{Friday Favorites} The Personal is Political

For anyone who’s taken any sort of women and politics or feminism course, the phrase “The Personal is Political” will have immediate meaning. For those who didn’t, you can read about its origin and meaning here. Today’s Friday Favorites aren’t really about women’s lib, the title is more a way of saying, let’s get (a little) serious today. For some reason, this week has seen multiple things come across my social media channels that I actually stop, click on, and consume, which is rare. So, I’m sharing them here.

1. Presidential Candidate Meme


2016 is shaping up to be a wild, and potentially terrifying presidential, race. I’m not looking to bring politics onto this blog, so that’s all I’ll say about that. I’m bringing it up though, because this week, this meme swept through social media and what I found so interesting about it is that people on all sides of the political spectrum were posting it. The armchair sociologist/political scientist in me is fascinated by this, given the fact that there are a couple candidates who are really firing people up on both sides, but neither have mainstream appeal. This will be an interesting election to watch play out, as long as it goes the right way ;). Also, the guy writing it sort of looks like Trump…coincidence?? 

2. You’re so pretty…Don’t be so bossy

A really powerful video from HuffPost Women.

Posted by HuffPost Parents on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This video, by the Huffington Post is burning up Facebook. I think this video is powerful and eye opening, particularly for people who haven’t read Lean In (see below). The instilling of gender stereotypes/roles in children through language is something I’m fascinated by. On one end, always focusing on a girl’s looks and telling her not to be bossy can pigeon hole her into a particular role, take focus away from her ability and intelligence, and hold her back from having the confidence to accomplish the highest level of whatever is she might want to accomplish – which we need her to do solve humanity’s most urgent issues…not to be melodramatic or anything. On the other end, what is the solution? Because, treating girls like boys is certainly not it. How do we embrace and encourage the amazing and powerful differences between genders while enabling both boys and girls, women and men, shes and hes and theys, to reach their full potential? That’s the conversation I’m interested in.

3. Radical Candor

Confession: I have never had professional feedback at any point in my career. At first I didn’t mind. I’m stubborn and independent and always do things right #not, and I’ve always bristled at criticism. Now, as much as I don’t want to hear criticism (or praise, which makes me equally uncomfortable), I’m starving for it. I’m starving for it because I want to know how I can be better and I’m starving for it because I need to give it and have no idea how.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 9.15.10 AM

From firstround.com

All of my bosses have generally given me free reign—and I genuinely appreciate their confidence in me. I don’t hear about it when I’m doing well, and if they’re unsatisfied with any part of my performance, I have no idea. I recognize now, that not giving feedback can both be a sign of confidence in me, but also a sign that they’re not either not invested in my professional development/the organization’s optimal operations and/or don’t, themselves, know how to give feedback.

From Radical Candor

From Radical Candor

Now that I have a team that works for me, I have nothing to reference—no role model, no mentor—when I try to give feedback. It’s a constant challenge for me and I’m often sifting through human resources websites looking for guidance. I want to give them feedback, both on strengths and opportunities for improvement. This article came across my Facebook feed from a former student who is now pursuing a career in HR and it really resonated with me. I encourage you to check it out and welcome tips on giving feedback!

4. Lean In – Read It!

If you haven’t read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In yet, do it. It’s one of two books I read every year or so (the other is Andy Cohen’s The Andy Cohen Diaries…the absurdity of this statement is not lost on me). I don’t necessarily agree with everything in it, but it has had a major role in how I’ve approached my career in the last 3 years and how I advise graduate students to go get it, whatever “it” might be. And for the record, everyone should read it, not just women. 

5. Family Time and Cookies

I am so grateful we had the chance to spend last weekend with my hilarious and adorable and crazy nephews (and my sister, BIL, and good friends). We packed a lot into last weekend, which you can read about here, and made some amazing memories. Speaking of making amazing things – the paleo chocolate chip cookies we made this week have totally kept me going amidst a crazy schedule. It also turns out I completely mistold the story, so I added an additional update here.


Happy weekend everyone!

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