Feb. 8th, 2010 01:26 pm
jenk: Faye (NotYoungEnough)
Kristine Kathryn Rusch on surviving jealousy - not romantic, but jealousy of other's success at work. One of the examples she gives of someone being jealous:
[A] woman came up to me after a panel [at a con] and screamed at me for ten minutes, calling me every single name in the book. [...S]he believed she was a better writer than I was, and she deserved “fame” more than I did.

Finally one of the convention security people pulled her out of the room. My other panelists were shaken. I was surprised that the screaming had nothing to do with my editorship (as it had other times, mostly because I rejected someone’s story), but with my writing.

I had never met this woman before, although I’ve seen her since.

She also talks a bit about how she has been able to turn the beginnings of her own jealousy of another's success into inspiration:
When I was twenty and still in college, I met a man who wrote part-time for the same organization I wrote for. He was also a nonfiction freelancer. He paid for his apartment, his food, his car, and his clothing out of his nonfiction income. I saw his product at work. He had a great voice and a lot of talent, but he couldn’t spell his own name and his manuscripts were almost unreadably sloppy.

I figured if he could succeed in the cutthroat nonfiction world with those messy manuscripts, then I could with my clean manuscripts. I wasn’t the wordsmith he was, but I was more professional.

My analysis of his work got me started. I wrote for some of the same places he did, and began to wonder how he funded his lifestyle. I wasn’t getting paid enough per article to pay for my apartment and my expenses. Eventually, I moved to larger and larger publications, publications that paid me a month’s worth of expenses per article. It wasn’t until later that I found out that he had supplemented his income writing term papers for students, and (ahem) dealing cocaine. (It was 1980, after all.)

I didn’t take the negative view—that you can never make a living at writing; that you need to deal drugs to make any money at all. Instead, I saw that he was succeeding as a freelancer, getting work published even when he wasn’t trying hard. And that inspired me even more.

Because I hadn’t been trying at all.
I note that Kris' reaction wasn't to hate her coworker, or want to destroy him. Instead she decided to try to improve on how he was doing things, and to work harder.

(I do like that she also found out that his life wasn't fully funded by his writing. Because sometimes you really don't know everything.)
jenk: Faye (MoandSyd)
This may not seem important. [ profile] siderea gets into why it was:

What was taught in the psychiatry classrooms of the US -- what had been taught since the mid-1940s [...was...] that same-sex sexual desire was not an ordinary human experience, but necessarily a symptom of a grave and disabling insanity. You could not desire members of your own sex, they taught, without also being a sociopath who would lie, cheat, steal, and rape (anything or anyone) at the slightest opportunity. Homosexuality -- for those of you who are clinicians -- was a personality disorder.
And this was, they insisted, necessarily so. You couldn't have the symptom of same-sex desire without this attendant whole personality illness, that pervaded every aspect of your life, the total of your personality. You could not be a person of character, could not have close human relationships, could not control your impulses or appetites in any way, they said.

This is what was taught. This was what was taught to psychiatrists. All of them, pretty much. For thirty years.

I was born in 1966. My earliest memories are from the early 70s. By the time I was grappling with my sexuality it was the mid-to-late 80s, and the only serious anti-gay voices I heard were religious.1 This helps fill in some of why the older folks seemed so wigged at the idea, especially those who didn't know they knew anyone who was gay or lesbian.

What changed this? A combination of activism and education on the research that had been done - outside of the psychiatric field.

Among that research the most astonishing was Evelyn Hooker's 1956 "The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual". It was a gold-standard, double-blind experiment. Psychiatry claimed that homosexuality could not exist without all sorts of other debilitating effects throughout the personality. Very well, said Hooker: let's test that hypothesis. She recruited thirty gay men who had never had therapy and thirty controls who were matched for them on age, socioeconomic status and intelligence. Each was given the standard, most esteemed, tests for psychopathology then in use. Their anonymized results were shipped to three highly esteemed experts on those measures, to be graded.

And what was returned was that the very best experts in psychological testing for psychopathology, using the best tools of the day, could not tell the gay from straight respondants on the basis of pathology -- or at all. The rate of psychopathology in the two populations was almost identical, with the gay subjects being just a tad better adjusted.

This research made an enormous splash in psychology, but psychiatry wasn't ready to hear it in the 1950s.

Psychiatry was ready to hear it in 1973.
There's a lot more goodness here.

1[ profile] cooncat reminded me that I certainly heard anti-gay slurs and crass jokes. But the serious "authority" anti-gay voices were pushing the "It's against God" reasoning, not "Gays are by definition insane" reasoning. Even the anti-gay initiatives of the time resulted in publicizing research that shows that gays are normal.
jenk: Faye (Default)
A quote that smacked me right between the eyes.

Let’s say you’re brought up in an abusive household, where if you ever admit that you’re wrong then your parents and siblings will use that as evidence against you in every future argument. The correct behavior in such a case is to never admit that you’re wrong, and to conceal every mistake you make. Given the people you’re living with, that’s the key to survival - a perfectly sensible reaction.

But once you’re out from under the thumb of your crappy family, this secretive, angry denial will harm you. You’ll fail at most jobs*, and if you ever date anyone who does trust you, your behavior will convince him that you’re a big liar. And he’s right; you are. Unless you change your ways, the kind of relationships you’ll build with people will – gotcha! – mirror what you had with your family.

You act one way when you’re trying to control damage from awful people, and act another when you’re trying to build bridges with good people. Treating the two as though they’re the same will destroy what you have…

…But treating bad people as though they’re good will destroy you.

Stage Three Trust: Because You Asked For It
Oh, and the *? "* - Unless you’re President! Zing!"
jenk: Faye (DominantParadigm)
So the Washington Post reviews this book and its author, Dante Moore, on how women need to get skinny, learn to cook & clean, and dress sexy while they're doing it.

The Post also publishes an article on how "the percentage of [Japanese] women who remain single into their 30s has more than doubled since 1980". One woman states, "I have never met a Japanese man who did not want me to be his mommy," and the article notes such drawbacks as

[T]he rarely stated but almost universal expectation of Japanese men to be fed, clothed and picked up after [...] [A]fter a divorce, men [in Japan] tend to feel unhappy and remarry quickly. Divorced women, though, are relatively happy and often delay remarriage.

Both articles were published the same day. Kinda wonder if Moore happened to see the article about women wanting partners instead of extra children while perusing his own press.
jenk: Faye (FayeAtComputer)
From Jessa Crispin at Bookslut (by way of Paul Constant at the Slog) comes the assertion that “Having slept with 40 men by the time you’re in your late 30s does not make you a slut,” and a mathematical model to determine if you are a slut:

# of Total Men1    >    Your Age x 1.5


1Personally I would amend this to "Total Persons", not "Total Men".
jenk: Faye (read)
From Becoming a Black Man, about transgender people of color. I'm not qualified to comment on the overall article, other than to note that it made me think. But this note on how one man teases teenage boys "who talk about "fags" and refer to women as "bitches"" made me giggle:

He pulls the teenagers aside and uses a bit of reverse psychology, telling them that it’s okay if they’re gay. When the teens protest that they’re not, [he] says, "You have no respect for women, and you’re fixated on gay men. What am I supposed to think?"
jenk: Faye (knowing)
You may remember that last May, Joss Whedon wrote about the "honor killing" of Du'a Khalil, on April 7, 2007.

A group of people have put together an anthology of "responses" to Du'a Khalil's death and Whedon's essay called Nothing But Red, with proceeds going to Equality Now. (Yes, EN is the charity supported by Can't Stop the Serenity.)

At the moment I think I'd be more likely to give EN the cash than buy the book, but I also think creating the book is a Good Thing overall and probably wasn't easy.
jenk: Faye (Money)
"Can you spot the rich person" isn't just a Northwet game anymore. (And no, I don't feel sorry for a car salesman complaining about having to be nice to everyone now ... ;)

An article on how charities do (and don't)report success is mostly about how they don't, and how some benefactors are starting their own charities because they don't trust that existing charities will do the job. I'm glad some groups are getting on the ball with this. If you're trying to solve huge problems, sometimes knowing what didn't work for someone else is very illuminating.

One sidebar has some links that look interesting:

Some charities are moving away from the field's traditional secrecy and offering public assessments of their programs' effectiveness. A few notable examples:

Millionaire Suffers from Oversized-Home Syndrome. As the Palm Beach Post puts it:
Boca moneybags Dru Schmitt painstakingly merged three adjacent lots alongside a canal in the ultra-exclusive enclave of Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club.

The 39-year-old then spent nearly two years building a state-of-the-art mansion with 300 feet of docking space, lush landscaping and a breathtaking interior.

[Last month the family moved in.]

Within days, according to neighborhood buzz, Schmitt decided he just didn't like it.

Too big - at 23,000 square feet.

So just like that, one of the most expensive homes in South Palm Beach County is on the market. Price: $24.9 million.

And MSN summarizes a survey on how American married couples' financial roles have changed.
jenk: Faye (Food-Kaylee)
After all the food issues in my circle of friends, this article on food & relationships naturally caught my eye:
“I went out with one guy who said I seemed really great but he liked bread too much to date me,” said Ms. James, 41, a writer in Seattle who cannot eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
Jennifer Esposito, 28, an image consultant who lives in Rye Brook, N.Y., lived for four years with a man who ate only pizza, noodles with butter and the occasional baked potato.

“It was really frustrating because he refused to try anything I made,” she said. They broke up. “Food is a huge part of life,” she said. “It’s something I want to be able to share.”
Food has a strong subconscious link to love, said Kathryn Zerbe, a psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. That is why refusing a partner’s food “can feel like rejection,” she said.

As with other differences couples face, tolerance and compromise are essential at the dinner table, marital therapists said. “If you can’t allow your partner to have latitude in what he or she eats, then maybe your problem isn’t about food,” said Susan Jaffe, a psychiatrist in Manhattan.
The article also notes that commentary on sites like and favor medical and religious dietary restrictions over the "picky eaters".
jenk: Faye (Meditation)
“You know kids, nobody can ‘make you’ feel anything. – You do know that right?” (they look confused)

“No, seriously,” I say, “ You can be, if you choose, in control of your feelings. Nobody can make you angry, nobody can make you sad, unless you want to be.”

They scoff, and without fail, one of them says, “My parents make me angry” – or even better - “I can make people angry”.
And there follows an experiment, where the teenager tries to make Peggy (the Quaker preacher in the story) angry. And at the end, she reports:
“I am feeling slightly amused, and proud of you, young man, you showed courage, you gave it a good try. You didn’t flinch. I respect that. I like you. – I am not, however, in the least bit angry.”

Then I ask the class if they can figure out why he failed. They are smart. They [...] come around to “You didn’t want to be angry. You made up your mind that you weren’t going to get angry.”
And that is the "bingo" moment. A human can choose a particular reaction. We can get better at picking what we're going to feel or do.
Just because people are offensive does not mean that I have to be offended. What a time-saver....
Read the rest, it's worth it.
jenk: Faye (Default)
[ profile] siderea posted on the meme's background at length, noting that it was developed as a learning exercise for college students about them and their classmates, and is meant to be applied to your life conditions at the time you started college.

For the curious, it appears to be based on the "Take A Step Forward" exercise at

Me ... well, and my mom and dad. )
jenk: Faye (StainedGlassAngel)
So the senior pastor at Antioch Bible Church, Ken Hutcherson, has been asking the folks on his prayer list to support him in meeting with Microsoft executives about Microsoft's gay-positive policies at the Microsoft shareholders' meeting. In a followup, he reported that the meeting "went well".

Reports elsewhere (P-I, Slog) note that Hutcherson's "meeting" occurred during the public Q&A. As one person put it,
[Hutcherson spoke first.] As Hutcherson spoke, only one person clapped out of the 500-600 people present.
I can't help but wonder what was going through Hutcherson's mind at that point. Was he surprised at the lack of enthusiasm for his ideas? Did he assume people weren't responding to him because they're afraid of the "pro-gay" cabal? Did he think the quiet meant they were taking him seriously? Did he decide silence meant they were afraid of the "black man with a righteous cause, with a host of powerful white people behind me," and would therefore do what he wants?
Another stockholder asked what they could do to counter the hateful ideas and actions of people like Hutcherson. There was a more enthusiastic wave of applause in the meeting.
Was Hutcherson still in the room at that point? Did it reinforce how out of step he is? Did he question himself at all? His post-meeting mailing to the prayer list ended,
Pray God will take this to their hearts and minds and that they will respond to me.
Dude. Were you still in the room when the general legal counsel replied to the followup question?
As a company, we've had a clear policy with respect to the way we treat our people, and we believe in that policy. It's a policy that's founded on non-discrimination, it's a policy that we believe has served our employees well, it's served our shareholders well, ... )
- Seattle P-I
I think that's your response.
jenk: Faye (working)
In 2006, Catalyst looked at stereotypes across cultures (surveying 935 alumni of the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland) and found that while the view of an ideal leader varied from place to place — in some regions the ideal leader was a team builder, in others the most valued skill was problem-solving. But whatever was most valued, women were seen as lacking it.

Respondents in the United States and England, for instance, listed “inspiring others” as a most important leadership quality, and then rated women as less adept at this than men. In Nordic countries, women were seen as perfectly inspirational, but it was “delegating” that was of higher value there, and women were not seen as good delegators.
- from "The Feminine Critique" in today's New York Times
I end up wondering if women are perceived as being less good at what's most important, or if certain skills are considered "less important" because women are considered to be good at them....
jenk: Faye (eyes)
One of the recent series of blurbs on the daily 7 habits calendar was describing the differences between dependence, independence, and interdependence. The first difference is this: independent folks are self-reliant; dependent folks aren't. So what's interdependence? Interdependence is when independent people decide to work together on a common goal. What caused me to "get it" was the assertion that only independent people can be interdependent. Dependent people aren't reliable or strong enough to be interdependent.

Some other thoughts on this:
Being Independent & Interdependent but not Co-dependent
Toward a New Formulation of Self-Esteem: Dependent, Independent, and Unconditional, which compares this process to learning to walk:
Initially, we don’t have a sense of self, no grasp of being a differentiated entity. In the second stage of development we are dependent on the support of others—parents, teachers, peers—for our sense of self. In the third stage of development, our sense of self is independent of others and we are strong enough to stand by ourselves: we provide our own self-evaluation. After a while, when we become more comfortable with this independence, we are ready to move to the next level of development in which we are no longer concerned with self-evaluation. We simply, and naturally, exist.
This article also notes:
[...] I do not believe that it is possible to experience detachment at all times. Unless we choose to live in isolation on a mountaintop by ourselves, it is inevitable that we sometimes lapse into comparison and dependence. As our self-esteem strengthens we experience less and less of these attachments, but to entirely rid ourselves of them seems unrealistic to me.
Also, a 7 Habits Summary.
jenk: Faye (read)
This article on emotional intelligence (EQ) grabbed my attention:
You probably overestimate your emotional intelligence. Most of us do. You could get into real trouble when your EQ is extremely low — like posting naked photos of yourself [...] Most of us are not doing insanely stupid things. We are just doing a series of smaller EQ mistakes day after day.

At some point, if your EQ is too low, you will hit a wall. Most people notice the wall when they can’t get a job, because today, the job hunts that are most successful are based on networking skills — in other words, EQ. But here are other areas of the workplace that are becoming more and more important. And success in each of these three areas depends heavily on EQ.
Some tips from the same writer on making social stuff work for you:

Benefits of being a partial chameleon
Think hard about how you approach a group. Do you hope that the group conforms to you or do you conform to the group? As long as you respect the people in the group, conforming to them enough to form a bond is not a bad idea. [...] But you can find pieces of yourself that match up with just about everyone, if you are in-tune with yourself and other people.

5 ways to be better at office politics:
  1. Don’t try to change or resist company culture including dress, communication styles and office hours. Being different does not work.
  2. Practice self-awareness. This is a life-long task and every day you can become a little bit more aware of how people perceive you. Just doing your job is not enough. You need to do it in a way that makes a positive impression on everyone else.
  3. Manage your stress levels so you can avoid emotional displays of inconsistent behavior and inconsistent messages. Most emotional outbursts come from unmanaged stress.
  4. Be approachable all the time – in your cube, in the hallway, even in the bathroom.
  5. Network before you need to network. Being good at politics means that you are good at relationship building, and you can count on a wide range of people when you need them.
What do these things have in common? Well, besides enough self-discipline to carry them out? I would say it's about providing a consistent experience for your coworkers. Yes, even #1 - if you really can't operate the way they do, then you probably need to find a new job.

Being likeable is a big part of office politics.
Most of us have to work at being likeable. Fortunately, [research] shows that the biggest impediment to likeability is not caring. So if you “just decide you want to do better,” you probably will.
Why is this important?
[P]eople judge your work skills as incompetent if you are not likeable — no matter what your work skills are. It may not be fair, but it’s what people do.
If people enjoy interacting with you, that will color the rest of the transaction. Plus, if you enjoy the interaction, that's a bit of enjoyment to your day you otherwise might not have had.
jenk: Faye (Default)
Again from the daily calendar.
One of the most fundamental problems in organizations, including families, is that people are not committed to the determinations of other people for their lives. They simply don't buy into them.

The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don't like to do. They don't like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose. — E.M. Gray.
jenk: Faye (ComputerAnger)
Way back in the early books, when she wasn't having sex every few hours, Anita would get hit on with various regularity.

According to some reviews I've read, this is proof that she's just too attractive to be "real".

I never read it that way. Why? Because usually she was in a sexual situation (strip club) or the only woman in a macho situation (crime scene).

In a sexual situation, flattery - or assuming everyone is there for sex - is roughly par for the course.

A macho situation, aka a mostly-male environment, is different. It's a case where having boobs (and not being tall) means you don't blend in. You're different. A guy who is used to only seeing women when he's trying to get laid may not know how to react to a gal in "his turf". Come-ons can be a reflex, or to remind the gal that she doesn't belong. It can be verbal hazing, harassment. Or, if you kind of like her (Zerbrowski) it's something to joke about.

So why I am relating this? Well, I'm wondering if a much ealier version of Anita might have reacted like to a mostly-male environment this grad student. I know I did, 2nd day of System Programming, in 1989.
jenk: Faye (GeekGirl)
In 2002, Tom R Tyler published an article title Is the Internet Changing Social Life? It Seems the More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same in the Journal of Social Issues* From the abstract:
A review of the studies reported in this issue suggests that the Internet may have had less impact on many aspects of social life than is frequently supposed. In many cases, the Internet seems to have created a new way of doing old things, rather than being a technology that changes the manner in which people live their lives. As a consequence, the policy implications of increasing Internet use may be less than is often believed.
Here's an example:
A cute 30-something single from Lincoln, Neb., Minnie began corresponding with George Hoagland, a handsome young doctor from New Jersey [...] The two exchanged notes and photos and seemed to totally click [Turned out George was a white-haired septuagenarian who'd sent her a 40-year-old photo.]
A New Danger of the Internet Age? Not quite.
[T]his little drama took place in 1904, when singles sought each other out through matrimonial ads in newspapers like The Correspondent, The Matrimonial Register, The Wedding Bell, and The Matrimonial Post and Fashionable Marriage Advertiser.
- Seattle P-I.
Scam artists existed before - they just work online now instead of through print. If you're going to rail against the net, why not print?
It is fine to say that parents are responsible for what their children read. But no parent can realistically patrol a child's access to paper. [G]overnment regulation of paper is clearly needed. We look to Congress for a Paper Decency Act, to close the giant loophole left open when [the] Communications Decency Act was limited to electronic media.
- from Slate
All that said, some things have actually changed. For example, single and married women have far more legal rights now than in 1904, at least in 1st world countries - including the rights to own property, start a business, enter into contracts, and otherwise live a full life of their own.


jenk: Faye (Default)

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