"In the context of these influences, what allows women to become free of concerns about the reactions they or their work will provoke? I’ve found that the fundamental shift for women happens when we internalize the fact that all substantive work brings both praise and criticism. Many women carry the unconscious belief that good work will be met mostly — if not exclusively — with praise. Yet in our careers, the terrain is very different: Distinctive work, innovative thinking and controversial decisions garner supporters and critics, especially for women. We need to retrain our minds to expect and accept this."

YES to everything Tara Mohr writes in this op-ed. To figure out which criticism is worth listening to, reference The Disapproval Matrix.

"I know for a fact that it occurs to at least some of us. You know who we are. We obsessively followed the reports from Ferguson, and would, no question, tell a pollster that we believe the criminal justice system is biased against people of color. We’re white girls who make jokes about “white girls,” as if this category does not include us. We are proud to say we live in diverse cities — not the anodyne suburban enclaves and small towns of our upbringing. Yet our friends are mostly white. And we don’t feel great about it. Which raises a very thorny question: Should we actively try to make more friends who aren’t white? And if so, how?"

The Importance of Friendship Diversity - NYmag.com

Episode 9: Body Talk

cygfriend:

We discuss babies and why some people just don’t know if they want them, how to not get fooled by fake body positive anthems, shero Shonda Rhimes, the brave & wonderful college ladies leading the anti-rape movement and this week in menstruation

Reading list:

What if you just don’t know if you want kids? 
Ban Meghan Trainor
Don’t mess with Shonda or Viola
Meet the College Women Who Are Starting a Revolution Against Campus Sexual Assault
"Carry that Weight"
Tampon run!
"Oh God, he’s done period-sex taste tests. Oh God. Oh God.” 

Music:
Subscribe via iTunes. And if you have a question you want us to answer, you can email us or tweet at us.

I do mind the gap.

Alice Robb quoted me in a piece she wrote for The New Republic in which she argues that some gender gaps don’t matter. I disagree with her. It’s worth paying attention to gender gaps because they’re often a way of discussing and quantifying deeper problems. For example, it’s one thing for women artists to say they feel the art world is sexist. It’s quite another to tally the works of art on gallery walls and prove that, in fact, they’re being systematically ignored.
Here’s the full text of my email to Alice:
Closing a gender gap for the sake of closing the gap is going about it all backwards. Usually gaps are symptomatic of other problems. It isimportant to interrogate why a gap exists, and address that problem. I don’t think you can argue that women are naturally less interested in cycling or video games or weed than men are—our choices are shaped by the culture and society we live in. That society is pretty sexist! If video games are made for and marketed exclusively to heterosexual men, and women aren’t as interested as men in those games, the problem is that a major corner of the entertainment industry is in sexism-fueled denial about its potential customer base. If women aren’t cycling to work because they are unwilling to put up with the harassment they get when they’re riding a bike, the problem is that women don’t feel safe in public spaces. 
It doesn’t make sense for most “gender gap” stories to simply encourage women to close the gap for the sake of closing it. Usually, individual women’s actions are not enough to change the problem that created the gap. We all know that the most famous gap, the one between women’s wages and men’s, is one that women cannot simply rise up and close on their own by demanding higher wages, no matter what Sheryl Sandberg says. If only.
This is the only gap I don’t wish to question:

"He always made me feel like I was better than I thought I was. He was so confident in his own ability that he never regarded me as any kind of threat." Ruth & Marty forever.

"He always made me feel like I was better than I thought I was. He was so confident in his own ability that he never regarded me as any kind of threat." Ruth & Marty forever.

Yes, I am still interested in that Zeppelin shirt. Yes, I do love casseroles.

Yes, I am still interested in that Zeppelin shirt. Yes, I do love casseroles.

"Separating your baseline personal desires from other factors, like the relationship you’re in at the moment or where your career stands, is a phenomenally difficult task. Not to mention the societal pressure. Despite the ever-increasing feminist influence on the mainstream, conventional wisdom still says that motherhood is womanity’s highest calling — just ask every CEO who refers to her kids as her greatest achievement. At the same time, young women get a loud and clear message that parenthood is tough. Really tough. Books like Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time top the best-seller list. Blunt headlines explain that women pay a major penalty at work for becoming mothers. Even the parenting-related clickbait is scary: “100 Reasons Not to Have Kids.” Throw in a few wine-drunk conversations with friends who are parents about their sleepless, sexless lives, and who wouldn’t be at least a little bit ambivalent?"

What If You Just Don’t Know If You Want Kids? - NYmag.com

5 Lady-Powered Podcasts We’re Loving Right Now

cygfriend:

Aw, thanks!

A more detailed peek at the feature I wrote about Robyn for The Gentlewoman. I’m really proud of this.