gender roles

Register for “Own Your Own Football: Conflict Communication and Resolution Strategies”

Join us for de la Femme’s kickoff event on September 28. The topic will be on Conflict Communication and Resolution Strategies for successful professional management.

What you say and do matters for the outcome you want in any given situation.  Whether at the workplace or in our personal lives, we have all been through scenarios where communication barriers result in negative and costly outcomes.  There is always a time, when you need to listen and a time to speak up for yourself.  Ever wonder when is the time to speak and when to listen?  Oliver Wendell Homes Sr. once said, “It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”  Join us with Michele Whitham to learn the insights/skills of successful professional self-management and hone in some practical workplace conflict resolution strategies.


Date/Time: Wednesday, September 28, 2016, at 6 PM.

Location: The Broad Institute, Kendall Sq, Cambridge, MA.

Dinner and drinks will be provided.  Registration is required, sign-in upon arrival.

Register at (Early registration by 9/21 for $10! Register Now)

Visit our website!  

Read a story about conflict communication by one of our members:


Michele Whitham

Michele Whitham is an established employment and privacy lawyer, community leader and owner of Whitham Law LLC, serving clients in Massachusetts, the United States and worldwide. She is a former Co-Managing Partner of Foley Hoag LLP, where she practiced for twenty-five years, and is a well-known lawyer who has been recognized nationally for her accomplishments.

Her many accolades include recently being listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law – Management, co-leading the launch of the inaugural Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts’ Women’s Leadership Initiative, and being named one of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Top Women in the Law. Michele is a 2015-2016 Inductee into the National Association of Professional Women and the Association’s VIP Woman of the Year Circle; a director of the Partnership Inc. (promoting diversity in management ranks).


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Young,beautiful, female, foreign. Guilty?

The dramatic saga of a young woman the world has come to know as Amanda Knox has come to light once more. The retrial of Amanda Knox begins in Italy this week for the 2007 killing of her former roommate Meredith Kercher. Amanda and Meredith lived in the small town of Perugia, formerly known for its chocolate and university before Meredith was found slain only a few weeks into their semester abroad. Amanda spent four years in an Italian prison before the conviction was famously overturned in 2011 and she returned home to the US. By now, the story is familiar to most of us.

What is also familiar is how once more, media cannot focus on the case itself- the sloppy narratives from conflicting sources, the compromised evidence, and the fact that someone else was already found guilty for the same crime always share media coverage with a bizarre focus on Amanda’s classic good looks and sexuality. The thrill and focus on Amanda’s sex life were and will likely continue to be the focus of the prosecution. A beautiful woman, who bought condoms, who had a boyfriend, who had a vibrator, who recreationally smoked marijuana and who had romantic dalliances with more than one man (by the way, media, this generic description likely captures a good chunk of women in their twenties today) has been cast as a vixen. And who kills their roommates? Vixens.

Women who are violent- or who are accused of being violent- are seen as more deviant from society than violent men. Aggressiveness and anger are gender characteristics associated with males. This cultural sexism is on full display in the trial and retrial of Amanda Knox. Her beauty, youth and gender contribute to the confusion surrounding her case. The prosecution relentlessly uses Amanda’s sexuality to shame her and cast her as guilty and have suggested that Meredith died in a sex game gone awry. Amanda’s boyfriend in Italy has even said to the press that their sex life was normal. What is the truth? Who really killed Meredith Kercher? Why has the investigation and evidence been compromised? Our main take away is this: even six years later, while many questions are unanswered, the fact that Amanda’s sexuality has been intensely scrutinized and twisted against her is a fact.

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