16 January 2010

Women Need to Learn to Act Like Jerks

Came across this post, thanks to a tweet from @bcbusiness. Here's a sample:

[W]omen in general, and the women whose educations I am responsible for in particular, ... aren't just bad at behaving like arrogant self-aggrandizing jerks. They are bad at behaving like self-promoting narcissists, anti-social obsessives, or pompous blowhards, even a little bit, even temporarily, even when it would be in their best interests to do so. Whatever bad things you can say about those behaviors, you can't say they are underrepresented among people who have changed the world.


Now I don't know what to do about this problem. (The essence of a rant, in fact, is that the ranter has no idea how to fix the thing being ranted about.) What I do know is this: it would be good if more women see interesting opportunities that they might not be qualified for, opportunities which they might in fact fuck up if they try to take them on, and then try to take them on. It would be good if more women got in the habit of raising their hands and saying "I can do that. Sign me up. My work is awesome," no matter how many people that behavior upsets.

I recommend reading the whole thing.

I've bluffed my way through some situations. Not only was the exercise fun but the result was gratifying and the bluffing at times challenged me to live up to my own hype. It was win-win all round with no one the loser. Some women, on the other hand, appear to have taken things too far. Cheryl Gallant comes to mind.

ETA: Seems like a lot of people want to read that article. Shirky's server is acting up. Keep trying; his post is worth it.

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