and the first thing I noticed is she's covering her wedding ring
this is why you are anxious and I am Alone
Today in the United States and the developed world, women are better off than ever before. But the blunt truth is that men still run the world...
It is time for us to face the fact that our revolution has stalled. A truly equal world would be one where women ran half of our countries and companies and men ran half of our homes. The laws of economics and many studies of diversity tell us that if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our performance would improve.
Sheryl Sandberg is the future ex-COO of Facebook, and while that sounds like enough of a resume to speak on women in the workplace, note that her advice on how to get ahead appears in Time Magazine. Oh, you thought that Sandberg's book is news worthy in itself, how could you not do a story on this magnificence? No, this is a setup, the Time Magazine demo is never going to be COO of anything, as evidenced by the fact that they read Time Magazine. Much more importantly, they are not raising daughters who are going to be COO of anything. So why is this here?
The first level breakdown is that this is what Time readers want, they want a warm glow and to be reassured that the reason they're stuck living in Central Time is sexism. This demo likes to see a smart, pretty woman succeed in a man's world, as long as "pretty" isn't too pretty but "wearing a great outfit" and that man's world isn't overly manly, like IBM or General Dynamics, yawn, but an aspirational, Aeron chair "creative" place that doesn't involve calculus or yelling, somewhere they suspect they could have worked had it not been for sexism and biological clocks. We all know Pinterest is for idiots. Hence Facebook.
If you are still suspicious that Sandberg's appearance in Time has nothing to do with her book or with women becoming COOs but is about something else, look through the newsstand for the other magazine in which Sandberg is prominently featured: Cosmo.
and the first thing I noticed is she's showing her wedding ring
This is the mag she felt compelled to guest edit, an issue that also has "The Money, The Man, The Baby: Get What You Want," by future Labor Secretary Kim Kardashian. No one reads Cosmo to become a COO, no one who reads Cosmo could become a COO, because-- and I'm just guessing-- they think the the secret formula for success is Dream Job + The Right Partner + Great Wardrobe = Yes I Can! Well, you can't, not with those priorities. Each of those may be desirable, but when placed together as an equation it is revealed to be nothing but outward branding, and the consequence is that even if you get all three you will still be unsatisfied.
For the past two weeks Sandberg was anywhere nothing useful is happening, and I'm going to include Facebook in that. Some cry-baby over at Jezebel was thrilled that Sandberg was featured all week on Access Hollywood, holy Christ, she thought this was a good thing. "Feminism is back in the mainstream in a big way," she wrote, I assume in between quaaludes, "the women's movement is actually moving." How can you work in media and not understand media? The fact that feminism is in the mainstream means that it doesn't exist, it is no longer real, in the same way that when you hear "gun control debate" it's a lie and "fiscal cliff" is an easy to market, safe distraction from the structural problems that can never be named, here's one: for any heterogeneous population, the expansion of a "welfare class" is logically inseparable from the entrenchment of an aristocracy, can't have one without the other once you get bigger than 20M, ask Bismarck. "Does he write for Time?" No. But keep this in mind every time you hear how great it is Bill Gates is curing malaria after leaving us all with Windows.
You might ask, well, how do we get women who read Cosmo and Jezebel to aspire to something greater? Your question is illogical. It's not because Cosmo and Jezebel attract dumb women, no, not exactly, it's that they teach their readers to want certain things over other things. They teach them how to want. What resists them? Nothing. Then who can unbrainwash them? No one. The person that should have was their mother, and they read Time.
But other than getting them to buy magazines, why bother with making women feel good about themselves? Are they going to riot because men won't let them be COOs? Placating the TV demographic whose only act of political violence was to Like the Kony video hardly seems urgently necessary.
It's not to make them feel good, and it certainly isn't to inspire them to become COOs. It is what we drunks call "unconscious" and Sandberg herself is not aware of it. Don't equate what Sandberg wants with what the system wants to use her for. If they did not overlap, you would never know the name Sheryl Sandberg; or, said the other, more scary way, the only reason you know the name of Sheryl Sandberg is because it represents a defense against change. Off topic, not really, a short joke by comic Greg Giraldo: "It's so great that Americans will still vote for a white guy even if he's a little black." Defense against change.
One of Sandberg's three Time-approved points is that women "leave before they leave," which means that instead of planning early to advance in their career, they plan early to leave their career. Here's a very revealing excerpt, read it closely:
But women rarely make one big decision to leave the workforce. Instead, they make a lot of small decisions along the way. A law associate might decide not to shoot for partner because someday she hopes to have a family. A sales rep might take a smaller territory or not apply for a management role...
"So true!" Slow down. The trick is most employable women are at best at the "sales rep" level, not the lawyer level, but because of the juxtaposition you never think: why the hell would a sales rep want to be a manager? "Oh, because it's a lot more work." Is it a lot more money? "Well, no, it's a little more money." So you want me to work a lot more now for the possibility of eventually getting a job that pays only a little more money? "Yes, stupid, it's called a promotion." It sounds like a scam. "No, it's a stepping stone to Nominal Vice President In Charge of Situations And Scenarios." Does that pay more? "What are you, a communist? 401k matches 50% of the first 6%." In other words 3%, ok, am I on a prank show? "Free GPS tracker in your phone and laptop." Thank you Yaz, my forties are going to be great.
Sandberg's book is heralded as "the next great feminist manifesto", by this logic the first one was TV Guide. Just because there's a woman near it, doesn't mean it's about women. The feminism debate, labeled equivalently as "gender discrimination" or "women sabotage themselves", is not about women, it is about LABOR COSTS, making working for something other than money admirable. If some women rise to COO that's unintended consequences, what the system really wants is people, especially the still not maxed out women, to want to work harder for it, to be a producer/consumer for it, by making noble and desirable the long hours, "a seat at the table"-- the kind of things that give away the majority of your high heeled, productive life in exchange for the trappings of power. This is one reason why while people think it's cool if Zuckerberg wears a hoodie, women's work attire is tightly controlled by women-- being able to dress up for work is signaled to you as part of the appeal of work, a perk, which is why every picture of Sandberg is in a "great outfit." It doesn't matter that Sandberg does or doesn't dress this way ordinarily, it only matters how her image can be repackaged to convey the correct message to you. Whatever Sandberg wants to say, whatever she thinks she means, is totally irrelevant to this process. The ability to run Facebook is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
If you doubt this, observe that of all the advice Sandberg via Time gives to women, the single piece (in)conspicuously absent from the Time article is the most important: ask for more money. Duh. Ask for less hours. Ask for something real, that can affect your life, instead of the cosmetic, "trappings of power" gimmicks like titles or prestige-- the very things that would appeal most to a narcissistic culture obsessed with broadcasting identity, requiring not just external but visible to others validations of their worth. NB: it's not that Sandberg herself didn't say ask for more money-- she did, e.g. in her book and in the British "Americans are money hungry pigs" Guardian. But that advice cannot appear in Time. What the Time article made a big deal about was that she fought for pregnancy parking spots, that's the progress, you go girl, Sandberg is also fighting for the right to cry at work, Jezebel was right, feminism is moving.
Employers take note, Americans, especially American women, can be easily convinced to forgo money if it's not enough money to be flaunted or if something else can be.
The same should apply to men, the difference is working men have an Act I backstory: two generations ago and back the whole game for men was the money, the lifestyle, the house/wife/car-- getting rich. I'm no fan of unions but they played it straight: if you're going to sacrifice your whole life and lower back for the benefit of a faceless corporation then you've got to get paid. But young, aspirational women can be convinced that working longer, "a seat at the table", "promotions" to management-- these are worthy goals: Sandberg said so.
Just because my posts have lots of typos doesn't mean I'm lazy. I am not saying not to work hard, I am not saying not to run out the clock, I'm saying it has to be meaningful, it has to lead somewhere, it has to be for something, and if it doesn't then at least it has to pay. Amazingly on purpose, in the cacophony of economic debates, it's no longer acceptable to talk money. You can talk about unemployment vs. employment, class, titles, debt, growth, seats at table-- but not money, unless they are actors or sports stars. If I told you Katniss was making $10M or $90M you wouldn't know the difference, but try to get $1/hr more from your manager and you find out what a dollar is worth. "I'd like to see you take on more initiative," says your manager, "then maybe we can come up with some solutions that are right for both of us." I'm sorry, is a guy with a Blackberry and a Fox News app telling me I need to stay until 7 but I'm not worth $1/hr more?
None of this has anything to do with feminism, stop saying that word, it's meaningless. This trick applies to men, too, let's go back to Zuckerberg and his hoodie: off of half a century of "the clothes make the man" and "don't dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want", the right to NOT have to get dressed up is sold to men as a perk, but look at the alchemy: it is 100% certain that if you think it's wicked that your job has casual everydays, then you are smart, get paid way less than you are worth and, most importantly, you will never dare ask for more money. Eventually dressing down will be sold as aspirational for women, but don't sweat it, wearing sneakers is a pro-feminist act, after all, they're made almost exclusively by women.
"Ladies, conference room in ten minutes! We need to strategize!"
This is a picture of a "Lean In," which I assume is why they're all wearing low cut tops. ZING. I can only imagine they are talking about the season finale of The Bachelor, because no legitimate business can be happening with blue pens and MacBook Pros, one of which isn't even open. Unless this is a PR meeting? HR? Erotica book club? I give up. Some other observations: pretty women love beverages and smiling.
My personal vote for Lean In valedictorian is the woman at the bottom left, I don't know her life or her medication history but she has the diagnostic sign of her cuff pulled up over her wrist in what I call "the borderline sleeve," that girl will have endlessly whipsawing emotions and a lot of enthusiastic ideas that will ultimately result in a something borrowed/something blue. Hope her future ex enjoys drama, he's in for seven years of it.
You're going to try and counter that this is a staged publicity photo, but my rum makes me fearless against your rebuttals. During my two months of radio silence I've been writing a book of/on pornography, so I know it when I see it, and I see it. Main thing to observe about this girl-girl feature: all the chicks are white.
Back up, wildman, the easy criticism to make is that there are no blacks in the picture, which is why you made it. Everyone knows that the presence of blacks in such pics is staged, yet we still notice it, still want it. Why? Even though we roll our eyes if a black woman is artificially included in the pic, why are we still satisfied by her presence, or uncomfortable her absence? Because we have no power to change the underlying reality. "Better than nothing."
This is a porno of a white woman's workplace, no room for blacks in this fantasy, they don't watch The Bachelor. Don't confuse aspirational with desirable, Halle Berry is ass-slappingly hot, no one wants to be her. "If I worked at a female-friendly place like Facebook," says anyone masturbating to this picture, "I'd totally have time to get my nails done."
No, the insightful criticism isn't that they didn't artificially include a black woman, it is that they artificially excluded Asian women-- that this photo could only be made by actively denying a reality: among women, Asian women are proportionally overrepresented in successful positions, especially tech jobs, especially Silicon Valley, and yes, Apple Maps, India is in Asia. Putting this shot together is like staging an NBA publicity photo without any neck tattoos or handguns. "What?" When I was in my 3rd year of medical school and we all had to select our tax bracket, the Asian women went into surgery, ophthalmology, or the last two years of a PhD program, you know where the borderline sleeves went? Pediatrics, which I think is technically sublimation but I'm no psychiatrist. The logic was straightforward: they wanted kids, and, unlike surgery, pediatrics offered future doctor-moms a bit of flexibility, while the Asian women apparently didn't worry about working late because their kids would be at violin till 9:30.
This porno, for the Time et al demographic, cannot allow this bit of reality to be shown, because the moment you see Padmakshi or "Megan" at the table it is too real, it undermines the entire sexism thesis and suggests that something else may be going on, it's like watching an awesome gangbang and suddenly noticing all the empty Oxycontin bottles and that they're speaking Serbian. "That just makes it hotter!" I just logged your ip address. This doesn't mean Asian women don't experience sexual discrimination, it means that when an Asian woman succeeds, the other women in the office don't get to experience sexual discrimination, so they're left only with sexual harassment. Read it a couple of times, it'll make sense and you won't like it.
Still not sold on the thesis that the system wants you to be a battery? Then you're going to have a lot of trouble with this next part...... for the rest of your short life.
The most important-- her words-- advice Sandberg has to offer women is... to choose your husband carefully. Think about this for a minute. I've fallen in love with some catastrophes in my life, I've drank a lot of rum, and I'm sure a lot of/all people say the same about me, but how on earth could I choose whom I fell in love with? The heart wants what it wants, even when what it wants is on Prozac. How could I select my love based on my career concerns, or is the logic that my soulless zombie skull would love anyone who agreed to do half the chores? The only person who can pull that off is a psychopath, and sure, you may indeed succeed in life, but at what cost? What are you good for? But the Time Magazine force vector doesn't care about your human happiness, it most certainly doesn't care about your caring about your partner's happiness, it cares about your role as producer, and by producer I mean consumer. Eat up, it will have corn in it.
Perhaps the logic is that I shouldn't marry anyone except one who is compatible with my goals, good advice-- except why, a priori, is one's middle management career at General Motors more important than one's marriage?
"Half of all marriages end in divorce." Yes, stupid, everyone says that, half of all marriages under 25 end in divorce, but wait till thirty and the deck is way more favorable, you have to learn how to count cards. But this isn't some kind of failing of marriage itself, some structural defect in a system that's been running for thousands of years, the problem isn't marriage, the problem is you. You think the string of butcheries in your past are the fault of monogamy? As they say everywhere, the single commonality in all of your failed relationships is you. Time to get a cat.
"No, she just means when you get married, to pick someone who supports your goals." In other words, a business relationship? Arranged marriage, only this time by Match.com's algorithm? "No, a marriage based not on passion but on mutual respect and shared values--" Stop, listen to what you are saying. Why would you want a man who agreed to this? Why would a man want a woman who thought like this?
Keep in mind, her message is not for future COOs, her message is for the rest of you organ donors who need to be transitioned from 9 to 5 to 8 to 6, e.g. the Cosmo demo. The Time Magazine demo already gave up on love, after a decade and a half of a narcissistic marriage they only need to be convinced to work Saturdays or spend more. Either will do.
The single greatest obstacle to turning women into fully productive members of the workforce, i.e. batteries, is not men obstructing them but their persistent belief in metaphysics. If the thing that is keeping women out of the underpaid labor force is "family", then family must go, and if what pulls them towards family is love then love has to be a fantasy.
I know what you're thinking. You're worldly, you're cynical, your skeptical. You don't go for all this love crap.... You've figured out that love was a construct pushed by the patriarchy to keep women tied to the home, to deny them orgasms with multiple penises and vaginas; to prevent them from getting jobs, money, power. Am I right? Ok, then let's play by your rules, let's say you're right that love was used to keep women down-- then what does today's suppression of love signify? Could it be that the abandonment of love doesn't also serve the system's purpose? Or is only the former the trick, the latter a discovery made by your genius + sophistication + expert reading of human emotions?
You think you've figured out that true love doesn't exist, that it's all been a kind of romantic lie sold by TV and the media, that real life isn't like that; but what I am telling you is that you didn't figure this out, you were TOLD this. Now, constantly, by every modern TV show, by Lori Gottlieb and the zombies at The Atlantic, by your friends, by your parents-- the trick was to get you to think you figured it out on your own. Grey's Anatomy is a terrible show but at least season one had the decency to be about having careless sex along the road to finding The One. You know where their passions lie now? Running a hospital. Yesterday's episode featured eleven minutes of two young, superhot doctors orgasming over the new X-ray machine and how great it is for both efficiency and patient care, it's almost as if the Disney Corp is doing its part to convince America that hospitals aren't in it for the money, they're warm and fuzzy places that are committed to helping patients with their fertility.
The system's ideal woman is the single mother, she's produced with her uterus and is willing to go all in on production/consumption, she has no choice. I'm not saying she wants to be a single mother, I'm saying that's what the system wants her to be. That's feminism. You can get married too, as long as he'll make it so you get in at 8.
Unfortunately-- and this is exactly the trick of it all-- it sounds crazy to say, "wait for true love!"-- it sounds regressive to say that pushing yourself at work might not be worth trading your family, but that's the trick, the system has framed that question as binary, as if there were no other possibilities, no middle ground. The system has made it so that you can only choose one side, "aspire to be a COO!" or "don't be a COO-- you should be home with your kids!" It is a classic double bind, and you can't ask: for the entirety of my life, these are the only two choices?
Love is dying, the system is killing it. The only acceptable portrayal of fulfilled love is with vampires and BDSM billionaires, not because those men are great but because there's no worry you'll meet one, enjoy your little fantasy. Now back to work, whore, you need fulfillment.