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August, 2011:

The Problem with Women

Thanks to this TED talk I’ve been thinking a lot about why women seem to under-achieve in the workplace. Which is strange when you consider that females typically do better academically (or at least at GCSE level -males are now apparently closing the gender gap for A levels).

So why is this?

Sheryl thinks it’s because:

  1. Women under-estimate their own abilities
  2. Women typically don’t negotiate well for themselves in the workplace
  3. Women attribute their success to other external factors

Worse still – in our society success and like-ability are apparently positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. Essentially if women want to be liked, they’d better not be too successful.

Embarrassingly this is equally perpetuated by both males and females.

I’ve been thinking about what I can do differently. You see, I’m not sure I believe that ‘society’ (or men) need to do something to reverse this under-achieving trend. I really think it’s up to us ladies to step it up some.

A little more self-belief, a little less self-deprecation is easy to say, but hard to do. But nonetheless I’m going to try.

I’m also going to do my best to make sure that I’m not one of those people who are busily hating on successful women.

I’d really like it if you’d join me.

Blind Faith & The Mean Reds

So I promised you a post about the various weddings which I’ve been going to, and well here it is.

What’s both struck and impressed me about the weddings which I’ve been to this year is the very public display of blind faith between the two people about to be wed. Blind faith isn’t something we see a lot of nowadays. And that’s exactly what it is.

I think it’s very courageous to commit to another person, to make those promises. Particularly when no one can ever really predict what the future might hold. When perhaps the only thing we can be certain of is that change is just around the corner. Situations change, jobs change, hell – people change.

And I guess what most impresses the commitment-phobic, selfish, childish, sorry excuse for a human being that I am; is that despite the certain knowledge that things will change, these couples believe (even though they can’t possibly know for certain) that they want to be together. No matter what.

Whilst I sit on the sidelines idly wondering how the hell they’ve even made it down the aisle. I don’t mean figuratively – I mean literally. I’m not even the one getting married, but nevertheless the flight impulse is almost impossible for me to resist. I feel trapped and would like nothing more than to run.

Now clearly this causes something of a conflict for me. Going to weddings throws into sharp relief just how far away from that grown up world I really am. I’m aware that I’m being left behind. I’m scared that I’m the only girl in the room who doesn’t daydream about her wedding – either in the past or the future tense.

At weddings I feel like a foreigner, an outsider, an alien. I don’t belong. This gives me the mean reds like I can’t even tell you.

In short, dear reader, I find weddings extremely difficult. They make me feel sad.

That’s a very unattractive thing to admit out loud isn’t it? That I’m so wrapped up in my own weird little neurosis that I feel sad at weddings – which, let’s face it, are supposed to be happy occasions.

But, even whilst I might feel sad, I am happy for them (the couple in question I mean). I’m genuinely in awe of them, of their belief in each other, their faith.

But it’s safe to say that I’m not one of the girls risking life and limb in the frankly ugly scramble for the bride’s bouquet. I am far more likely to be found running in the opposite direction.

Given that change is always just around the corner, maybe I too will change. Maybe I won’t.

Maybe what’s needed here is a little faith. Blind, seeing or otherwise.

Image credit

It’s Very Shit Darling

Hello my loves.

Remember me?

I used to write my little brain farts here. Until life got in the way.

I’ve got so much to tell you I don’t even really know where to begin. I went to Seattle for MozCon – and they let me on stage. To speak about SEO.

Which is foolhardy when you consider that despite three years of explanation, repetition, mime, and screaming ab-dabs I’ve still as yet been unable to explain to my Mum what the hell SEO is.

Fortunately I was standing up in front of 500 SEOs which made the task somewhat easier (mainly because they don’t stop you half way through to ask what SEO stands for), plus I was armed with ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ mugs, fridge magnets and snowglobes to make the audience love me give away.

Also on my side was my British accent; which I’m reliably informed by Geraldine makes me instantly one of the smartest people in the room (or at least sound like one of the smartest people in the room which is definitely almost the same thing). Oh and that British accent also raised my hotness by like a million percent. It’s official. I am so much hotter in America. I might move there*.

Plus it was double-awesome to finally meet Kate. We got to spend some time working on our respective presentations on Tuesday which was fab. Mid (my) spiel I saw her in the crowd and said ‘Hi Kate’ and waved. (Just an FYI – it’s probably best not to do that when you’re supposed to be presenting – it’s not particularly professional – I’ve watched loads of TED talks and none of them do it.) I thought I’d got away with it, but it apparently did upset at least one attendee. We’ll call him drunk, creepy guy because that’s how he chose to behave at the first night drinks thingy**.

Anywho it was great. I met some really lovely people (you totally know who you are), and ass-hattery was definitely kept to a minimum. Oh and I learned a lot too. Let’s call that winning.

What else? I’ve been to four weddings (and no funerals). I’ve two more weddings to go. 2011 will definitely go down in my calendar as the year of the wedding. I find it really difficult to articulate quite how I feel about all these weddings. Is it ok to be happy-sad at weddings? I’m not sure that says anything good about me. I think maybe I’ll talk more about them in another post.

Closer to home they’ve ruined my local Tesco. Which makes me hate them even more than I did before.

One of the many improvements they’ve made include:

  1. Stocking far less product that they used to before.
  2. Dumb fridges with doors on that mean that you can’t get your grubby mitts on the stuff that you want to buy because there’s some indecisive, pain in the ass idiot in your way.
  3. A total re-layout of the store so you can’t find anything.
  4. Self-checkouts which prevent you from purchasing anything more than 4 items on account of the bagging area being baffling small, and removing anything from the bagging area causes alarms to be raised and you’ll be treated like the tea leaf you almost certainly are not.
Because I’m pathetically lame these things bother me more than they should. When I was younger I used to go out and have fun, now to replace what’s missing in my life, apparently I whine about supermarkets. This makes me hate myself. In order to make me feel better about myself I like to project on to Tesco.

I would go and get help for this issue only:

  1. I don’t believe in psychologists (even though I’m pretty sure they do exist).
  2. I don’t really earn enough to afford a psychologist.
  3. Psychologists scare me because I suspect that their proximity to emotionally disturbed people might make them emotionally disturbed.
  4. They may project their own emotional disturbance on to me, which in turn may my exacerbate my issue with Tesco.
Over lunch yesterday I was telling my Mum how shit the new Tesco was. Her response?
Yes, it’s very shit darling.

Yep – looks like I managed to bore even my own mother.

We then went on to talk about who I should take to my brother wedding. (Did I mention that my ickle bro’s is one of the six weddings that I’m going to this year? – Well I have now.)  We were discussing who I should take as my +1 as my best buddy Stevie Plunder can’t make it. My Mum was pro me taking a male friend. This pissed me off because I get all high and mighty about being single lately. (I’m not sure why this is.) Male escorts were debated at length but eventually discounted (my Mum was broadly positive about the idea – I think this may have been a clever piece of reverse-psychology, not that I was particularly serious about it in any case.)

In other news my ickle Mummy until today thought that Kindles were called Kimbles. As in Richard Kimble the Fugative. I swear to God she’s so on her way to being a meme. I should probably quit my job right now and just devote my life to documenting her online.

And now I’m rambling. It’s kinda late, and I’m kinda tired so I’m going to hit the hay.

It’s very shit that I’ve been so remiss and left it so long darlings.

I missed you xxx

*Yes this makes me very shallow.
**It’s not so much that this guy doesn’t have a point, it’s more that he was very drunk and creepy. In my experience if you want to make a serious point it’s important to at least try not to be drunk when doing so. I’m not sure if you can help being creepy, but if you can try and keep your creepiness in check you may find less people give you weird looks and/or mouth ‘help me’ at their friends and/or pretend they need to get another drink / go to the toilet just to escape you.