It's only been a little while and I'm already missing Joan and Peggy from Mad Men. I can tell because their roles this season made me think about the archetypes of women in the workplace and how some of them have played out in popular culture.
This of course was prompted by Joan's power play and Peggy's uneasy flirtation/acceptance of power.
Here in the 21st century, women who wield power in business are placed into one of a few categories. You can add more.
Anne-Marie Slaughter's new cover story for the Atlantic is out today. In it, she discusses how "women still can't have it all" and outlines some possible solutions to the work-life conundrum she's faced in her career as a professor and government official.
I don't have a child, but on behalf of my parent friends who are working and have to make special arrangements, I was outraged to read this Think Progress story about how the U.S. measures up compared to other nations.
Do you encounter male condescension at work? Does it come from men in traditional marriages—which I assume means partnerships in which women don't work? Was it verbal or in the form of failing to promote you? I was trying to figure out if I ever had this experience with women being condescending, too, because I wasn't operating according to the corporate culture the way they deemed I should. I think I can count more women like that on both hands than I can men—but that might just be my experience.
For a long time I was overly modest about my work and sometimes I still am. But I have male colleagues and peers who go overboard talking about themselves and their work. At the end of the day, they get better-paying and more frequent gigs because they know how to advocate for themselves. Nobody tells them that they need to pipe down because no one wants to hear it. Self-advocacy is huge.
Women rarely get credit for anything, especially not in the tech field, and generally not in any field where women are in the minority.
So, when the New York Times wrote about Ellen Pao's sexual discrimination lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, it will not suprise you that the lead essentially obscured women's contributions to the creation of the Internet while also managing to be a pretty crappy start to an otherwise compelling story:
I'd like to spend the next eight weeks with you looking at the history of weddings and marriage in Western culture, talking about how marriage is used as a tool of civil and economic inequality, and how the gender binary plays a role in how we think about weddings and helps to fuel the wasteful consumerism associated with THE SPECIAL DAY. Mainly I'd like to look at how anyone can say NO to the pitfalls of the wedding industrial complex.