Posted at 19:33h
UPDATE, 1/19: Follow-up post is here.
A post from Internet analyst/author/smart-person Clay Shirky titled "A Rant About Women
" has got quite the discussion going around the Intertubes. Read (or at least skim) it before continuing; let me also take this introductory opportunity to do the obligatory feminist thing and thank the dude for taking time out of his busy schedule to wrestle with the giant questions of why don't women do as well as men at X. Here it comes... thank you
. OK, so I'm being a wee
bit sarcastic, but seriously: it really is nice to see these conversations happen outside of the usual suspected fora of listservs, blogs, etc, all for and by the ladies.
Much of the resulting discussion has been a bit heavy-handed on both sides-- "OMG, he's totally right!" "OMG, he's totally wrong!" Some great points have already been well covered by others, especially Jezebel blogger Anna's point
that women aren't allowed culturally to be the aggressive jerks that successful men are. This was also the place where I had the most visceral reaction -- the conclusion that we need to teach women to be more like men: more assertive and aggressive, demanding of what they want and need. This approach to solving the "where are teh womenz" problem misses the mark in a way that 70s & 80s power feminism also missed the mark for me. The "we're just as good as men" statements and subsequent actions set the wrong frame. It assumes: