I had an email from someone wondering if I'm still planning to write the short ebook about job searching. The answer is yes, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep my originally planned schedule. Once I get the company set up to the point that I can get paid for contracting, I should have the time to get back to the book- but I'm not sure when that will be. I'm a bit fried from all the pressure that eventually made me quit my job, so I'm trying to be gentle on myself and only push as hard as I absolutely have to, at least for a month or two.
I'm also still unnerved by some realizations about how my career has gone to date- see my comment on Nicoleandmaggie's excellent post today about how to address gender issues in the classroom for a glimpse at the issues I'll need to sort through at some point. The extent to which I feel fragile on gender bias issues right now makes me wonder if there are therapists out there that specialize in putting ambitious women back together after a run in with harsh patriarchal reality shatters them. If there aren't, there probably should be. I don't feel shattered, and I'm not sure what I think actually happened at this particular job. Perhaps it was just time for me to do something different. I don't want to read more into the situation than was really there. But perhaps because I can't really explain what has happened to the career path I thought I was on, I feel like I could shatter if I'm not careful, hence the whole "be gentle to myself" thing. I want to get through the immediate transition and then spend some time figuring out how this whole experience can make me stronger. Or something like that. Whatever the reasons that have led me to this point, I'm pretty excited about the potential of what comes next, and I want to be able to make the most of this opportunity.
So anyway, I'm still going easy on the gender bias stories. But I have a few to share this week, mostly gathered a few weeks ago, before my valve blew. I also have a bunch of links about other infuriating things. Doesn't that sound delightful?
First, the gender-related ones:
Emberdione has a really great post about being a mom in the game industry, and how things could be so much better if more people understood that planning and management can avoid crunch time (sound familiar?) Here is a great quote from the end of the post:
"All too often work gets re-done or wasted. Leads and Publishers want
more than they are willing to give time for. May the producers who build
the gantt charts and FORCE the studio to get it to fit within the time
frame find eternal joy. (My favorite producer was the one who drew one
out, it showed we had 6 months more work than time, and said, “Okay, no
one is leaving until it works.” 3 hours later, a very weary set of leads
left the room with a workable schedule that did NOT include crunch.)"
Like most work-life balance things, this shouldn't really be a gender issue, but is.
Ellen Chisa posted some excellent observations about the sexism in how we talk about product management.
There have been a lot of discussions about sexism in publishing, particularly around the success of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. I really liked this post from Jennifer Lynn Barnes about how the gender of the author can matter in a book's chances of success even when there are clearly other things that mattered a lot, too.
At the intersection of gender, race, and class, Tressie McMillan Cottom posted a powerful essay about an assault by a cab driver and the complex calculations that went into her decision of how to respond.
Syreeta McFadden wrote about teaching the camera to see her skin. I confess to having never thought about how photography is calibrated for white skin. This is a powerful example of how technology is not always as neutral as we like to think it is.
This post by Bree Blakeman on a near-drowning will break your heart. And don't for a minute think something similar couldn't happen pretty much anywhere in America.
Speaking of racism in America... Ta-Nehisi Coates had a typically brilliant essay on how it is far too easy for us to condemn egregious bigots like Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy while blithely accepting what he terms elegant racism, which persists and continues to harm Black people. Here is a quote, but go read the whole thing:
"'The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race,' John Roberts elegantly wrote. Liberals
have yet to come up with a credible retort. That is because the
theories of John Roberts are prettier than the theories of most
liberals. But more, it is because liberals do not
understand that America has never discriminated on the basis of race
(which does not exist) but on the basis of racism (which most certainly
And to see what is perhaps an example of the elegant racism Coates describes, read Stephanie Mencimer's article about Kathryn Edin's research and how it upends conventional wisdom about poverty and "dead beat Dads."
That's your dose of infuriating reading for the weekend, and I don't even have a funny thing to end on. Oh well, have a happy weekend, anyway!