Friday, November 25, 2005
So, this blog post is a shout out to Anne Kingston. She wrote a bang up article in the new issue of Report on Business. Frankly this article has National Magazine Award written all over it. I have rarely read such a good piece of writing. It is bursting with information and her prose is engaging. Excellent work. What follows is my open letter to Kingston that details how I feel about her article.
Dear Ms Kingston,
I on a regular basis steal magazines from the café across from the office I work in, on Maisonneuve here in Montreal. This morning, after the cover of the Report on Business caught my eye, I read the first couple paragraphs of your article, “Why Women Can’t Get Ahead.” I was engrossed. Glancing at the distracted café owner I slipped the issue under my arm and made for the door.
Ms Kingston, as a young woman I was NEVER told that I could succeed if I worked hard. The most positive message I have ever gotten is that due to my race and gender I would have to work three times as hard to get whatever I wanted. For some reason, these messages are much easier to believe than the strong black woman who can do ANYTHING as represented by Oprah Winfrey. I can’t deny that I looked at any career I might have as a veritable jungle gym of obstacles, bigotry and problems. Still, trophy wife, bag lady, and unemployed depressive were not options I wanted to capitalize on. So, I worked and I worked hard.
Reading your article I have to say that what I found most interesting is that the male executives you interviewed were only honest about the anti-women bias as long as they didn’t have to be responsible for it. It’s the work world’s worst kept secret yet business still tries to pretend they are running equitable environments (I am sure WWP Group has an employment equity statement, but I wonder if it applies to the woman dressed as a French maid on stage with their Creative director). Meanwhile, it is women alone who have been compelled to change, adapt their lifestyles and fight sexism, while men are left to continue to find new and imaginative ways to exclude women.
You note that women start most small business ventures. Small business may also be a place for women to excel. In my current job, I am responsible for one of the largest parts of this business. I would never have the same power over the product I do here in a large company. Although, small businesses rarely pay what you can make at a large business. But, who knows, I’m getting a raise in December, and I plan to be a bitch about it.
Yours in admiration,
Please read the article:
Thursday, November 24, 2005
So, the snow has started and it has started in a big way. I had to wrap my head up in my scarf. The ground is white and this batch looks like it’s going to stick around for a couple days. Last night was FREEZING. I told a friend that it was so cold my legs almost broke off. He said that was OK, as long as I cover my boobs as they are more important. Awesome advice.
I really don’t think I agree with him. As I told him I would rather have my legs than my boobs. I mean, they are fantastic (they really are, men have written testimonials to them), but there are things I like about my legs. They are strong and pretty shapely. But, I find them so useful, mainly for walking but especially for dancing.
I have actually given this a lot of thought. Not boobs Vs legs specifically, but I wonder how I would deal if I lost my legs. See, I love to dance. I can dance all night. After several drinks, I can dance all night and a good portion of the morning. I’m like a dancing machine. I’ve been known to go dancing several nights in a week – OK, I was 20. Also, I am not one of those bar chicks standing beside the dance floor, hand on hip, waiting to be cruised but some bar guy. Nor am I the circle dancer stepping with my friends around the great purse pile. I am also not the starved for attention girl dancing for the guy I have herded into a corner with my flailing limbs.
Madonna said it best, “only when I’m dancing can I feel this free.” Strangely, I am the girl who constantly gets challenged to the impromptu ‘dance off.’ It happens more often than not. I’m dancin’ and dancin’ and suddenly some guy gets in my face – generally this person can dance circles around me – and we dance for all it’s worth. Yes, we throw down.
But, when I think about it, I generally smile while dancing. Also, I have a way of looking at people right in the eye. So, I guess there is a chance that some of the dance offs happen because some guy is walking by me and they happen to catch my eye. And to them, because I’m smiling, I have “Let’s dance!” written all over my face. That could be it too.
Anyway, today I have taken procrastination to an extra special level. Time to actually work at work.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
So, I don’t know if my personal trainer could smell break up on me or if he was just being nice because they lost the cheque I wrote but for some reason, as I was running on the treadmill he said to me “You’re looking really good Debbie, really strong. You may have lost a little weight too.” This guy is a master motivator. After that little exchange, I ran faster, pumped more iron, and kicked ass on the BoSu. I’m like a sarcastic, large breasted, female version of Rocky.
Enough gym talk.
Yesterday I worked from home. I hate it and I love it all at the same time. I like my home to be home, I don’t want to conduct business there. But, I have to say that sometimes it is better just to be at home than at the office. I can be so comfortable at home. Yesterday I had a telephone meeting. I talked circulation with a consultant while wearing nothing but a cap sleeve t-shirt and loose fitting panties. You simply can’t sit around the office like that. I mean for a while the office was sweltering so we worked in various states of undress but we almost always wore pants.
However, by the evening I was climbing up the walls. I had go somewhere or do something. So I went to the Laundromat and the grocery store. What an outing. At least I got some clean clothes and a container of eggnog (which I later mixed with brandy while chatting with my mother on the phone. She asked me not to get drunk, “Please don’t get drunk all by yourself, dear.” I made no promises).
The Laundromat was hilarious in an incredibly irritating sort of way. I love almost all children, I really kinda do. And I have a modicum of respect for some parents in a general sense. And, I often abhor violence in principle. But sometimes I want smack the living daylights out of some parents while shaking their kids until they pass out. Last night, at the Laundromat while trying to read a French décor magazine an irritating little bugger had a fit because his mother wouldn’t give him is can of coke before he ate all his French fries like a good boy.
The kid was screaming like a monkey, throwing himself on the floor and slamming the doors on the dryers. To try to get him to stop, his mother tried to negotiate with the kid – which, I believe, is like complimenting Satan. In the end the kid got his can of coke (because if there is anything this child needed was more sugar, I don’t see why she didn’t set the kid up on an IV drip) and only ate three or four fires. The best part was after the floorshow (which went on for 25 minutes) the kid’s mom tried to give him a “Time Out.” I swear to you, the kid looked at his mother and said “yeah, what ever you say, lady.” Then the woman laughed. If I tried that with my mom, fire would have rained from the sky.
Anyway, I got out of there.
This post isn’t really about anything, is it.
Monday, November 21, 2005
So, today I find myself seriously wishing romance movies actually had some connection to real life, because folks I do think that they are 100% fantasy. I simply can’t suspend my disbelief. I think the Harry Potter movies are more realistic. I think the chances that hobbits actually exist are better then me keeping a boyfriend.
Oh yeah, my boyfriend and I broke up. Well I guess he is now my ex-boyfriend. Mind you, we weren’t together very long. So, perhaps the X-bf title is a little too much for him. This was a very mature break up. Very adult. I even spent a few days telling myself that ‘yes, this is for the best.’ It is for the best, actually, but I am still sad. I wish things were different.
I have to say if I thought I had the ability to change things I would try. Then he would show up in front of my house in the driving rain, pounding on my door, screaming my name. I’d open the door and we’d kiss. Fade to black.
However, even if my life were like the movies and he did show up on my doorstep in the driving rain, that wouldn’t make me happy. Well, actually it would for the time being, but he’d still be the same person and I would still have the same problems with the relationship. As would he.
So, as I have already told my friends, I am now taking applications from men who may or may not belong to any of the groups below:
Paramedics, firefighters, IT guys, barista boys, personal trainers, construction workers, medical interns, stock boys, bar tenders, small business owners, students, part-time students, Brazilians, chemists, dentists, strategic marketers, business interns, call centre workers, best buy sales staff, movers, ushers, record store clerks, janitors, French teachers, translators, web site designers, patent makers, aerospace engineers, pediatric cardiologists, carpenters, twins, DJs, painters, trench diggers, CBC executives, radio personalities, taxi cab dispatchers, line cooks, bookstore managers, public transit employees, postal workers, client services reps, statisticians, iconoclastic Canadian authors, promoters and others