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.
I was lucky to have a combination of humble and down to earth mentors in real life and to understand how it important it was to be careful about who you take your cues from in the business world. What works for everybody else may not work for you, especially if you are a feminist.
The New York Times writes that our country is in such economic peril that men who used to be able to work respectable white collar positions or even blue collar ones are now intrepidly and patriotically finding honor in the lowly positions of women. Apparently it has been this dire for at least a decade. A Times analysis showed that occupations that are more than 70 percent female accounted for a third of all job growth for men between 2000 to 2010. Equal Opportunity Employment now extends to white college-educated men. Congratulations, ladies, your work is so easy men can do it and get paid more while taking your jobs.
Feminists at work, whether they are mothers or not, have yet to reconcile several conflicts related to class, race, and culture. Most conversations about women in the workplace fall along two lines: they are single and ruthless, or they are coupled and supported outside of corporate work by a partner who helps them tend to family life. I have a feeling that there are many more working feminists who get left out of the discussion, though I can't figure out why that is.
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.