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Friday, June 20, 2003

Read Her

I am a little late to the party on this one, but will chime in anyway.

Halley ("Read Me"): "Weblogs work the way women work, they invite conversation and interaction in order to solve problems. They are not designed with women in mind, but they are all about cooperation, conversation and transparency. They are perfectly suited to a woman's view of business."

This is a compelling essay (and I'm a huge fan of all things Halley), but I can't go along with its generalizations on gender lines. My days are too filled with encounters that blow such stereotypes to out of the water. Like:

  • men who were built for collaboration, women who can't stand it;
  • moms who can and do run big businesses, happily married to dads who can and do run the home front; and
  • couples who arrive at dynamic and mutually respectful divisions of domestic labor without judicial intervention of any kind

—to name just a few. Of course there remain enormous distances for women to cross in business and beyond. Of course the world is full of societies with values radically different from those I see every day. It is, however, a mistake to ignore how much Western corporate culture has changed and is changing still, and an even bigger mistake to make assumptions about a person's abilities, tendencies, likes, wants, needs or desires based on his or her gender. Reading a good cross section of weblogs is excellent proof of this concept.

Yeah, I know: "Just you wait 'til that baby is something more than a mere wardrobe inconvenience, and this might all begin to look a little different." But my take on this partly explains why I'm reluctant to find out if our kid-to-be is a boy or a girl. That, and I always liked Christmas gifts to be a surprise. =0

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