Posts tagged feminism
Posts tagged feminism
I had no interest in reading Lean In, because I had seen Sheryl Sandberg’s TedTalk and figured I got her point. I just didn’t like it.
And that point was: women shouldn’t scale back their ambition because they might have kids someday. Instead, we should lean in to our careers, because we don’t know if/when we’ll have kids. Also, the world needs more female leaders, and it’s up to us.
It all seemed annoyingly preachy, like Michael Phelps telling us to train harder for the 400 i.m. without asking, “Hey, do you even want to swim?”
Alysha, 21, was born and raised in a Dallas suburb, and is now a senior in college, double-majoring in Computer Science and English. She was generous enough to talk to me about being a woman in CS, what’s wrong with feminism today (you’ll never look at feminism the same way), and living with Celiac Disease. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did!
I’ve been wasting my life in writing workshops, trying to articulate ideas, and generally believing the Bird by Bird bullshit that “the process” can help one understand the world.
All this time, I’ve been thinking like a little girl and had I been serious about myself or my career, I would’ve been thinking like a boss.
I want to spare you these mistakes and more importantly: save you time. Because even a boss can’t buy time.
So tired of dating Neanderthals :(
Crossing #BeringStrait next month. Any tips?
Just ate half a mammoth. #JEAH
Me hunt and me gather and me no die in childbirth #NoteToMyEx
Tired of sitting around fire, talking. See these cavegirls all day. —what I say to myself, every day
I’ve been all kinds of catty in my life, and every instance can be boiled down to this arc:
—I envy something in another woman (her style/smarts/skills/confidence).
—I feel threatened by that trait in some way (she will take my job/man/place in a friend group).
—I make a dig.
—Inevitably what I fear never comes to fruition.
—Later I realize that envy was showing me something (a skill, a trait, an attitude) I’d like to cultivate. Or it’s something I’ll never, ever cultivate, but it would be so nice if I would!
Just kidding, I have more to say. I also want to talk about Helen Gurley Brown. But seriously it all boils down to “move on” so you might stop here.
I’ve been thinking about this ever since the Olympics. Seems like people who bashed Lolo Jones missed an opportunity to dig a little deeper into the way our world works.
Why do we love the prettiest more than the most talented? Or do we? Do marketers have us pegged wrong? Why are some athletes so good at selling themselves?
Tell me that story.
Inspired by media coverage of Lolo Jones.
1. Making the Olympic finals is not Olympic success.
2. Anna Kournikova (ranked 8th in the world in tennis singles and #1 in the world in doubles) was a bad tennis player. All marketing, that hussy! Seriously, who among us wouldn’t be Top 8 in the world if we tried?
3. If you work the system, the system is your fault.
4. You cannot be a beautiful 29 year-old virgin and pose nude in a magazine. Too confusing!!! How do you expect me to reconcile that paradox?
5. If you’re a woman and you get endorsement deals that showcase your good looks and rockin body, you are: a sell-out, a sex kitten for sale, not focused. If you’re a man and you do this, you’re every famous athlete, ever.
This weekend, I spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not I can have it all. Like legions of privileged American women, I, too, read that Atlantic article on Friday.
I sent it to several friends, and enjoyed extensive email chains on the topic. But the more I thought about it, the more my opinions kept evolving. And then backlashing!
Are hyper-successful women such as Anne-Marie Slaughter (and Sheryl Sandberg last year) the best messengers for work-life balance?
I’m thinking no.
Sometimes I think the most subversive thing you can do as a woman is to just be OK with who you are.
I KNOW, I KNOW, that sounds so barfy and faux-feministy. I hate anything that smacks of privileged women whining about our world.
Because of all the people who have legitimate beefs with Society, I’m not one of them. I should be talking about flex time and affordable child care. But I am going somewhere with this!
I am going to an anecdote.
Caitlin Moran, How to be a Woman
AAAAAAAH I swear I will stop quoting this woman. I’m giddy—imagine how you’d feel if you discovered Tina Fey and Sarah Vowell on the same day (rolled into one British writer).
I’d never read Moran until this week but she’s a columnist at The Times of London. (Quick aside: my British friend Rachel tells me that only Americans feel the need to add “of London” to that newspaper.)
Anyhoo, yesterday I shared a quote in which Moran compared sexism to Meryl Streep—both are so subtle and crafty that often you don’t immediately spot Meryl or sexism. I love this, but I wondered if, out of context, it could seem unoriginal. Or worse, it could be boiled down to a whine: “Sexism is everywhere! Even when you don’t notice it! Men are jerks!”
So I wanted to find a quote that was a little more thought-provoking, or “rock and roll” as Moran described her brand of feminism to the Guardian.
As a woman, I’ve always assumed that not enough stories about my gender have been told, and that too little value was placed on traditionally feminine talents by the men who wrote history. This gives me something new to consider. I’d love to know what you think.
Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman
I’d type the entire book here for you if it weren’t a) illegal and b) hard to read on a blog. My friend Rachel told me about How to be a Woman when I was in London, and I thought, wow, a book with that title has to be a little bit interesting. And oh my stars! I’m taking the local train around town (essentially tripling my commute time) in order to avoid that moment when I have to put down this book.
Yesterday I mentioned my lifelong affection for Miss Piggy, and was reminded that she is a highly polarizing figure.
In particular I was struck by a comment from this man:
“I’d like to turn her into a BLT.”
A few months ago, Ilya Gerner wrote a post called “Feminism, a Love Story” and pointed out that only 24% of American women consider themselves feminists, even though an overwhelming majority feel they have it better than their Mom’s generation, thanks to feminists.
How bratty and ungrateful of those 76% of American women!
Or so I thought.
Even on bad days, something I can always cling to is this: at least I’m having a bad day in 2011. Although I’m useless domestically (and borderline destructive), tall (5’11”) and unmarried (in my 30s!)—I’m obviously fine. Perhaps a little quirky or whatnot, but nothing that makes anyone like, sad for me. At least not to my face.
Find nice berries. Gather.
Eat more figs. Oil hair. Stop comparing myself to Athena!!!
Stop fucking talking to snakes.
Catch nice knight. Convince Mom and Dad to throw in extra pigs for dowry.
Ask natives how to plant corn. Teach myself to sink?