Book Review - Sex: Lessons From History by Fern Riddell


Book cover.

These are the facts: throughout history human beings have had sex. Sexual culture did not begin in the sixties. It has always been celebrated, needed, wanted and desired part of what it means to be human. So: what can learn by looking at the sexual lives of our ancestors? What does it tell us about…

Continue reading →

The return of the "armchair auditor"


a cartoon robot saying equal pay now.

About a million years ago, the then Coalition Government in the UK announced a slew of Open Data projects. They wanted - in their words - to "mobilise an army of Armchair Auditors". That is, ordinary people would be able to look through the data and find interesting errors. I'm a civil servant (this is…

Continue reading →

Gendered 2nd Person Pronouns


The Terminator is a terrifying metal skeleton with glowing red eyes.

English is a stupid, irregular language. But at least it doesn't needlessly ascribe gender to inanimate objects. However, I think this is a weakness when using 2nd Person pronouns - especially in fiction. Most literature is written in the 1st person ("I opened the door") or the 3rd person ("She picked up a fork"). But…

Continue reading →

Book Review: A History of Women in Men's Clothes - Norena Shopland


A book cover of the title embossed in tight silk.

Traditionally, historic women have been seen as bound by social conventions, unable to travel unless accompanied and limited in their ability to do what they want when they want. But thousands of women broke those rules, put on banned clothing and travelled, worked and even lived whole lives as men. As access to novels and…

Continue reading →

Titles and Pronouns


Some giant question marks standing in a field.

I am not a linguist, nor an expert on gender. I'm just trying to muddle my way through this confusing world the same as anyone else. The English language is adaptable. We'll happily bodge words together to make new ones, verb our nouns, and grammar-flex to the point of breaking. It's a fun language! English…

Continue reading →

How popular are "And Daughters" businesses?


Shop sign - Marlow and Daughers. Via https://flic.kr/p/a6S2rR

It's quite popular to see high street shops names "Somesuch and Sons". Indeed, my grandparents ran "Eden & Sons" for many year. Much rarer is seeing "... & daughters". But, of course, the plural of anecdote is not data! The UK register of businesses - Companies House - has a pretty good search engine. Doing…

Continue reading →

Default Ordering Of Title Options


An extremely long title list which includes Right Honourable, Wing Comander, Dame, etc.

I was signing up to a website the other day, and it wanted to know my title. Here are the options it offered me: Look, I get it. If I'm ever daft enough to undertake a PhD and masochistic enough to complete it - I am going to demand that everyone addresses me as Doctor…

Continue reading →

Book Review: The Gendered Brain by Gina Rippon


Gendered Brain Book Cover.

Do you have a female brain or a male brain? Or is that the wrong question? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your sex determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries. But what does this constant gendering mean for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour?

Continue reading →

Episode 25 - The Pay Gap with Rainey David


A quick chat with Rainey David all about the gender pay gap. Including top tips on how to value your worth to your employer. Find out more at ThePayGap.com https://shkspr.mobi/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Rainey-Paygap.mp3Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:27 — 1.0MB)Subscribe: Google Podcasts RSS

Continue reading →

Top 10 reasons to attend an all-male event


There's been lots of talk recently of the dearth of women attending technical conferences. This problem is blown out of all proportion! There are many excellent reasons to attend an all-male tech event: Reduced chance of having an affair while away on business ⚤ Hetrosexuals only! Won't accidentally mistake a CEO for a cocktail waitress…

Continue reading →