I have a hard time watching women cut other women down to size.
For me it’s painful because I recognize that the hardest thing to overcome in any group of humans is when an insider or influencer calls out someone else as “not a real [line in the sand of your choosing].”
I wrote a more personal piece about this back in April when I addressed my discomfort with Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign.
In that model the very thing that’s supposed to ensure legitimacy — hey, this is someone who’s been there and done that, truly one of us — is used as a weapon against or seperator of other people in the group.
For women in American culture this is a constant problem and it’s embedded in a variety of forums, including the workplace.
As a member of the startup / tech ecosystem, I think about these things a lot. Even in a very far forward part of the economy the concepts of access + “how it’s done / what’s normal” are still strong currents, and instutionalized “isms” are at play. I won’t get into a huge discussion of how that works here, since there are other people doing it better (for a thought provoking, but NSFW [language + trigger warning] run down, check out @Shanley’s piece on how women in tech end up reinforcing patriarchy. I don’t agree with everything she has to say, but there are some indictments there that are hard to refute.