Category Archives: Social Norms

Reasons not to become a blogger

Everyone’s doing it.  For every travel blogger I find who has quit their corporate job to travel, there must be a million more that are doing the same.  Actually, I think it’s the norm to quit and travel.  A few minutes online and I feel like jumping the fences too..I mean does anyone work anymore?

I am old school.  I’m old enough to remember the pre-internet days, when computers were for kids playing Pac-man and scientists saving the world.  I’m also young enough to enjoy being plugged in.  Which leaves me wanting to opt-out sometimes.

My mom is more popular than I am.  My mom meets what I call the traditional definition of old: gray hair, has grandkids, is often confused by touchscreens.  She’s a classical writer in every sense of the word-loves composing poems, writing thought provoking pieces, publishing her art work and calligraphy.  And she started a blog!  It’s been running a few years and she has wayy more virtual friends than I do.  And if we both have blogs, we can compare  stats.  How embarassing?

All my stuff out there makes me uncomfortable.  I took a social media marketing class where one of the slides said something like: Everything you put online will always be there, even if you delete it.   The kinda words that haunt you..forever.

Followers.  Some kind of euphemism for stalker, is it?  Let me put something online so that people can..follow me around the internet.

Visions of Grandeur.  Let’s say that people do decide to “follow” me.  Does that make me important?

Ah well, here we go anyway.

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3 ways to heal post #election2016

Politicking aside, this election has brought gender wars to the forefront which is of great interest to parents.  Having worked in male dominated industries most of my life, I’ve found myself uniquely aware of differences, both assumed and unassumed.

In the Atlantic’s “Fear of a Female President” Peter Beinart, contributing editor, highlights the disproportionately aggressive and personal reaction to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.  Campaign propaganda “Don’t be a p*ssy. vote for trump”,”Trump that bi*ch”, “Life’s a b*tch: don’t vote for one” underscore a provocative and gender based undertone to attacks. Hillary’s possible ascent to leadership is triggering gender backlash that is unlikely to recede even if she’s elected, just as research suggests Obama’s election may have led to greater acceptance of racist rhetoric.

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Psychologist professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has studied a classic phenomenon in Hillary Clinton’s Angry Face, that people perceive emotion differently in men’s and women’s faces.  Women are more likely to be perceived as having emotional responses (caused by something internal), whereas men are likely to be thought of as responding to a situation.  In other words, “She’s a b*tch, but he’s just having a bad day.” However scientists have not discovered gendered hard-wiring for emotionality/rationality or a gender based difference in emotional experiences.

Key takeaways:

  • Look inward.

Awareness is the only way to fight biases.   When dealing with others ask yourself, if this person were a man instead of a woman (or vice versa) would my reaction be different?

  • Break through stereotypes.

Stereotypes serve to limit both men and women.  As Emma Watson urged in her UN speech, both men and women should feel free to be sensitive or strong.

  • Remove the gender filter.

Judgements often come with a gender focused lens, even for toddlers.  For the active girls: she acts like such a boy.  For the shy boys: He’s acting like a little girl.  Realize that these are human traits, not gender traits.

After an increasingly antagonistic election, America’s biggest challenge will be unifying a divided nation, especially along the gaping divide of gender.   It is mostly perceived differences that provoke the greatest disagreements, but we have to be able to convince ourselves of that.

ChartedWaters worked over a decade in finance, traveled to 54 countries on 6 continents, and now blogs as an expat mom in Hong Kong.  Charted Waters is currently taking the Social Media Marketing Specialization with Coursera.  Connect on twitter @charted_waters