In a room full of powerful women in communications, a former politician essentially bragged about not using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. In 2012. To each her own, but seriously? It's too late in the game for all that. Don't be that lady. There are billions of dollars floating around in social media. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.
My friend and colleague Omar Gallaga's 2010 essay on the costs of presenting to people for free has stayed with me for a little while. The same is true for Courtney Martin's column about misconceptions about the costs of online feminism. They each reminded me that there's no such thing as free work.
From he-waxing to "gender-reveal" parties, we've covered a lot of ground in the past two months. Despite the ever-growing "hip factor" of gender neutrality, there's evidence of a powerful backlash. But alongside the media missteps and the horrors of transphobia, we've seen some binary-bustin' events happen around the world.
Memorial Day, a day of remembrance in the US for fallen soldiers, is also a day of shopping for many Americans—at least, according to TIME magazine it is. The social media data in the article suggest that most people were more excited about shopping this past Memorial Day weekend than they have been in years.
A recent Catalyst survey of Fortune 500 companies found that in 2011, women accounted for 14.1% of executive officer positions. They are just 7.5% of top earners in those position, but there are apparently a lot of women being groomed for leadership in the "corporate pipeline."
Back in the day, infants of all genders wore white frocks—white, because it could be bleached of any infant spewage, and frocks, because it's easier to wriggle a baby into a dress than into britches. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1884 toddler photo depicts our dignified to-be president sitting primly in a white skirt and patent leather shoes.
Eventually, parents began dressing their infants in "the colors of springtime," but it wasn't until World War I that those colors became gender signifiers. In June 1918, the Earshaw Infants' Department instructed parents, "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl."
Be friends with the other women (unless they really suck), learn some sports, avoid businesses that promote boys clubby tendencies, and other ways to deal if you can't play golf (I am awful at it, not that I was invited) and you don't smoke cigars.
At the height of attending my friends' baby showers, more than one feminist writer urged me to forego having children. Remaining childless is tempting in a world where the costs of raising kids and taking time off to help raise them are getting higher and higher.
When the Washington Post featured a story about a transgender five-year-old last week, online commenters accused the parents of overreacting to harmless "tomboyishness." But parents who listen to their kids, allow their kids to live as their preferred gender, and guide them through consensual medical decisions are choosing life for their children when the alternative could be far more serious than a temper tantrum.