far more likely to label male professors as smart, brilliant, and genius, whereas women more often were described as bossy, helpful, or annoying.

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Speaking of: Are you a woman who’s called aggressive, bossy, bitchy, or even ball buster or ice queen at work? Rather than fret about it, keep calm and carry on, writes Judith Humphrey, founder of The Humphrey Group, a leadership communications firm in Toronto. The underlying idea: If you don’t give the labels any power, no one else can.

So far, Bruce Jenner has remained silent about speculation that he is preparing to live as a woman and may even appear in a reality series about his transition. But his friends aren’t denying it. Some think Jenner could help normalize the issue, while others fear his story could add a “weird factor” to an issue desperately in need of deeper societal understanding.

The ultimate in labeling in a negative way? When it means you might never be born because of your gender in the first place. In China, the gender gap continues to widen every year as parents continue to try to rig the game for male babies. In Shanghai, according to this article, about 112 boys were born for every 100 girls in 2014. In response, Chinese officials in the world’s most populous nation vowed to crack down on gender-fetus tests, which are illegal there.

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