feminism

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We Do Not Have as Much Time in the Day as Beyonce

You do not have as many hours in the day as Beyonce. As one might expect of a fashion company, other people in my office have expertly decorated desk spaces. I love looking at everyone’s little tchotchkes on my way to fill up my water bottle, all the while trying not to look like a creeper while getting distracted and walking past my own desk because I’m staring at everyone’s decor.

Somewhere between the office kitchen and my desk, there’s a sign above someone’s desk, proclaiming, “YOU HAVE AS MANY HOURS IN THE DAY AS BEYONCE.”

It’s been bothering me for awhile, but it’s taken weeks for me to nail down exactly why.

Yes, we all have 24 hours each day. That’s true.

The idea that we all have enough time to look phenomenal, work our asses off, exercise regularly, cook decent food, spend quality time with loved ones, experiment and try new creative endeavors, be recognized as leaders in our industries, and still have time to sleep enough to not be an ogre is misleading, and dare I say, damaging.

Beyonce has someone telling her how to work out, and probably spends hours doing so each day. I bet she has excellent childcare. My guess is that someone probably cooks, cleans, and does her laundry for her. The list goes on. The point is, she’s got lots of help. And all of that is wonderful! I wish I had all of those things (except childcare  — that’s unnecessary at this point in my life), and I certainly don’t begrudge her that. I think it’s great. Good for her.

It’s very Lean-In-esque: Tell women they’re just not working hard enough. If we just lean in, surely we can be as powerful and dynamic in all spheres of life as Bey. Work harder! Lean in! You have as many hours in the day as Beyonce!

Well, I call bullshit. Maybe it’s just that I’ve had a difficult few months and a chronic overcommital problem, but this sentiment is kind of insulting and breeds 1950s-housewife levels of feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and shame.

Let’s please be kinder to ourselves. Give ourselves a little grace. Unload just one responsibility that doesn’t bring us joy or rest. Really examine how we want to spend our time and what is a healthy way to harmonize the disparate pieces of our lives. Let’s believe that we really can do all the things, maybe just not all at once. And that is totally ok.

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Weekend Pairing: Women in Media

Have you seen that #NotBuyingIt hashtag flying around on Twitter, especially during high profile events like the Super Bowl? That campaign came out of Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s 2011 film Miss Representation, which profiles just how disturbing women’s representation in the media really is. The film includes perspectives from high profile media personalities (everyone from Katie Couric to Margaret Cho) and middle school girls alike. Miss Representation‘s website is full of more information, statistics, and ways to get involved in fixing this mess. Also, in putting together this post, I discovered that Siebel Newsom has a new film called The Mask You Live In, An Exploration of American Masculinity, coming out this year, and I’m really excited to see it.

Killing Us Softly: Michelle Pfeiffer Esquire TouchupsIf you took any women’s or gender studies classes in college, you’ve probably at least heard of Jean Kilbourne. A former model, she started collecting images of women in advertising back in the 1960s and ’70s. She started doing presentations about how women are portrayed in the media, and eventually filmed it, creating Killing Us Softly in 1979. That original documentary has been reworked and updated several times, and the most recent version came out in 2010: Killing Us Softly 4. You can stream it on YouTube in four parts:

Even if you’ve seen either of these before, they’re always worth a rewatch. You’ll seriously never see an ad the same way again. I’d love to hear your thoughts these films or issues! Feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences in the comments.

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Lunchtime Reads 11.4.13

Fall DahliasBringing Art Home: What is the fruit of creativity worth to us? We are totally blessed to have been gifted with tons of art for our wedding, but I understand the hesitation to spend money on art. I think many people probably focus on the practical necessities (especially those with Mennonite/Anabaptist backgrounds, and probably other specific backgrounds as well), but what if art is also a necessity? What is the worth and role of beauty, art, and creativity?

Get Specific about your dreams. Sure, you can say you want a more interesting and inspiring life, but what does that specifically look like? Kathleen reminds us that if we want to move in the direction of our dream job, dream life, or dream travels, we need to take action. Dreaming vaguely doesn’t get ish done. Getting specific does. This is definitely something I need to work on, though I’ve certainly improved over the past year.

Quilts, maps, history, and more. This is rad & makes me want to quilt more than ever. Pouring my love, time, and self into something so practical & beautiful (I clearly love the marriage of form and function, practicality and art — see above!), is super appealing to me. Alas, it’s also super time consuming. I can do it all, just not all at once. Learning to quilt will have to wait.

I’ll admit, I’m biased, but I’m incredibly proud of Chad for writing this post: Subconscious Life Lessons: My (White, Male) Narrative is More Important Than Yours. One of the things that I love about him is his willingness to accept criticism, improve, and evolve. He’s bravely and publicly taken time to reflect and examine his own privilege as a white male: “It’s awful to think but doubtlessly true that people who are not white or male learn the same lesson in our culture: That the white male narrative is the main story arc, and everyone else plays a supporting role.” But he points out that if those of us who aren’t part of the main white male story arc don’t speak up, the world is missing out on a multitude of stories and perspectives.

Likewise, Garann Means encourages non white non male humans to blog about code & give zero fucks. Her words, not mine, though I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment. I’ve struggled with this personally & will be thinking about venues to practice writing about code. Hesitating to write about code is doing me no favors, no matter how little experience I have. There’s still people who know less than I do and could learn from something I share.

What interesting things have you been reading ’round the interwebs lately? I want to know!

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Lunchtime Reads 7.17

Lunchtime ReadsErin Loechner has been absolutely killing it lately with incredibly thoughtful posts that ask meaningful questions about style, design, and life. This is one of my recent favorites.

I’m learning a ton about myself and my needs and wants during this sabbatical. I’m also learning a ton about design and development, and taking every opportunity I can afford to learn more. This method of hacking your own grad school education definitely won’t work if you want to work in academia someday, but for the rest of us, it seems like a really great option.

This article makes me so glad I left my last job when I did. That, and it makes me appreciate the beautiful adjustable standing desk I just bought all the more. No job is worth your mental health. Ahem. I repeat, NO JOB IS WORTH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.

I really love this post from Roz Duffy on giving yourself permission. Just because my educational background is in the humanities doesn’t mean I can’t pursue a new technical career. I am allowed.

A Practical Wedding takes a critical look at feminism and domesticity. I love the idea of the family being a unit of production rather than a unit of consumption. Also, I love and identify with this quote: “I love my frilly aprons and KitchenAid stand mixer because they are reminders of the things my kick-ass feminist family members taught me to do for myself. They are not symbols of a secret desire to stay home and raise babies, but reminders of my mom’s and grandma’s lessons to stay strong and raise hell.”

 

 

 

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She Tech Philly — A resource for women in technology

Ever since Lady Hacks, I’ve been working with an amazing group of women on She Tech Philly, a central hub for women interested in the Philly tech scene to find meetups, events, and information. We’ve been meeting fairly regularly over the past month or so since Lady Hacks, and we were finally able to officially launch on Saturday, the day of the Philly Women in Tech Summit. Lauren, Darlene, and I were at the summit talking about the site, handing out stickers, and of course learning as much as possible.

She Tech Philly

I’ve really had an amazing and totally unpredictable year since last year’s first Women in Tech Summit. My year since that event is really worth a post in itself, but I consider this event to have been such a catalyst in the direction I’ve been moving towards. I couldn’t have imagined the ways my life has changed in the past year, and I’m so grateful for it and for the hardworking and supportive people I’ve met along the way. So here’s to LeeAnn, Darlene, Alexandra, Lauren, Kelsey, Leslie, and all the other women who had a part in the site coming together from its inception at LadyHacks! Y’all are the best, and I’m excited to see where we go from here.