Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Susannah Breslin: "Today, it’s women who have ghettoized themselves online. Unsure or unaware of how to compete with the big boys, women bloggers have retreated to the safety of their own lady blog reservations. Purportedly, this is sisterhood. What it looks like is secession. Where’s the empowerment in that?"

29 Comments:

Blogger Oligonicella said...

"Over the years, I have found female-dominated workplaces to be unfocused and ill-managed, consumed by office politics, ..."

Nothing could be more true. When I contracted into SWB a few years ago, all of their upper/middle tech management was women.

During one application, I couldn't deliver because the user (woman) kept changing her mind.

A board meeting was called (maybe fifteen women, me and the team lead - men). **They changed the specs during a meeting about why the app wasn't getting done on time.**

In other words, for four months, not one damn woman sat down and analyzed what they wanted, wrote it down and proofed it.

12:45 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger Southern Man said...

Interesting. For a while I was reading a leftist / feminist blog that had caught my interest until I realized that (a) every comment I left was deleted after a few days and (b) no commenter had an obviously male name.

1:14 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I hate the "empowerment" mentality. Ultimately, the only person who can empower you is yourself. Someone else can put the idea in your head and that's about it.

Much of the empowerment movement is about telling others they're not empowered and the only way to become empowered is through us. Sounds like a lot of religions except most religions, Christian sects anyway, put a greater emphasis on personal responsibility.

I like Breslin's point. She points out the failure of the empowerment mentality.

1:18 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

I think empowerment is another word for wealth redistribution.

Trey

3:21 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

"For the most part, I prefer to work with men than women. Over the years, I have found female-dominated workplaces to be unfocused and ill-managed, consumed by office politics, less competitive and less ambitious, and I have found male-dominated workplaces to be more focused and better-managed, less consumed by office politics, more competitive and more ambitious."

In my entire life, I have never once heard a woman claim she preferred a woman boss or coworker to a man. My theory: Women teach you nothing. They might know gobs of stuff, but they hoard their knowledge like Italians guard their recipes. I'm sure I'm generalizing (it's a gift), but women seem to regard knowledge and skills as capacities for offensive use and not to be shared with a competitor or potential rival.

I work at a major silicon wafer manufacturing plant and have numerous female coworkers (at least eight in my immediate sphere). There is only one who will cheerfully teach me something I need to know. She's from the Middle East and is a pure joy to work with. The rest just break my balls for not knowing what I need to know. Knowledge sharing I get from the guys and the one Arab woman. The rest of the bitches I avoid like a pack of drunk dentists.

3:41 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger Leatherwing said...

Southern Man, I've had similar experiences (deleted comments) on a so-called conservative mommy blogger site. If you didn't agree with her, your comment didn't stay.

Fortunately, a lot of cream has risen to the top in the past couple of years.

4:18 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger LPF said...

Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but: Dr. Helen doesn't seem to want for male readers.

I think the primary difference is: she says things that actually provoke thought.

4:27 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

So, is Helen borrowing her husband's mojo, or is Glenn borrowing hers?

5:06 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

Joe said...
So, is Helen borrowing her husband's mojo, or is Glenn borrowing hers?

5:06 PM, March 29, 2011


I think the correct answer is they each have their own.

5:13 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger jimbino said...

I'm envious. In over 45 years of contract engineering and computer programming, I've worked with only 1 woman in Germany, none in Scotland, none in Argentina and only 5 in the USA, one of whom was a secretary.

6:37 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger Larry J said...

"For the most part, I prefer to work with men than women. Over the years, I have found female-dominated workplaces to be unfocused and ill-managed, consumed by office politics, less competitive and less ambitious, and I have found male-dominated workplaces to be more focused and better-managed, less consumed by office politics, more competitive and more ambitious."

My wife is a nurse and much prefers working with men than women. Her theory about why so many women are difficult to work with (or for) is that they're still acting like they're in junior high where girls routinely tear each other down due to their own insecurity. That seems to explain a lot.

8:08 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

@Larry J: That whole "cattiness" thing has befuddled me for decades. I always wondered if it was a BS myth.

Then I read "Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and Rivalry," by Susan Shapiro Barash.

Holy Dog F***! Women are EVIL! (Check that. "Can" be evil is more truthful. I gotta pay more attention to those modal auxiliary verbs.)

8:34 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger br549 said...

There are no women where I work. Although I like women, I can't be around them very long without a lengthy break. Long term, I prefer six strings, and power tools with the saw dust just a-flyin'.

9:08 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger Kim said...

I don't say anything about the feminized workplace, because The Mrs. says it better (and more profanely) than ever could. "Goes ballistic" is Understatement of the Year; about a dozen years ago, I heard her scream in an all-female meeting, "Can't ANYONE make a f***ing decision or take responsibility in here? Does it ALWAYS have to be a 'group' decision?"

(It was a conference call, and she made sure her phone was muted first.)

9:20 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger Kim said...

Hit [enter] too soon: it was a client meeting, and she was a consultant, so that's why the discretion.

9:21 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger Southern Man said...

OMG, Kim, you said it. I'm on academic committees on which I'm the only male, and they can't get ANYTHING done in an hour. And when they do, it's something that could have been decided in ten minutes. A while back I was in a meeting with an all-female group and our (male) dean. Ninety minutes in I caught his eye and made the endless-talking motion with my hands under the table. He nearly had a coronary trying not to laugh.

10:15 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Where I work is heavily female in Account Management/Project Management. A few run projects effectively and on schedule. Others somewhat so, only a handful border on incompetent although their supervisors don't seem to be aware of it. The trouble comes most often when the client contact is female. That is when there is most likely a lot of vacillation on exactly what they want and when.

There are a few women who possess a strong sense of entitlement and expect special consideration simply they are them. We see this occasionally in higher ranking men, but the women with these traits exist at all levels.

One thing I learned early on was to save all emails and other communications until all traces of a project had passed. Anything that goes wrong will attempted to be pinned on someone else. I suspect that I have a reputation for covering all bases and others don't try to pin stuff on me they know won't stick as it will make them look even worse.

10:24 PM, March 29, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

I used to rent space from a pediatric practice and was surrounded by women. I had very few problems.

This is not because they had no drama going on, it is because I kept pretty much to myself and avoided interacting with the drama queens. The rest just left me alone.

But then they called me Dr., so I had the status thing going.

It is interesting, that the best therapist I worked with was a woman. The first day I saw her, she had a button on her purse that read "If you ever wondered what a radical feminist looks like, now you know." I thought "I am so screwed" because I was there to talk about getting a divorce.

She was great and treated me like a person.

So while I do not disagree with any of the comments, I just want to point out that there are some women who are wonderful human beings who are a joy to know and be around.

And that is good.

Trey

10:02 AM, March 30, 2011  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

It is good indeed. Thanks, Trey! I'll do nothing more on that topic but say I have similar stories that agree with yours. Not sure how the conversation wandered so far from voluntary ghettoization, but...

Breslin has hit on something I've been trying to get across to people for a long time: You can either be looked at like just anyone else, or you can keep to your own group. You can have either separate consideration or equality. You can be objectified or you can give up special status. Each of these things are absolutely black and white, and no one can take one then complain about not having the other, without looking like an infantile twit. I'm really happy someone with a far bigger audience than I is pointing it out.

10:18 AM, March 30, 2011  
Blogger LordSomber said...

I always got the sense that the cattiness of older women towards younger women in my office came from resentment -- "After all, we moved up the ladder the hard way back in the 70's/80's when feminism was getting a foothold, and today's young ladies don't know how tough it was for us!" (sarc)
The irony was that many younger female employees came into the job to receive no training or mentoring let alone leadership from their "older sisters."

11:34 AM, March 30, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

a client had an office where he was c.e.o. and his staff were all women.

one after the other each day they would approach him with problems that they expected him to solve and he never got any work done unless he used off-site offices.

i told him to make one of the women office manager and only have meetings with her regarding the issues.

it changed his life.

1:14 PM, March 30, 2011  
Blogger SarahW said...

It's just not true. If women want their own enclaves,
fine, but lots of women blog in politics (as you well know) and on general subjects and specialty subjects from law to medicine to economics - and contribute to "fun" big blogs at Make, Wired, Boing Boing, Neatorama, Cake Wrecks, what have you.

I don't see this as any kind of problem to be concerned about.

5:18 PM, March 30, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

lots of women blog in politics

True. Two of the three blogs I read most are women's blogs, DrHelan and Ann Althouse. I find they have a unique perspective, not a female perspective (or male), but unique. Many people are simply too predictable for my taste.

10:43 PM, March 30, 2011  
Blogger Suzanne Lucas said...

wah, wah, wah, cry me a river. The blogosphere has no cost to entry other than an internet connection. If women want to blog about motherhood and cake wrecks, then they can.

If they want to blog about politics, they can. If they want to blog about nuclear physics, they can.

I find it offensive when Susannah Breslin says that making our own choices about what we want to blog about is "ghettoizing." That would make sense only if there were barriers to entry.

I blog about business relationships. I'm female. I got picked up by BNET, I didn't approach them. I fail to see how I'm in the women's ghetto.

Make your choices and live with them.

As for working with women, I've always worked predominantly with women, as I'm an HR person. Some women fit the stereotype. Some do not. My general opinion is that you see what you are looking for. I always walk in with the idea that everyone will work as a team.

5:29 AM, March 31, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Suzanne - Good points.

There's a mind set that every activity and every profession has to have equal representation by gender, race, height, etc. Any time there is under representation of a group it must be due to some sort of bias. That such things may happen by free choice is out of the question.

7:46 AM, March 31, 2011  
Blogger peternolan9 said...

Wimminz blogs....a complete joke.

But Gents? Please click across here. I've linked this blog on the spearhead too. Seems we might have friends, or at least like minded women, where I thought least to look for them. Maggie is one real interesting woman. I only found her yesterday. But I like her already. And all you men here know THAT would be pretty unusual for me with a 'western woman'! LOL!!!

http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/

7:15 PM, April 02, 2011  
Blogger peternolan9 said...

Look. Wimminz blogs are a complete joke. Just like wimminz writing software is a complete joke.

Feministing? Bastion of censorship? Come on. Jessica Valenti is an ugly retarded lying slut who talked a zeta loser into marrying her. The site was run by men until that little factoid got to be too embarrasing even for a shameless whore like Valenti.

Before Dr Helen FM was the only womans blog that had some sense on it and FM is lesbian and thinks much like a man which is why her blog is good. Hope FM comes back soon.

7:20 PM, April 02, 2011  
Blogger peternolan9 said...

Bloody hell...I just scrolled down to the bottom of this bitches article...what does it say?

Want to hire me? Email me. Follow me on Twitter.

What kind of attention whore puts THAT at the bottom of a newspaper article? Please. Women have no class.

I don't say 'want to hire me email me here'. I say if you want to TALK to me email/call. It is only AFTER we talk and establish the nature of your needs that I might be able to propose a solution to that we MIGHT discuss a mutually beneficial business arrangement.

But a self serving crappy story with 'if you want to hire me email me' at the bottom? Ugh...

If it was not for 'affirmative action' women wouldn't be in the workplace at all.

7:27 PM, April 02, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Someone didn't get hugged enough.

8:51 PM, April 02, 2011  

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