Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Monday, July 10, 2017

"Feminist Fight Club"/ "Forget deoderant, we need real work to solve wage gap"

Sept. 9, 2016 "Feminist Fight Club": I found this article by Zosia Bielski in the Globe and Mail today.  It was about women experiencing sexism in the office work place.  It was a good article.  It actually kind of "grinded my gears" when I was reading it.  (The joke is from Family Guy where Peter makes complaints on his segment on the news.) 

How often does your boss ask you to “take notes” at a meeting? Do you find yourself getting interrupted by colleagues who blather and take up your airtime during a pitch? When’s the last time you found yourself fetching a cake for the office holiday party?

Depending on your gender, the answers will differ wildly, says Jessica Bennett, a New York Times journalist whose new book Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual (For a Sexist Workplace) shines an unsparing light on the casual and often oblivious workplace sexism of 2016.

While today’s offices are hardly a Mad Men stage set – the offending party probably considers himself a feminist, or she might be a fellow woman – Bennett combed the research and unearthed a disheartening number of “statistically common” sexist scenarios still percolating in even the most progressive offices.

They are irritating moments most professional women will recognize from their day-to-day, such as that men interrupt their female colleagues at twice the rate of other women. Or that women are labelled as dominating for speaking a mere 25 per cent to 50 per cent of the time in meetings. Or that men are deemed “busy” when they refuse extra work, while women take a hit on their likeability and their performance reviews when they push back in a similar way.

“Long-ingrained attitudes don’t just evaporate in a generation,” writes Bennett of today’s quieter, slyer brand of gender discrimination at the office.

Most problematically, women face a lingering gender wage gap: Women working full-time in Canada still make just 73.5 cents for every dollar men make. Women are one-quarter as likely as men to ask for a raise, asking for less when they do. During salary negotiations, women are more likely to be bluffed by bosses who resist giving them raises, using excuses such as “budget cuts.”

To combat these inequalities, Bennett and her female friends did what millions of women do: They got together after work, ate, drank and bitched. They described helming duties many rungs above their official job titles and pay grades, or having their ideas co-opted by bros, or “bropropiators,” as Bennett calls them. But their “feminist fight club” wasn’t all griping: The women would also vet each other’s résumés, promote each other professionally and pick up the lunch tab for those who were temporarily unemployed.

With her book, Bennett hopes to expand this corporate consciousness-raising exercise beyond her friend circle. Her advice is shrewd, direct and often searingly caustic: A chapter titled What Would Josh Do? How to Carry Yourself with the Confidence of a Mediocre Man recommends women start acting more like men to get ahead. The 34-year-old author spoke with The Globe and Mail from New York.

The sexism of yore was blatant, your boss pinching your ass. Given that most workplace sexism today is not overt or even intentional or conscious at times, why did you want to take it on with a book?

With the subtle sexism today, it’s easy to turn inward and question whether you’re crazy or imagining it. What we see today – a guy interrupting you in a meeting, or the internal self-doubt women face – is a systemic problem, not an individual one. It’s a product of years of not being in power. It doesn’t have a legal definition and there aren’t systems in place to prevent it: No matter how many diversity training or sexual-harassment workshops you require employees to take, they don’t necessarily deal with these issues. It’s on the individual to deal with it and it’s hard to call this stuff out.

This book aims to help women address men who are minimizing them at work. These are often modern men who think they’re living in a postsexist world. How do you reach these guys without spooking them?

That’s what’s so tricky here: This guy you really like is doing it, a guy who calls himself a feminist but keeps interrupting you every time you speak. He doesn’t even realize he’s doing it. In a lot of cases this behaviour is not malicious. With my generation, millennials, the research shows that men want to do the right thing. Still, when you’ve had privilege for a long time there are behaviours embedded in you. Unless somebody calls you out, you’re unlikely to recognize it. That was the thinking behind playfully calling them out and giving them simple ways to change.

So many successful women still suffer from “imposter syndrome,” a feeling that they don’t deserve to be where they are. You believe imposter syndrome is today’s version of feminist Betty Friedan’s “the problem that has no name” – the malaise of housewives in the fifties and sixties.

The psychological theory of imposter syndrome has put a name on this feeling that so many women – I would venture to say every woman – feel at one point or another: that you don’t belong, that you’re a fraud. It’s common in people who have the pressure of being the first ones to do something. Women don’t feel imposter syndrome at home but they feel it in the workplace because they haven’t traditionally been there. Maybe some day we’ll get to a place where women will feel imposter syndrome at home, because they aren’t used to being there.

You also write about women sabotaging themselves. Why do women play down their professional achievements as “luck,” tremble at the thought of asking for a raise, or haul their baked goods into the office?

These things run deep. We’ve been told for so long that you should be grateful for what you have and be loyal, put your head down and eventually the recognition will come to you. Well, that doesn’t always work.

More on that baking: Is it really bad to bring your world-renowned chocolate peanut-butter squares into the office?

If you’re spending your time baking cakes or organizing the office holiday party, it takes valuable time away from working on high-visibility projects that get you noticed and earn you respect. While people may like those who bring cupcakes to the office, they’re not necessarily going to respect them. Women have to be very careful deciding to do those kinds of tasks. It falls into the stereotype of woman as a caretaker.

Beyond self-sabotage, some women also chronically undercut other women. What’s going on there?

We are taught that there are only a few spots for women in business roles or at the top. Women are only 4 per cent of Fortune 500 CEOs. Of course you’re going to feel like you have to elbow the woman next to you. I’ve felt competitive with other women many times during my career and I’ve had to check myself: Can’t we help each other? I’m trying to remember this the next time I think a female boss is being bitchy or has it out for me, or that a younger female employee is going to take my job. Instead I try to connect with that person, whether it’s going out for a drink or having coffee, to try to become allies.

Jun. 27, 2017: There are 8 comments on this article on the Globe and Mail website.

"Gretchen Carlson's $20- million settlement": I found this article by Leah McLaren in the Globe and Mail today.  It's about a woman winning sexual harassment lawsut.  I can't copy and paste it onto here.  However, "it's hard to celebrate" because women who win sexual harassment lawsuits, on average get a small $30,000.  I'm sure some of you are like: "That's still a lot of money."

Oct. 15, 2016 "Forget deodorant, we need real work to solve wage gap": Today I found this article by Leah Eichler in the Globe and Mail.  It's a good article.  There are 82 comments on it already and the article was put up 11 hrs ago:

When Secret deodorant came out with its #StressTest commercial, in which a professionally dressed young woman rehearses in front of a mirror her demand for equal pay, it appealed to my sense of justice.

Like many other women who have advocated tirelessly to end the gender wage gap, I related to it on so many levels. Even the company’s caption on the video – “Why are women still getting paid less than men when they’re just as awesome?” – while cutesy, struck a chord.

It took a few moments before I realized I’d been had and that Procter & Gamble, Secret’s parent company, is actually doing little in this commercial to narrow the wage gap. In fact, the underlying message in the commercial suggests that the wage gap exists simply because women don’t ask for equal pay. Under all the emotional rhetoric, all Procter & Gamble is really doing is selling women’s deodorant. (Ironic, especially considering that gram for gram, women’s deodorant is usually priced higher than men’s.)

Unfortunately, when real recommendations are made to narrow the gender wage gap – as they were in Ontario by the Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee in June – they don’t get the same viral attention as a well-placed and creative deodorant commercial.

Admittedly, it’s challenging to make an issue like the gender wage gap sexy.

Part of the problem is that the concept still befuddles many, who argue women work fewer hours or take on less lucrative careers than their male counterparts. In fact, the gender wage gap refers to the idea that women do not achieve the same economic outcomes as men, given their levels of education and participation in the labour market, explained Emanuela Heyninck, pay equity commissioner for Ontario and one of the report’s co-authors.

“There are many ways to measure the gender wage gap, many of which do account for hours of work and occupational choice. Even accounting for these factors, the gender wage gap exists at every level of job and across all sectors,” Ms. Heyninck said.

While it may be tantalizing to latch onto a quick-to-comprehend ratio – a woman working full time in Canada makes 73.5 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to updated Statistics Canada income data produced for The Globe and Mail in March – the truth is that the gap varies depending on various factors, such as age and occupation.

In Ontario, the gap ranges from 14 per cent to 26 per cent, and is more pronounced for indigenous and visible-minority women and those with disabilities. While the gender gap has been narrowing over the years, lately that progress has stalled. For example, the hourly wage gap narrowed by four percentage points from 1997 to 2015, but it increased between 2014 and 2015, with men’s average pay rising by 99 cents an hour while women reaped only 52 cents more.

It bears repeating that the gender wage-gap issue remains important, not only because it’s an ethical issue but a clear financial one. The report includes research conducted by Deloitte for the Ontario Ministry of Labour that shows that a qualified woman, with the same socioeconomic and demographic characteristics – education, age and marital status – as a man received, on average, $7,200 less a year. That amounts to a loss of $18-billion of annual income for women, or 2.5 per cent of Ontario’s annual gross domestic product.
So how do we fix it?

The report lays out 20 recommendations but implementing just two – improving data collection and increasing transparency – would leave a significant mark.

The first includes encouraging companies to collect data about their own work force to determine whether a wage gap exists. If it does, companies should also figure out how and when the gap emerges. For example, Ms. Heyninck said that in some corporate cultures, women with caregiving responsibilities may be penalized and passed over for advancement or training opportunities, despite working full time and balancing these responsibilities.

When it comes to caregiving, cultural expectations differ for men and women and, as a result, women are more likely to find themselves in part-time jobs.

Another important change would be greater pay transparency. While in our business culture, revealing an individual’s compensation seems as if it were an infringement of privacy, precedents exist in unionized environments and in the public domain. Take, for example, Ontario’s “Sunshine List” of provincial and municipal workers earning more than $100,000 annually, Ms. Heyninck said.

“Both of these examples have shown that pay transparency can be achieved without substantial harm. Some form of pay transparency will make it easier for workers to understand how they are paid, whether they are being paid based on objective, fair principles, and will enable them to engage in salary negotiations on a more level playing field,” she added.

These are only two of the suggestions listed in the report that could have a major impact on the lives of women and families. While the report may not be as entertaining as watching a commercial, it will actually make a difference – no deodorant needed.

Jun. 27, 2017: There are 94 comments on this article on the Globe and Mail website.

Nov. 7, 2016 "A kinder, gentler, greener Wal-Mart?": Today I found this article by Anne D'Innocenzio in the Edmonton Journal.  I can't copy and paste it here:

"It plans to refine how it buys food so less of it goes unsold, and any that does is converted to pet food or fertilizers or diverted to charities."

That's good that a company is helping people and reducing less waste.

My week:

Jun. 26, 2017 A baby meets his dad's twin brother:

When your dad is a twin...

We realise that most twins can't actually pull a Parent Trap in real life — they really aren't able to switch places and have no one notice. Well, with one adorable exception.

A proud father and his adult twin brother proved they can still pull a "who's who?" fast one on the tiniest of humans. Brothers Stephen and Michael Ratpojanakul teased Stephen's infant son, Reed, by handing him back and forth and putting on and taking off their glasses. His response? Utter confusion.

Just like the viral video of a mum and her twin sister tricking her baby, this one is already being shared around the globe, with more than 2.3 million views since it was posted earlier this weekend. See the cuteness for yourself — we guarantee you'll watch it more than once.

Jun. 28, 2017: I am going through all my notes:

Arabia closing down: There is this East Indian restaurant on Jasper Ave that's closing down by the end of this month.  I was passing my resumes out last week and the worker told me that.

Shipwreck Marine: I was looking for a job and I found this place.  I find that it is a bad company name.  It seems like bad feng shui to call your company a shipwreck.

Law of attraction:

Legionnaire: This happened like 2 weeks ago.  A co-worker P asks me how to pronounce this word.  Then G says it means soldier.

I looked it up:

 "a member of a legion, in particular an ancient Roman legion or the French Foreign Legion."

Waking up early: Also on that same day, I was thinking about and writing about waking up earlier and before you're supposed to, to go to work.  I then woke up 1 hr earlier before I was supposed to.

Bumping into 3 people from work: A month ago I was passing out my resumes in downtown.

I bumped into E who used to work as a hostess and she was working as a food counter attendant.

I bumped into M who also used to work at a hostess and she was working as a security guard.

I saw my managed An while he drove by.

Modeling: I have this co-worker Mi.  We talked about how she is tall and she should try out modeling.  She told me that she did when she was younger and did some modeling jobs as a kid.  Then she got to teens and was more into school and her mom did not really approve of modeling and how it was all about weight.

Anthony Jeselnik: I went to this social event a couple of weeks ago and this guy told me about this stand-up comedian and how he is offensive.  There is a YouTube video that is put up on the site.  I listened to it for 1 min. and it was offensive.

The Compass: I wrote this down and I think I found out about this through one of those telesummits I listen to:

Biology governs 20 percent of our lives; the remaining 80 percent is up to us. With this in mind, wellness expert John Spencer Ellis set out to create a life guide to help people realize their potential and achieve success. The Compass is the result. Tracing the journey of a character called the Traveler, the film provides the motivational messages and tools you need to lead an outstanding and fulfilling life. - Written by Anonymous

Jun. 30, 2017 Martin Kerr: I was reading the article "From street performer to playing Rogers Place" by Tom Murray in the Edmonton Journal.  I then thought: "Didn't I write about him before?"  I then looked it up on my blog, and I wrote about him back in 2012:

Martin Kerr: Martin Kerr was singing and playing his guitar at the City Market.  When I got there he was singing Oasis's song "Wonderwall."  Here's his website where you can listen to his music and buy his cd:

Artworks Festival: I went there on a Tues. afternoon.  In the morning I read the business section of the newspaper and the news.  I read a business book.  I decided to have a little fun by looking at all the art there.   

Say_it_how_it_is 7 hours ago
Wanna close the wage gap?
1. Change your major from feminist dance anthropology to engineering
2. Work the same same hours as your male colleagues

+29  -2

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Burnt Norton 5 hours ago
3. Learn the difference between wages and earnings

+3  -7

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TBitty 5 hours ago
Check out the statistics that say men are the ones that pay all the taxes and women are the ones taking from the pot. Even if there was a gender pay gap (there isn't), men would be supporting them through taxes.


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