TIME

UN Women Breaks Off Partnership with Uber

Just weeks after they announced partnership to create 1 million jobs for women

UN Women has cancelled a partnership with Uber that aimed to create jobs for women at the company after objections were raised about Uber’s safety record with women and treatment of its drivers.

On March 10th, UN Women and Uber announced a partnership to create one million Uber jobs for women by 2020, as part of their endeavor to increase economic empowerment for women around the world. But on March 12th, the International Transport Federation published a letter criticizing the partnership, noting that Uber drivers often lack basic job protections like minimum wage and health care. “Women already make up a high percentage of the precarious workforce, and increasing informal, piecemeal work contributes significantly to women’s economic dis-empowerment and marginalization across the globe,” the ITF wrote. Uber jobs, they said, would “not contribute to women’s economic empowerment and represents exactly the type of structural inequality within the labor market that the women’s movement has been fighting for decades.”

So in a speech last week, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka quietly cancelled the partnership. “Not only are we listening, we are aligned,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said. “I also want to assure you that UN Women will not accept an offer to collaborate on job creation with Uber, so you can rest assured about that.” (UN Women is the branch of the United Nations that works to empower women and girls and to end gender discrimination.)

[H/T Buzzfeed]

TIME sexism

Google Exec Eric Schmidt Called Out for Interrupting the Only Woman on Panel

How Innovation Happens - 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival
Amy E. Price—2015 Amy E. Price Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google speaks onstage at 'How Innovation Happens' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 16, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW)

Hint: don't manterrupt when a woman is talking about corporate diversity

After a panel on innovation at SXSW in Austin on Monday, Google executive Eric Schmidt was called out for repeatedly interrupting U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, the only woman on the panel.

During a Q&A session after the panel, someone pointed out that Schmidt was repeatedly interrupting Smith without noticing, and asked Smith how she felt about the unconscious bias that affects women. It turns out that the person who called out Schmidt was Judith Williams, who just happens to be the Global Diversity and Talent Program manager at Google.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 4.49.35 PM

While she didn’t use that specific phrase, Williams was criticizing Schmidt for “manterrupting” Smith, a phrase my colleague Jessica Bennett brought to light earlier this year. Here’s how she describes it:

We speak up in a meeting, only to hear a man’s voice chime in louder. We pitch an idea, perhaps too uncertainly – only to have a dude repeat it with authority. We may possess the skill, but he has the right vocal cords – which means we shut up, losing our confidence (or worse, the credit for the work) … And the result? Women hold back. That, or we relinquish credit altogether. Our ideas get co-opted (bro-opted), re-appropriated (bro-propriated?) — or they simply fizzle out. We shut down, become less creative, less engaged. We revert into ourselves, wondering if it’s actually our fault. Enter spiral of self-doubt.

It’s a handy reminder: no matter how important you are, wait your turn.

[h/t Jezebel]

Read next: How to Speak With Power

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MONEY women

5 Ways Women in Tech Can Beat the Odds

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Corbis

The biases many female technologists face are unfair — but women in STEM fields can still get ahead by using smart, unintuitive strategies.

These are tough times for women in technology. Female workers are flooding out of tech company jobs, a phenomenon blamed in part on the industry’s patterns of sexism.

A recent Center for Talent Innovation study found that women in science, engineering, and technology are 45% more likely than male peers to leave their industries. Many cite a feeling of being stalled in their careers and excluded from their workplace’s culture; a whopping half say their coworkers believe men have a genetic advantage in math and science. And 44% agreed with the statement, “A female at my company would never get a top position no matter how able or high-performing.”

Meanwhile, a gender discrimination trial now under way has highlighted the ways female employees can be shut out of high-level positions in Silicon Valley. Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao is suing her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, alleging that senior managers systematically excluded her and other women from promotions available to less-accomplished male colleagues.

Though it’s unclear whether Pao will win—the bar is high to prove gender discrimination, and the firm is arguing that she simply was not qualified for the role—her story has undoubtedly struck a chord among many women with experience in the tech world.

If these scenarios resonate with you (or someone you care about), there’s still some good news: Despite the odds against women in technology, both research and anecdotal evidence suggest there are approaches female techies can use to rise up. Here are five of them.

1. Be Assertive, Not Aggressive

Most women in tech are pretty used to holding minority status at work. But that doesn’t make being the only female among many male peers any easier, says Kellye Sheehan, a Hewlett Packard senior manager and president of professional association Women in Technology.

“A lot of times I would be the only woman in the room, and I would notice patterns of male colleagues testing me,” Sheehan says. “One once tried to steal my employees and give me bad business advice.”

Being put in that sort of situation can feel like a Catch-22: If you fight back, you might be seen as overly sensitive or shrill, but if you do nothing, you could come off as weak.

Indeed, a recent study suggests that women with more “masculine” traits like self-confidence are seen as more competent than stereotypically “feminine” women—but they are also seen as less “socially skilled” and therefore suffer backlash effects.

The good news? The researchers found that when a “masculine” woman also exhibits social grace and self-awareness, she gets more promotions than other women and men. So while both men and women should of course keep it classy when they stand up for themselves, women have even more to gain by doing so.

As for Sheehan? She held off on responding right away and chatted with her husband, a fellow engineer, about how he’d handle the situation. He suggested she “throw a brushback pitch,” a move pitchers make in baseball to get batters to stop crowding the plate. That advice worked out, says Sheehan.

“In front of the group I said, ‘No, you can’t have Joe and Tom, and here’s why your advice doesn’t make sense,'” she says. “I spoke plainly and wasn’t overly aggressive and he stepped back immediately and said, ‘No harm meant.'”

2. Dream Big

A common mistake that female entrepreneurs make, says Women Who Code CEO Alaina Percival, is getting too hung up on the plausibility of their ideas. It makes sense: Being prepared with facts and figures seems like an important defense against those who don’t take you seriously.

“Women pitching to investors can be overly analytical, focusing more on reality than their vision,” says Percival. “The truth is you have to embrace a kind of ‘fake it til you make it mentality’ in tech. If you say your idea is worth 100 million dollars, an investor won’t ever imagine it as one billion.”

In fact, pitching yourself as a risk taker can really be a great move for women leading startup companies, a new study suggests. Researcher Sarah Thébaud of U.C. Santa Barbara found that switching a male name for a female name on a business pitch made people rate the idea lower, suggesting a bias against female entrepreneurs. But when she did the same experiment using proposals for especially unusual or novel startup companies, that bias was reduced significantly.

Such a finding is not immediately obvious. You might think that if a woman presents “a business idea that’s particularly risky, it might further undermine her ability to gain credibility and support,” says Thébaud. But instead, she found, “innovation signaled possession of the stereotypically ‘entrepreneurial’ traits and abilities women are otherwise perceived to lack.”

The takeaway? Don’t be afraid to share your bigger visions—they might just earn you big money.

3. Don’t Promise—Surprise

Conventional career wisdom is that you should always underpromise and overdeliver when trying to impress at work. That may seem especially true for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, who already have to overcome beliefs that they are less competent as leaders.

“You’ll often see, in a meeting of equal engineers, that women are asked to take notes,” says Percival. “Or when discussing a new position, people will use gendered language and say, ‘We need to hire a really awesome layout guy.'”

As a consequence, women may feel they have to do additional work to get the same recognition a man would get. But all extra effort is not created equal: Recent research suggests that you aren’t helped by going above and beyond what you commit to doing. That’s because the very act of making a promise mutes the potential happiness your boss or client will feel when you deliver—even if you exceed expectations.

The solution, according to study authors Ayelet Gneezy of U.C. San Diego and Nicholas Epley of University of Chicago: When you really want to impress, hold back on making any promises and just surprise people with your finished product.

4. Brag Better

It is often said that women in technology need to be better at “selling themselves” to compete with male peers, who typically find it easier to trumpet accomplishments. But that is easier said than done.

“Women are culturally expected to still come off as especially humble,” says Percival. “That makes it hard to overcome the embarrassment associated with bragging.” Sheehan agrees: “We stay quiet and hope that if we work hard and have lots of output, we will get promoted.”

The problem is that staying silent about your accomplishments often means you’ll get passed over, as others are rewarded with more responsibility and higher salaries.

Of course, the idea of boasting might make you uncomfortable—and rightfully so. (One of the criticisms Ellen Pao faced from her employer was that she was arrogant.)

One way to overcome your discomfort with bragging is to do it in writing, suggests Sheehan. You could send your boss an email, for example, documenting your team’s successes for the year, making it clear that you played a leading role. The benefit of email is that you can have a few trusted friends or colleagues read over it first, to help you fine-tune your tone.

And worst-case scenario, if you ever find yourself having to prove you were the victim of discrimination, it can’t hurt to have messages about your accomplishments—as well as your boss’s response—in writing.

5. Find Sponsors, Allies, and Resources

Many accomplished women in tech cite mentors and “women-helping-women” channels as key factors in their success. But getting ahead takes more than a little networking or advice. Having good relationships with your colleagues in general and garnering support from higher-ups makes a huge difference, says Sheehan.

“A mentor is someone who will teach you and help you learn and grow,” she says. “A sponsor is someone convinced of your abilities high up in the organization who will advocate for you when you are not there.”

A key factor in winning the support of bosses and coworkers is showing you are a team player and have a thick skin. Society teaches women to be sensitive to criticism, Sheehan says, so it’s especially important to show you are the bigger person after a disagreement. You might even want to take a page from the stereotypically male playbook and invite a difficult colleague (plus a group, if that’s less awkward) to grab a beer after work, which could allow you to hash things out in a more laid-back way.

Finally, consider the power of new female-friendly initiatives sprouting up all throughout the tech world. Half of women who leave the science, technology, or engineering industries keep using their training, whether at a startup, government or nonprofit job, or working for themselves. That suggests that opportunities outside of the box are growing more common.

For example, there’s PowerToFly, a company that matches women in technology with jobs they can perform remotely. Cofounder Katharine Zaleski has explained that she created the business in part because she felt biased against mothers in the workplace—until she became one herself.

“There’s a saying that ‘if you want something done, then ask a busy person to do it.’ That’s exactly why I like working with mothers now,” she wrote this week in a FORTUNE commentary. “If they work from home, it doesn’t matter if a kid gets sick.”

If you have tech skills you want to improve or showcase, there are engineering schools explicitly for women, such as Hackbright Academy, and contests like a new hackathon restricted to female entrants—starting today, March 6—in which women can compete for prizes like a MacBook Air or iPhone 6.

And when all else fails, don’t overthink it.

As Kelly McEvers at NPR wrote, perhaps the best way for women in tech to approach obstacles isn’t to “Lean In,” but “Lean To The Side, And Let It Pass By.” If you’re tired of all the unsolicited advice given to women in tech—as well as the balancing acts you’re asked to perform—just take a breath and remember you’re already beating the odds.

Read next: The 5 Best Ways Men Can #LeanInTogether to Help Women Get Ahead

TIME psychology

Why Men Are More Narcissistic Than Women

Men sitting on bench wearing colourful socks
Noel Hendrickson—Getty Images

Narcissism has long afflicted more men than women — but that could be changing

If there’s one thing you can say for craziness, it’s that it’s not sexist. Across entire populations, males and females face a pretty equal lifetime risk of coming unhinged. Within conditions, however, there may be differences. Women are twice as likely as men, for example, to develop depression. Anxiety disorders such as OCD and phobias also hit women a bit harder.

Narcissism, however, goes the other way. Research has long suggested that if you’re looking for someone who’s preening, strutting, self-absorbed, arrogant, exhibitionistic, conceited, insensitive and entitled, you’ll find more of them in the boys’ camp than you will in the girls’. So it comes as, well, almost no news at all that a new study — hold your applause till the end, please — found exactly that!

The research, in fairness, was sweeping: a meta-analysis of 355 journal articles and other studies going back 31 years. In the behavioral sciences, which lack the tidy, 1+1=2 certainty of fields like chemistry and physics and math, meta-analyses are often the best way to lock down a hypothesis. The paper did that, but it did more too — not just establishing the gender disparity but explaining why it exists.

In my 2014 book, The Narcissist Next Door, I wrestled with the question of narcissism and gender, and came to the conclusion that our still patriarchal society is far likelier to tolerate — even encourage — narcissistic swagger and aggressiveness in men than it is in women. It was hardly a theory I developed de novo, but rather is one many researchers had voiced — thought not yet proved. The researchers in the new study — led by Emily Grijalva, an assistant professor of organization and human resources at the University of Buffalo School of Management — broke down their metadata in ways that highlighted three of the multiple categories of narcissistic behavior: grandiosity and exhibitionism; leadership and authority; and entitlement.

Men ran away with the entitlement category (we’re looking at you, John Edwards, Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen), and led by a narrower gap in the leadership and authority category. “Compared with women,” Grijalva said in a statement that accompanied the study, “men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power.” That too is consistent with a culture in which men don’t merely hold more positions in government and high finance, but seek those positions more as well.

But when it comes to exhibitionism — the basic table stakes for boys and girls dreaming of growing up to achieve their true full narcissistic potential — the sexes start off pretty much equally. As happens so often in a sexist world, however, that potential — O.K., pathological potential — is squelched in girls while it’s encouraged in boys.

“Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations,” Grijalva said. “In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for [them] to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior.”

Gender equality, of course, is a surpassing good, and the arc of history is inevitably bending its way. It will, alas, almost certainly mean narcissistic equality too. Let’s hope that the growing ranks of female narcissists conduct themselves better than the boys have.

TIME movies

Goldie Hawn on the Infuriating Reason There Wasn’t a First Wives Club Sequel

Greg Gorman

"You don't own me..."

Nineteen years ago, The First Wives Club proved that a movie starring self-proclaimed “women of a certain age” could not only become a huge cultural phenomenon, but could also be a box office success.

So why didn’t the instant classic (which cost $30 million to make but grossed $181 million) get a sequel? In a recent interview with Harvard Business Review, Goldie Hawn says that we can thank Hollywood’s notorious gender pay gap:

The big money goes to kids and young men—big tent-pole movies, which are expensive but have a great return. The smaller movies aren’t being made as much. For instance, First Wives Club. We were all women of a certain age, and everyone took a cut in salary to do it so the studio could make what it needed. We all took a smaller back end than usual and a much smaller front end. And we ended up doing incredibly well. The movie was hugely successful. It made a lot of money. We were on the cover of Time magazine. But two years later, when the studio came back with a sequel, they wanted to offer us exactly the same deal. We went back to ground zero. Had three men come in there, they would have upped their salaries without even thinking about it. But the fear of women’s movies is embedded in the culture.

While it’s certainly disappointing that there was never a Second Wives Club, it’s good to know that Diane Keaton, Bette Midler and Hawn took Lesley Gore’s mantra to heart:

[Harvard Business Review]

TIME politics

Shhhh, Rand Paul: A Guide for Politicians on How Not to Talk to Women

Calm down, let me finish.

Most politicians know by now that making a major gaffe against women can lead to mocking on the feminist blogosphere and alienation of crucial female voters. That’s why the GOP even made a bunch of candidates sit through sensitivity training sessions on how to run against women. But these days, it’s hard to know exactly what might irritate women, so what’s a guy to do?

No, no, shhhh, calm down, gentlemen, no need to get upset: here’s a handy cheat-sheet of 5 things male politicians should never say to women.

1) “Sshhh”: When Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky repeatedly shushed CNBC’s Closing Bell co-anchor Kelly Evans, it came off as obnoxious and condescending. Especially when he paired it with “calm down” and “let me finish” before mansplaining that “your premise and your question is [sic] mistaken.” Women too often feel shut out of public debate, so literally trying to quiet a woman tends to grate.

2) “Attractive”: Here’s a good rule: Only compliment a woman’s appearance if she’s in your family (as in “mom, you look pretty”) or you’re romantically involved. Otherwise, hold your tongue in public, even if you think you’re being nice. When President Obama called Kamala Harris the “best-looking attorney general in the country” it came off as awkward, and when former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin called now-Sen. Joni Ernst “as good looking as Taylor Swift,” it made him look like a little weird.

3) “Ugly as sin”: If calling a woman politician attractive can come off as smarmy, calling her unattractive makes you look like a jerk. Republican New Hampshire lawmaker Steve Vaillancourt called U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster “ugly as sin” in comparison to her opponent, Marilinda Garcia, whom he called “not so attractive as to be intimidating, but truly attractive.” And when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York revealed that male colleagues had called her “porky” and “chubby,” it sparked a near-witch hunt to find the offenders in Congress.

4) Her first name: Using a female candidate’s first name instead of her title in a formal political context can come off as belittling. Just look at when Republican Thom Tillis debated then-Democratic Senator Kay Hagan for her North Carolina Senate seat. He repeatedly called her “Kay,” instead of “Senator,” causing one state reporter to say he “stopped just short of calling her ‘little lady.'”

5) Anything about being “likeable”: Obama’s lame quip that Hillary Clinton was “likeable enough” was another big gaffe from their 2008 face-off. (2016 Republicans, are you taking notes on this?) If you want people to like you, don’t talk about whether they’re likeable.

The bottom line: Treat women like other adult professionals, and you’ll be OK.

TIME sexism

Female Veteran Shamed For Parking in Veterans-Only Spot

Profile of United States Marine saluting
Getty Images

Nasty letter-writer assumed she wasn't a veteran

A female Air Force veteran parked in a veterans-only parking spot, and somebody wasn’t happy about it.

Mary Claire Caine of Wilmington, N.C., returned to her car after a trip to the grocery store and found this nasty note on her windshield: “Maybe [you] can’t read the sign you parked in front of … This space is reserved for those who fought for America … not you. Thanks, Wounded Vet.”

Actually, Caine was stationed in Kuwait and served on the flight line of the F-117 Nighthawk. She told WECT that her two kids always get excited whenever there’s a veteran-reserved parking space open at the supermarket.

Caine said she was shocked to find the note on her window. “For a split second I thought, ‘Am I a worthy enough veteran to park in this spot?’ And, then I got very angry at myself for even considering that,” she said.

“I think they took one look at me when I got out of my car and saw that I was a woman and assumed I wasn’t a veteran and assumed I hadn’t served my country,” Caine told WECT. “They have this image of what today’s American veteran is and honestly if you’ve served in the United States military, you know that veterans come in all shapes and sizes. I question whether the person who left the note was fully aware of that.”

“I want them to know they owe me and every other female service member who’s fighting now and who’s fought in the past, an apology for jumping to conclusions,” she said.

[WECT]

TIME women

What I Experienced From Online Dating as a Black Woman

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xoJane.com is where women go to be their unabashed selves, and where their unabashed selves are applauded

The majority of the messages I received, mostly from white men, fetishized my appearance and sexualized me based solely on my race

xojane

I try to remind myself that no one ever said online dating would be a wholly pleasant experience. There is an inherent awkwardness that comes with entering the world of swipes and algorithms, and it’s simply unavoidable.

I grew up and into an era during which the Internet has basically informed much of my identity and sparked many of my most important relationships — I’ve met some of my closest friends via sites like LiveJournal and Tumblr. And today, there’s no twentysomething I know who hasn’t met a bae or a jump off via some app or online service. So there’s no real sense of the taboo when it comes to dating online.

I created my first online profile in 2013 on OkCupid, a tiny baby step into unfamiliar territory with no real set goal in mind. All I knew was that as someone painfully shy around men, dating in the real world, in New York City, felt downright impossible. If anything, this was a way for me to gauge my own interest, and to date in a way that felt a bit more intentional, a bit more on my own terms.

And because I had girlfriends who told me about their escapades on the site, the good and the bad, the inevitable creeps and trolls, I felt relatively prepared for an imperfect if interesting experience.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the horror story that is online dating as a black woman.

Recently, OkCupid released data on race and attraction amongst its users, which revealed messed up but unsurprising realities about how people navigated the site.

Compiled by the site’s cofounder Christian Rudder, the data showed that black people and Asian men were least likely to get a date on the site. Black women specifically, the research showed, were at the very bottom of the barrel, receiving the fewest messages and likes from all races of men, and the least amount of responses to outgoing messages. Latina and Asian women, overwhelmingly, got the most likes and responses.

Rudder’s take on the data was pretty vague. “Beauty is a cultural idea as much as a physical one, and the standard is of course set by the dominant culture,” he said. “I believe that’s what you see in the data here.”

The narrative about black women and dating, about our lack of desirability and dateability, has been one I’ve actively tried to unlearn, despite a constant, nagging feeling that the reason I couldn’t get a date was because of the so-called stigma. But in my first major foray into the world of online dating, what struck me wasn’t so much this idea of not being wanted, but the kind of men who apparently wanted me.

A few creeps and trolls I could handle just fine. But from day one, I got tons of messages, many of them one or two word lines like, “Hey sexy,” and a larger majority of them reading, “Hey chocolate.” These weren’t worth the energy it took to respond.

The chocolate thing, though, kept coming up. Gradually, I began to notice a theme — the majority of the messages I received, mostly from white men, fetishized my appearance and sexualized me based solely on my race.

There have been so many ridiculous and offensive messages, too many to count or read. Many I’m not even comfortable sharing in this essay.

“Do you taste like chocolate?”

“Is it true what they say about black girls?”

“I’d love to slap dat big juicy booty.”

Once a guy was good enough to message me just to tell me that I look like “something you find in the zoo.” Another man, after luring me into a false sense of security by opening with a pleasant enough conversation about one of my favorite TV shows abruptly changed the subject to pose the question: “Do you act black?”

I asked him what exactly he meant by that.

He replied, “I like black women minus the attitude. Why is that wrong to ask? Haha.”

Haha, indeed.

In the three years I’ve been on OkCupid, I’ve only met up with a handful of people, mostly because it’s been impossible to meet anyone who doesn’t open or end conversations with offensive, racist, sexually aggressive language. A brief sojourn into Tinder world marked the worst of it — someone called me the n-word when I said I didn’t want to meet with him. I automatically deleted the app and haven’t been there since.

I know that I don’t represent every black girl’s time spent in the online dating world. I have black girlfriends who’ve had relatively decent, pleasant interactions, which is wonderful. But I also know my experiences aren’t unique. I do still wonder who else out there has put up with this kind of unwanted attention. The OkCupid data suggested Latinas and Asian women get the most attention on the site, but I can only imagine what kind of attention they’re getting — creepy fetishizing, no doubt.

It hasn’t all been bad, of course. In the past year I’ve met a few guys online who have been fun to hang out with, and a couple whom I’ve actually really liked. But I’m taking an indefinite break from the online dating world. Partly because I want to experience different forms of dating, but mostly because the energy of weeding through hundreds of gross and racist messages from strangers is, to me, the very opposite of self-care.

Last year, some important conversations were sparked surrounding the kind of street harassment women face on a daily basis. There needs to be, I think, a similar conversation about online harassment. Because it’s not just the dating sites where women are subjected to this kind of behavior.

On my Tumblr blog I’ve gotten creepy messages, and had my personal photos posted on ebony fetish blogs. Some might say that the solution to avoiding this kind behavior is to delete my blog or my profile, to block the guys I don’t like and focus on the ones I do.

I say that I shouldn’t have to do that to begin with.

Zeba Blay is a writer in New York. This article originally appeared on xoJane.com.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME leadership

Only 20% of Republican Women Call It Important to See a Female President in Their Lifetime

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Hero Images—Getty Images/Hero Images Businesswoman looking out office window

But most people think women are effective business and political leaders, says a new Pew study

Correction appended, Jan. 14

The glass ceiling may not have shattered, but it is a lot less invisible than it used to be. Women make up only 20% of the Senate, 10% of governors, and 5.2% of Fortune 500 Business leaders. But at least Americans are beginning to understand why: sexist doubts about women’s competence are being slowly replaced by acknowledgement of the tough hand dealt to women leaders.

Not everybody feels that situation should change: A new Pew study says only 20% of women who identify as Republican consider it “personally important” to see a female president in their lifetime.

Mostly, however, Americans attribute the gender gap in leadership roles to structural inequalities, and sexist perceptions of female performance are actually relatively uncommon, says the study: 43% said that double standards keep women from achieving top business positions, and 38% said that kept them from political office. Meanwhile, fewer than 10% of people think women aren’t achieving these positions because they’re not tough enough or they make bad managers.

When it comes to gender equality in the business world, there’s a wide perception that women perform just as well as men, if not better. Most people said they saw no difference between how men and women perform in top business positions, but those that did see a difference tended to give women the edge: 31% said they thought women were more ethical and 30% said women would give fairer pay (although 34% said they thought men would be more likely to take risks.) Respondents said they thought women would do a better job running a hospital, a retail chain, or a large bank, while men would have better skills for running a professional sports team, an energy company, or a tech company.

But “soft skills” aside, 52% of women say the reason there aren’t more women running companies is because female CEOs are held to to higher standards than men. And it’s unclear whether these standards will ever disappear completely: 53% of respondents said men will dominate corporate leadership forever, while 44% said the gender gap at the top will eventually close.

Politics is a little different. A full 73% of Americans expect to see a female president in their lifetime, and while most respondents still thought men and women would do equally well in top political positions, 34% say women are better at working out compromises and are more ethical than men. Yet the double standard persists—47% of women believe that women don’t achieve high political office because they’re held to higher standards than men.

Unsurprisingly, the political opinions break down among party lines as well. Democrats are consistently more likely to attribute positive leadership skills to women: 40% of Democrats said women politicians are more honest than men while only 31% of Republicans agreed.

In both business and politics, women seem to be much more aware of the challenges facing female leaders than men are. Almost three quarters of women think it’s easier for men to become CEOs, compared to 61% of men, and 73% of women think it’s easier for men to be elected to political office, compared to 58% of men. Women were also much more likely to recognize gender discrimination by almost a 2o point margin (65% of women, compared to 48% of men,) but of that group, only 15% of women said there was “a lot” of discrimination. Both men and women said they saw more discrimination against gay people, African-Americans, and Hispanics: 28% said there is “a lot” of discrimination against gays and lesbians.

When asked whether more women in leadership roles would approve the quality of life for all women, 38% of women said that more female politicians would help them “a lot.” Only half as many men agreed.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described one of the findings of the Pew study. It found that 20% of Republican women “personally hope” to see the United States elect a female president during their lifetime.

TIME women

10 Most Sexist Responses to Reducing Women’s Public Toilet Lines

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Adam Gault—Getty Images

Soraya Chemaly is a media critic and activist.

The response isn’t about toilets, but about women demanding more than they are “given”

Last week, many people took time out of their busy schedules to tell me I was a moron, should shut up, and should learn to urinate like a man. These suggestions, ranging from irritable to misogynistic and violent, came in response to an article I wrote for TIME about the history and politics of women waiting in line for public toilets. In an effort to better understand opposing points of view, I’ve categorized the objections into 10 themes:

  1. Women should learn to stand, commonly understood to be a superior method of elimination. Many people even pointed me to helpful products. The argument goes that women should stand to overcome their “inferior biology,” whereas men sitting “like women” is emasculating—even though 30% of men surveyed prefer sitting. After millions of sit-to-pee gadgets were sold in Germany and people in Sweden started teaching boys to “be a sweetie and take a seatie,” there was a backlash among men in Britain and the United States lamenting the end of men. If you think women standing is “empowering” but men sitting is emasculating, tell the U.S. Navy, which eliminated urinals on aircraft carriers in 2012.
  2. Women may have to wait in lines, but men’s rooms are disgusting. However true, this objection is irrelevant to women disproportionately waiting in long lines. And there are efforts to clean up men’s bathrooms. In Taiwan, Japan, and Sweden, there are public health initiatives for men to sit because standing is less sanitary and less healthy, and urinals take longer to clean and come at greater public cost.
  3. Women should stop preening in front of the mirror. I could find no studies that measure this stereotype. However, several consumer surveys found that men spend more time grooming in general. In any case, women aren’t standing in lines for mirrors, but for stalls.
  4. Women should stop going to the toilet together. In many countries, including ours, girls are frequently socialized to go to bathrooms with others because they have to be ever vigilant about avoiding rape. In point of fact, young boys, sexually assaulted just as frequently, should be taught precautions too. Instead, rape myths maintain that boys can’t be raped, so we put them at higher risk and mock girls for “staying safe.”
  5. Your female opinion must be dismissed. Many people didn’t read the article, concluding that I was saying, for example, that “peeing standing up is sexist.” They saw the word “sexism,” and responded with a profusion of unimaginative gendered slurs, like “dumb b**ch.”
  6. Stop lying. Among the rebuttals I received were: “No woman breastfeeds in public restrooms,” and “How can you say women stand in lines more than men?” Yet there is an entire campaign to raise awareness about women breastfeeding in public restrooms. As for men waiting in lines: yes, this happens, most often in places where there are comparably few women (e.g., Silicon Valley or the military).
  7. This isn’t “the battle that feminism should be focused on.” The issue here is a centrally important one: we need to understand and stop perpetuating discriminatory norms developed when women had almost no legal rights and were largely barred from contributing to defining culture. This basic problem is as true in the law, medicine, and media as it is in the design of public spaces.
  8. Stop “being a victim” because “no one is making women wait in line.” Unfortunately, women can’t actually walk away from the bodily-fluid-filled reality of our lives, including leaking breast milk, seeping blood, or bladders possibly being crushed by pregnancy. Pointing out this reality no more makes a woman a victim than if a man describes a problem with the low height of stroller handles.
  9. This is the result of biology, so deal with it. As one person on Twitter put it, “biology doesn’t design toilets.” It matters that people who do not have these concerns make up the vast majority of legislators, the foreign service, our military, and humanitarian aid decision makers. Women’s input and meeting women’s basic physical and safety needs are important, and incorporating them would mean more effective solutions to everything from urban design that includes better sanitary facilities to disaster relief to environmental policies.
  10. This is a “first world problem” because “women in the middle east (sic) are getting acid thrown in their faces after they’ve been raped” and “men go to war.” These issues are global ones, as India’s “Right to Pee” campaign, and China’s “Occupy Men’s Toilets” protest illustrate. Setting aside the implied dismissal of egregious gender-based violence in the United States, which is firmly in the middle of the global pack, women do suffer gravely elsewhere, including, notably, from having no safe access to sanitary facilities. Even in our recent past, this problem has inhibited girls’ ability to attend school and women’s ability to work. It contributes to illness and exacerbates poverty. In disasters, our inability to plan for women’s bodily needs results in higher mortality rates for girls and women. As for war, militarism is directly linked to gender inequality and sex segregation.

All of this in response to the simple question of why women are still not having their basic needs equitably met. During the past three decades, laws focused on “Potty Parity,” an infantilizing term redolent with Victorian shame, have been passed in the United States, and yet the problem persists. Increasingly, as the result of effective LGTBQ activism, communities are developing organic and often hybrid solutions, including gender-neutral bathrooms, that more equitably address everyone’s needs. If Viennese urban planners have done it for their city, surely we can do it for our public toilets?

Outraged people, employing ad hominem attacks, suggested I’d posited a “conspiracy,” and were particularly put out by the word “sexism,” something they associate with an individual’s explicitly intended discriminatory behavior. So why such virulent responses to an article about reducing women’s wait times and recounting history? The response isn’t about toilets but about when women—and other historically marginalized people—demand more than they are “given” and stop quietly accepting historically permissible marginalization in the public sphere.

Read next: The Everyday Sexism of Women Waiting in Public Toilet Lines

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