thread I think it depends on the discipline
as someone who works in the convergence of two extremely male-dominated fields, and can witness day-to-day the absolutely obvious handicaps and obstacles that women face, I have absolutely no problem at all with specific funding, awards and initiatives that are only available to women. If opportunities were balanced then I would take issue with gender-specific funding, but unfortunately things are run by older men who are blissfully unaware of their subconscious misogyny. Women are held to higher standards on everything.

In fields like law, if you have awards which are for all to enter, then it just becomes another old boys club. That's why you need women-specific awards. It's sad but still true.

If you happen to inhabit a sector which has true equal opportunities, then great for you! I definitely don't, and I don't think most professional disciplines in this country are very equal at all. Thus, intervention and support is necessary to help things progress towards that ideal.

What depresses me is that each generation is meant to be more enlightened about these things than the last, and things will be better once the Old Men Who Run Things retire. But we're now seeing a younger generation of men appear who seem to be more sexist, racist and bigoted than their elders, who are consciously misogynistic. I'm interested in what we do about them.
permalink I've got
a few ideas.
permalink That said
the younger younger generation - ie teenagers and early twenties - have grown up with a lot more information at their fingertips, so hopefully that'll help in the long run. Maybe not short enough for us though.
permalink I heard it said
that we now have an adult generation who grew up with youtube comments
permalink Urgh
that can't be a good thing.
permalink I agree with all you say with regard to the disappointment I feel in our current leadership.
The old boys just did not think of women at all - the current cohort do think about it, which makes their behaviour deliberate.

I always feel like women's awards are a bit condescending. 'You did really well, for a girl'. Perhaps if we just made sure we considered the extra barriers to achievement when awarding them? Ideally we would not need quotas or funding, but we do - we need to make it normal, so that we start seeing it in action and recognising that gender imbalance (in every direction) is bullshit.

For sport, in particular though, it is an odd one. Why do we have campaigns for women's events to be paid as much as men's events? Why not have one event and then pick out the woman who came top for a smaller prize, as well as her being in the running for the main 'elite' prize, which is not gender specific.

I know we would then see very few woman in the tennis finals, but then we see very few weedy men or fat fucks like me either.
permalink In the case of awards
I would say it would only be condescending if it were men doing awarding (which it sometimes is)

But everyone knows awards (gender-specific or otherwise) are a load of nonsense - the ceremonies just exist as networking piss-ups, and it's a good thing for women to have some of those without men present, that's the kind of stuff that creates other opportunities without further intervention.

I don't really have an opinion on the sports stuff, as elite level sport is all a bit silly to begin with, and like you say, inherently ablist anyway. I'd pay-per-view for the Fat Fuck Olympics though.
permalink I think an event where it is all women is negative for creating opportunities - you want the men
there to see it.

I also think that if men are not involved in the awarding (or rather, if men are excluded) then you again run the risk of devaluing the awards.