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    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Linda Valdez on the IT Goddesses

    I am confused by this article.

    I have read it three times now and still. Not sure.

    The successful young women of today who've made "I'm no feminist" a mantra ought to get a little humility. They wouldn't have the vote, let alone a seat at any decision-making table, if it hadn't been for some mouthy women who were brave enough to be shrill and wise enough to be feminists.

    But these days, feminism has a decidedly unsexy image. So does Barres' call for women and men to unmask discrimination and fight for more family-friendly workplaces. Both feminism and frank discussions of discrimination are necessary.

    But they may not have the punch I need right now.

    At my house, the 15-year-old girl who used to say math and science were her two favorite subjects now says she wants to be a film actress. OK, I say. But how about a backup plan? Something like a medical degree, maybe? She chuckles.

    That serious image just can't measure up to the reality of Keira Knightley getting to give on-screen kisses to both Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom, the two hottest men on the planet, according to my daughter.

    So maybe the Australians have the right idea.

    As a mother, I've always been a devotee of the School of What Works. Luring girls into a male-dominated occupation by showing the women who are in that field as sexy film stars might not be entirely honest. Or feministically correct.


    Thoughts?

    Also, does it strike anyone else as strange that the IT Goddesses used The Princess Diaries as one of their samples? No one's going to argue with Charlie's Angels or 10 but ...

    4 Comments:

    Blogger Breena Ronan said...

    Yuck! I don't like that calendar. Now if it showed those fab photos and photos of the women in their everyday garb that would be different. The truth is that almost anyone can look glamorous all made up. I'm sure those women don't spend their days all dressed up. Since when do professional women have to dress up as sex symbols to prove themselves?

    11:33 PM  
    Anonymous Luke said...

    my comment! crap, I typed in an incorrect word verification and closed the window..I think

    11:50 PM  
    Anonymous eninnej said...

    I am confused about the allegation that geeks aren't sexy. I would be much more likely to buy the calendar if the pictures were glamour shots of IT techs building computers and whatnot. I don't understand the movies they picked at all.

    And the article is trying to pull together too many disparate ideas, I think. It confuses me, too. The transition from the Larry Summers section to the "I'm not a feminist" discussion (right before the bit excerpted above) is really poor. First she quotes Barres: "It is a view," he writes, "that seems to have resonated widely with male, but not female, scientists." And then she says, "He may not have read the blather of a number of female columnists who championed Summers and labeled his critics as whiners and victim wannabes." How did we get from women scientists to women columnists? How is the comparison relevant?

    And that paragraph about the unsexy image of feminism and family-friendly workplaces? Makes no sense. My verdict: the article is poorly written and inadequately thought out, and the calendar suffers from it's focus on 'pretty' over 'smart', as if the two are mutually exclusive. Mediocre efforts all around.

    3:49 AM  
    Anonymous Luke said...

    god, i think i closed my 2nd comment. i must be losing it. anyways, overall, I think the calendar is a little problematic. it's one thing to do something like www.thehotness.com and positively promote women in various fields and saying that "they're hot." its another to say that these women are hot and making their glamourized bodies and faces the "hot" thing. it detracts I think from what they actually do and who they really are.

    5:00 AM  

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