A Woman, Thinking

Yellow

Because GRRLS Rock!Poppy LochridgeComment

The word yellow wandered through his mind in search of something to connect with.--Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The quote, of course, is from the scene in HHGTTG where poor Arthur wakes up, extremely hung-over, and spies a pair of bulldozers outside his home. In his post-inebriated state, the facts of the situation - bulldozer, yellow, home - take some time to percolate before making sense

Adams' words quite reasonably describe how I often feel while reading non-fiction articles, books, and blogs. One comment might wander through my mind for days or weeks before connecting with something I've read previously, others might connect immediately.

The latter is the case for today's idle thought. I picked up Valenti's Full Frontal Feminism after reading that Hugo Schwyzer added it to the syllabus for his Intro to Feminism classes.

So far, it's all a given and rehashes most of the blog writing I've read from Valenti herself, as well as Amanda, Pam, and the gang and others.

One sentence though, about Valenti's experience meeting former President Clinton and the resulting "Boobgate", wandered through my mind briefly.

Valenti says:

If you're a younger woman, no matter how much work you do, someone is always going to claim that your success is due to the way you look or to your general fuckability.

Somewhere around my move back to Oregon in 2001, I had a conversation with my friend Glenn in Boston. If I recall correctly, I was commenting on the career shift I was making at the same time, moving from doing counseling into working in computers. Glenn maintained that I'd have no problem at all finding a job in computers. Anyone would hire me, he said. Not because I'm smart, skilled, and have been working with computers and programming since grade school. No, of course not. I was young and female. The "quota" argument.

Once I started writing, the wandering thought connected with another, vaguely related, instance. A close friend of mine has spent several years now fighting the impression that, simply because she is an attractive woman working in a company with a large number of men, she MUST be sleeping with most or all of them. The men spreading this rumor never seem to take into account that A) she's married and her husband works for the same company or B) she's obviously not having this supposed affair with them.

Sadly, there isn't a direct answer to this kind of problem. It's education, one man at a time, one person at a time (because women are just as likely to accuse each other of succeeding based on our looks), that we are smart, intelligent, wonderful, organized, human beings.