Byte Me #3: On feminist porn, Marge Simpson, and crying at work

Byte Me #3: On feminist porn, Marge Simpson, and crying at work

Welcome back to Byte Me, our feminist newsletter that makes everyone mad <3

Today we’re talking about feminist porn, Marge Simpson, and whether or not it’s ok to cry at work…

the bloody news

Never forget that her daughter, Lisa Simpson, is a feminist icon:

You’re welcome!

that’s what she said: is crying at work ok?

Because we’re all magical and unique snowflakes who don’t always agree on feminist issues — and subsequently feel like we’re “bad” women — we’re going to discuss something we found online in each newsletter.

For this month’s that’s what she said, we’re discussing: is it ok to cry at work?

Anouk: FUCK NO. It perpetuates the perception women are weak, emotional, and incompetent.

Georgina: Yeah but crying is inherently linked to being feminine, which is linked to being weak. Is it actually true? I was talking to two guy friends the other day, and they said women cry more than men. But when I asked them who cries more, their mom or their dad, they said their dad. So the link between women and crying is BS.

Anouk: Oh I agree, the association in itself is very unfair. And I wish it would be okay for women and men to cry at work. But even when crying is an official part of your company culture, I think subconsciously, crying at work still puts women (and men!) in a bad light.

Cara: I think women are more open to talking about crying and men avoid talking about it. If I cry at work, it’s usually work-related. Work is kind of a safety blanket, so when that crumbles, say something happens with a colleague, my whole WORLD CRUMBLES… but not publicly, just a sad sob in the toilets.

Georgina: I would love to control it, but when I’m frustrated or angry it just happens. Luckily our boss doesn’t give a shit, but if it happened elsewhere it could negatively affect me. But it would be awesome if everyone was crying at work all the time, I would love that.

We could have a crying corner, full of bean bags and ping pong and other startup bullshit… and lots of tissues… for crying, not masturbating… or that too.

Cara: A crying corner sounds like a white startup Silicon Valley thing.

Georgina: Nah, it’s too female.

Anouk: No but really, if you feel tears popping up, better hop in that bathroom. Crying needs to be done in private.

Georgina: Why do we need to be super cool and chill all of the time? If women were allowed to be more expressive without fear of backlash, there’d be more women in high-level positions. The glass ceiling is partially because women often feel unwelcome or like they need to become one of the boys to succeed. And this goes for men too — if they were allowed to express emotion as well there would likely be less toxic work environments.

So how do people like me and Cara, who can’t help but cry when we get angry or frustrated, deal with it? Are we just fucked?

Anouk: Bathroom!

Georgina: But I’m already masturbating in there! I think this is really interesting though because our opinions kind of express a bigger feminist issue of: do women need to play the game as it stands now, professionally, to succeed, or can we topple how it is now and make it more accommodating to us?

Anouk: I think so, at least women who are just starting their careers. Once you are in the boardroom, unleash the waterworks. Perception can be changed but should probably start at the top. Until I see Hillary Clinton and Martha Stewart weeping at their desks, I’m pushing back those tears.

Georgina: And I feel like we should be able to implement workplace culture change before we reach the top, but we definitely need both.

the best and the worst

In this section, we ask women much smarter than us about the best and worst piece of professional advice they’ve ever received. This month’s is from AnitaB CEO Brenda Wilkerson and COO Jacqueline Copeland-Carson, and award-winning journalist and host of Invisibilia podcast, Hanna Rosin.

Brenda Wilkerson:

“The best advice was ‘Do you, Brenda.’ Especially as a black female in tech, this is often hard when, so many times, the culture seeks to erase difference.

Sadly, the very thing that brings innovation is each person bringing their own experience. So authentically bringing my perspective to the conversation, especially if it’s different, is the best thing I can do for my project or team to help us make sure all bases are covered.”

Jacqueline Copeland-Carson:

“The best advice was to seek excellence, but also to remember I can’t have it all at the same time; find ways to always keep a career alive while caring for yourself and others. Also, building ladders of opportunity for others is the best way to propel opportunities for yourself.”

Hanna Rosin:

“The best piece of advice I got is when you are making a decision about a job, or a project, or giving a talk, or whatever: ask yourself, how would you feel if this were happening tomorrow morning? Would you look forward to it? Would you want to do it?”

And the worst? “I was a debater in high school so everyone told me I should be a lawyer. EVERYONE. So, that.”

tweets of the month

word of the month

To be, or not to be. Or B2B. Don’t ask us why, but the phrase B2B has hypermasculinity written all over it. It’s about business, and then more business. Biz to biz. It makes us think of men in suits talking about PaaS and SaaS. 

As always, we can do better. Us women are all about business. Just look at Beyoncé, or Oprah, and you know how we can make even more money? By sticking together, that’s how.

From now on, when we say “B2B,” we’re talking boob-to-boob. Just replace it in your head. Men don’t even need to know.

Let’s try in a sentence:
 

  • “Small and medium-sized boob-to-boob companies are the backbone of the European economy.”
  • “The success of boob-to-boob is based on trust.”
  • “In the world of boob-to-boob, your professional network is everything.”

What do you think of Byte Me? Love it? Tell us. Hate it? Tell us — as female journalists we love hate mail.

Before we go…

<3 The TNW shrews

Anouk (anouk@thenextweb.com)
Georgina (georgina@thenextweb.com)
& Cara (cara@thenextweb.com)

Iconic film Mean Girls also turned 15, so…

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