A SYTYCB entry
When I graduated college as a philosophy major (art double major) and signed over my soul to the advertising industry for a salary just barely half of my total student loan debt, I figured I had committed the ultimate anti-punk rock, anti-feminist, anti-bad ass move: I’d sold out. Not only was I now working for the man, but I was working to sell, no… shove the man down consumer’s throats in a display of the ultimate capitalist ideals that I’m not too hot on. Pretty much, I was now the man… or not really even the man but like… an entry-level, wannabe, mostly underdeveloped man. With a vagina.But we all have debts to pay and my car doesn’t run on hopes and dreams so sometimes you have to do what you have to do to make the magic happen, or, in reality, just get by.
Or so I thought. A few weeks into my job, not quite comfy in my cube, an email came through from a group within my agency. It was an all-female group and the contents were asking our opinions on Lego’s line of toys for girls. To my surprise, a variety of witty and intelligent emails came through from the CMO all the way to our accountants discussing the pros and cons of the Lego strategy. A lot of them were really in-line with current feminist thought and I realized: I was at home. I added in my two cents and was chosen to post on the agency’s twitter and Facebook per my thoughts on the article (in a tweet: I might love pastels but I take issue with a Lego world for girls that is dumbed down, sexed up, and segregated from the boys.) Now I routinely contribute to the conversation and serve up articles to the group for discussion from feminist blogs and websites. It’s fabulous.
It’s really interesting to be involved in a work environment like this. I feel very lucky. Something about the female-centric conversation helps put everybody on an even playing field. I mean, as a junior employee, I’m definitely hyper-aware of the hierarchy within the agency and can often be intimidated by the powerful female leaders. But when we’re all chatting about whether or not Lego’s are having a detrimental effect on a child’s development or the legitimacy of Trojan’s recent NYC hotdog cart takeover, it makes those ladies feel more approachable. And makes me feel more comfortable with the fact that I might still be working for the man, but at least there are women here… and we’re organizing.
I love that my job helps facilitate these conversations. What is your job or school doing to open up the floor for dialogue? If the answer is “nothing”, what can you do to help start the talking?