Hello Dr. Nagoski! I posted this reply earlier, but it seems to have slipped by your notice. (or perhaps you were simply taking some time to reply, in which I apologize for reposting!) In any case, I’d very much love to get your take on my questions below. Best.
(copied from my earlier reply)
That’s an outstanding slate of conductors for the SWACDA conference! Those singers are in for a real treat.
And I agree with your statement about balance being a shifting state. With that statement, however, are you saying that there is no way to measure improvement/success objectively when it comes to eliminating sexism in this instance? I’m still just trying to understand what you envision a balance to be, objectively. If we can only measure something subjectively, then everyone’s sense of ‘balance’ will be different, and I think you’d agree, that’s no way forward.
Please don’t think I’m being too nit-picky or that I’m trying to make a point below. I’m genuinely trying to understand what you envision by “balance”. Taking the SWACDA conductors, here’s an objective breakdown along some of the lines you mention in your original post, along with some other aspects (some of these figures are guesses, I don’t know exactly the ethnic backgrounds or exact ages of these folks):
% of Women vs. Men: 80%/20%
% of Amercans of African descent: 20%
% of Americans of Asian descent: 20%
% of Americans age 25–35/36–55/56-up: 0%/80%/20%
+There is a man conducting the men’s choir
+A woman is conducting the treble choir
I know you’re not trying to say that “a man should never again conduct a men’s honor choir or a woman the treble choir”, I’m still just trying to understand the balance you’re seeking and how the above group displays that balance. I promise I’m not trying to prove a point or being dense on purpose! I’m genuinely asking and I genuinely want to have a better understanding of what you envision the absence of sexism to be in this case, and how we might all be able to objectively measure it. If we (everyone, not just you and me) could come to this understanding, I think that could really make a positive difference going forward! Thanks again for all your time responding. I’m really finding this helpful for my understanding.
p.s. I really enjoyed reading your “Home is where” story. I graduated from WCC MM Choral Conducting. Your remark about feeling at home in Megill’s Choral Lit class really rang true for me as well! Such fond memories.