Stop Talking to Girls this Way

03.11.16

Pink posted this message to Twitter. I think it was supposed to be a jab at Kim Kardashian in all her nudity.

pink tells girls how to be strong on twitter

Thanks but no thanks. You do not get to tell other women that using their body, their sex, their tits or their asses to get attention isn’t okay when this is your profile picture.

Pinkdeborahanderson_112
That’s not how the world works.

Girls and young women may or may not use T&A to get ahead. Pink is certainly familiar how that works for us in certain industries.

Proof:

pink body pink underwear pink-cover-main naked

 

You can feel self respect with tits and ass involved. Pink is typically full of great messages for young women. This was not one of them.

Heaven forbid you’re 22, show too much skin in the wrong situation and feel badly about it already. Do you need this lady making you feel worse?

Oh Your Mother Never Ripped Her Bra Off at the Dinner Table? You’re So Fancy

11.13.13

Jane used to love soccer. These days Jane likes soccer. I think after having experienced volleyball she’s decided that it’s a lot of fun to play a sport where people don’t knock you over, pull your hair, whisper “bitch” in your ear and slidetackle you arbitrarily. She was going to try out for the soccer team but it became clear to her that she wouldn’t get a lot of play time (she’s a Freshman and there’s only one team – it’s Varsity) if she made the team. She had convinced herself she wouldn’t make the team, I’m not sure that was accurate but it doesn’t matter now.

Last night at dinner when I asked Jane about soccer tryouts she said, “Oh I’m just going to join the cheer squad. I can sign up for it tomorrow they have room.”

Poor Mr. G’s eyes just started bulging and he opened his mouth to speak and sort of gummed a few times before actual sounds came out. Slowly he said, “You cannot stand on the sideline while boys compete. That is not a sport.”

I sort of hushed him and said, “Listen you can go for it but you’re not flying or even supporting someone who does. They’re going to ask me to sign a waiver and I’ll redline it so much they won’t want you.”

Jane just sort of rolled her eyes and said, “They’re not a very good cheer squad so I don’t even know if there will be flyers. Plus it’s JV and I wouldn’t have to go to that many games.” And as she went back to eating her dinner I lost complete control (as has been known to happen) and started unhooking my bra and running around the house saying:

Someone get me a blowtorch, it’s obviously time to burn this bra.

And bless everyone’s hearts, no one flinched. No one stopped eating and Alexander just sort of looked at me trying to figure out what a burning bra would do for cheerleading.

Jane got off the bus today and told me she’s playing JV basketball. My bra is safe even though my son is a deadbeat dad. You see just as we got Jane squared away as a participant as opposed to a spectator with pom poms, Alexander updated us on his Sugar Baby (from the human development curriculum).

He was absolutely thrilled when he was partnered with a very intense girl. He knew she’d do a great job of caring for the baby, in fact she’s not into sharing the baby and he’s allowing this to happen. So tonight when he told me about all the things he doesn’t have to do I’m like, “So, you’re a deadbeat dad?” And there was some shrugging and chatter about his partner and how she’s really good at everything.

I tried explaining how people share duties in parenting, in business and in life but I mostly failed at it. The lecture I mean. I ran out of good examples and when he said, “Listen, it’s a bag of sugar. I’m not going to break my back for it.” I tried to stifle my laughter and decided to appeal to his pragmatic side. “You can’t get an A if you don’t do the work.”

We’ve been role playing how he’s going to ask his co-parent for the bag of sugar and we have both agreed that the phrase dumb bag of sugar will not be used. I’m teaching him diplomacy. I’d probably be more passionate about it without this damn bra strangling me.

Where Have All the Women Gone?

10.11.13

Sometime around 1980 LAUSD opened it’s first computer magnet. My mother ran the computer lab. She didn’t have much in the way of a budget for networking but she did have kids. Mom and my brother spent weekends “making the phone talk to the computer” and ultimately networked with an elementary school in Russia where they video conferenced.

To give this all context AOL launched in 1983.

We know there’s a dearth of women in programming, engineering, math and other sciences and academics often try to explain why. Sandberg asks us all to Lean In, I’m not convinced that explains much. Marissa Meyer is a C level fashionista who declines maternity leave and is alternately seen as a heroine or nemesis by feminists. Neither woman is particularly relevant to my life as a freelancer so I find myself distant from those conversations.

I do work in tech and most often I work with and for men. I love when I’m hired by a woman because there’s a particular joy for me in knowing that women are reaching managerial levels and have budgets to include me. I am then saddened that I find it odd that women are at these levels. I love all that WITI (Women in Technology International) has to offer. I am disheartened that we need women’s groups.

This morning I went to a meeting at Alexander’s school. They’re creating a new technology curriculum and have formed a parent committee to advise. I showed up to a room full of men and was shocked. We’re talking about a K-8 school. At it’s most advanced an elementary tech curriculum will include creating a basic website using some HTML and full use of the Office Suite. Middle school is different. By middle school the kids should be exploring and finding ways to break and repair both their computers and it’s software, but I often find myself alone in believing those are good uses of time and resources.

In a school where upwards of 90% of the communication is handled via a website or email I find it curious that women aren’t interested in how technology will be implemented. Are we naturally end users? Is the gala just more interesting? I’m also the room parent at this school and have been for a number of years. I’ve never seen a father be a room parent yet we cannot call ourselves “Room Mom”.

Sometimes I feel like there are wars to be waged around girls and STEM. Booth Babes are disappearing from conferences (thank goodness) and women are rising in the ranks (not en masse but they are rising).

There is no such thing as a job without technology. I don’t care if you’re a doctor, ditch digger, interior designer or a stay at home parent. Technology has invaded our lives for better and for worse. I’m wondering what it is about the XX’s that makes us believe we aren’t interested and I’m deeply concerned that someone will tell my daughter she shouldn’t be.

 

Men are Such Whiners

10.1.12

Mr. G had his surgery Thursday. He came home in a drug induced haze and my mother handed him a bell to ring so he could summon me. The ringing of the bell was unpleasant but very likely felt about 8,000 times better than my husband’s head did after being cut open.

As much as that bell irritated me, my husband never did.

Maybe I live in an alternate universe but I’m really surprised when the first things folks expect to hear from me is that my husband is a whiny baby when he’s sick. First of all he isn’t so the assertion that men are babies when they are sick is patently untrue. My son isn’t particularly needy when he’s feeling ill.

The only high maintenance sick person in this house is me.

I’ve spent the last two years moaning about my own health, staying downstairs for most of the day (and asking my family to run up and down for me), and avoiding anyone who so much as sniffles (no matter how much I love them). Maybe because of my neediness I’m sensitive to this. I try to not whine. I try to be a good mother but the reality is that good mothers can get up and down stairs a little better than I. Good mothers don’t need to pull their cars to the side of the road for a nap.

I did the best I could.

So maybe it’s my own insecurity that makes me cringe when folks want to know how whiny my husband is. My typical reaction is to tell them that he’s Superman. I’m sure Mr. G would die if he could hear me talk because one of his superpowers is humility, another other is his physical strength. His surgery was Thursday, the doctor shaved down his septum and then fucked around with his sinus cavity either tamping things down or scraping things out… I don’t recall exactly because I was busy trying to not pass out when the doctor described it. Friday morning my husband didn’t require pain killers.

Maybe he’s so out of touch with his feelings that he can’t even feel the physical ones. If so he’s the perfect man because I’m incredibly inconsiderate and clumsy. I can hurt both body and soul, but never on purpose. Not with him anyhow.

I’m prickly about this one today. I hope suspect that my son is going to get married one day and I’d hate to think that his bride was weaned on a steady diet of men are weak. My daughter deserves the opportunity to love a man without making fun of him for being one. My children worship their father, he has earned that lofty position and I guard it for all of our sakes. I love my girlfriends, all of you, and we’ve promised to not tear each other down. I’d love for us to promise the same for each other’s spouses.

 

If Stripping is Recession Proof it Makes Sense to Get the Kids Started Young

09.6.12

Times are tough. I know that here in America we’ve added back a lot of jobs but The Great Recession knocked the wind out of our collective sails. Apparently Canada is having trouble too because some parents are signing their daughters up for for a series of pole dancing classes. Oh, and when I say daughters I mean kids. And when I say kids I mean girls because everyone who is anyone sees a pole and doesn’t think FIREFIGHTER they think STRIPPER!

There’s a trend now towards having kids specialize young and some folks don’t think that college is necessary. I’m thinking a class like this is great for your tween particularly if she’s clearly already very seductive (as we all know that tweens can be). When do you think exotic dancing is legal? I mean you could use larger pasties and a bikini instead of a G-String and these girls could be earning a decent wage by the sixth grade.

Also… I remember my friend Scott talking about his girlfriend 20 or so years ago. She was very petite and he referred to her as a “little spinner” I’m SURE it’s because she took this dance class. Right?

</sarcasm>