Men do a lot more housework today than they did ten years ago, but they do the same amount of housework regardless of whether they are single or married. This means men are more self-sufficient than they used to be, but also that they are only doing what women would call “the basics.”
Women do more housework when they are married than when they are single — even with no kids. Which means women are doing more than the basics because they want to make a nice home for the marriage. And men already thought they had a nice home. Men don’t care about the extra housework women are doing: the genesis of unpaid, unappreciated labor.
Forget the wage gap. Let’s talk about the emotional labor gap. Parents have to decide who runs to the emergency room when the kid is sick, who goes home when ceiling fan falls in the living room, who remembers the dietary preferences and food allergies when the extended family comes into town. You can’t outsource everything. So one person has to have a job that has fewer time demands.
And I’m so sick of telling you that men and women are not the same so we can’t treat them the same. Women keep their marriages together by saying yes to sex even though they don’t want sex. This would have helped me a lot in my first marriage, where we had sex three times in...
This course runs May 7 – 10 at 8pm Eastern and includes four days of video sessions and email-based materials as well as a weekly meeting with special guests for four weeks. The cost is $195 but you can save $50 if you use this coupon code in the next two days: SMARTAF. Sign up now.
This is a course for INTJs. It’s not like any course I’ve done before. But before I even tell you about it, I want to say you really have to be an INTJ to enroll in the course.
First of all, the INTJs are ruthless to people who are not like them, and honestly, I can barely cope with being in a course with them. Because even when they are trying to be nice (which they may or may not be trying to be when they talk to me) they can’t stop squashing other people for having weaknesses. Literal illustration: Melissa sitting on me because I didn’t wake up on time.
Usually the best way for me to tell if someone is an INTJ is to put them into the first course I did for INTJs – the INTJs are in heaven and everyone else is like why are all these people such assholes?
But that takes a lot of time, so here’s a shortcut for how to tell if you tested as an INTJ but you’re not:
Do you make decisions based on your values?
Yes? No? It depends?
A reporter emailed me to set up a call to talk about millennials. There was a time in my life when I would have ignored the email. I’m tired of talking about millennials. But now that I’m home with kids, I say yes to reporters so I have someone interesting to talk to.
This one asked me about how millennials will change leadership. She wanted a quote about David Solomon – quintessential BS-laden story that millennials eat up. He’s the CEO-in-waiting at Goldman Sachs who is also a DJ and walked his kids to school. And then I remembered the other reason I don’t do calls with journalists: I go on tirades.
Walked his kids to school! So devoted!
Really, how do people believe this crap. Here’s what it’s like to be a millionaire and walk your kids to school: someone else wakes them up and gets them ready. And then there’s a car service to pick you up at the school and drive you to work.
In the past you got a gold medal for being CEO. (Or you got a gold medal for being a hot wife who raised kids who became doctors and lawyers.) Now CEOs have to be aspirational for millennials so they have to look like they won a gold medal for work-life balance.
Chelsea Clinton is a great example of commitment to nothing. She was at McKinsey for a year. She fundraises for charities. She wrote a children’s book....
I am so sick of people telling me I don’t have Aspergers. I am also so sick of people not listening to me when I tell them their daughter has Aspergers.
Women who have Aspergers do not look like men who have Aspergers. Men who have Aspergers look like socially retarded men. Women who have Aspergers look like neurotypical men. Of course, this is just a nice way of saying that women with Aspergers are retarded women. But the truth is that neurotypical men still look like social retards compared to neurotypical women.
So when a woman thinks like a man, we do not think she has Aspergers because we worry that would be gender stereotyping. But WTF, genders do have stereotypes. And most women who have brains like men have Aspergers. This does not mean women who are strong and athletic have Aspergers. That is you misunderstanding gender; women can be strong and athletic and think like a woman. But women whose brains work like men are not likely to be normal. Duh.
Don’t complain to me that there is not a man’s brain and a woman’s brain. Seriously. Of course there is. You know that if a guy loves to go shopping and get his hair...
For my next career, I decided I want to be a professional gamer. My kids will grow up and move out and I’ll get great internet and stock my apartment with all the food gamers want. And I’ll recruit an awesome team because they can live rent-free and play together in one room.
I will not have good reaction time, but I’ll be team captain and that way we can get AARP to sponsor us.
Also, I might even have a gaming blog. I have a lot to say. For example, did you know Koreans are better at League of Legends than anyone else? And people spend a lot of time trying to figure out why. Like maybe it’s their gaming style (go out strong) or gaming culture (it’s literally ILLEGAL to cheat at videos games in Korea).
But I hear this same conversation about Korean string instrument players. Earlier in life I’d have told you to go to Optilingo and learn Korean because I was convinced it was language related. But now I have come to the unscientific conclusion that it’s finger dexterity. Maybe small-twitch muscles in fingers. Or something like that. You’ll want to come back to my gaming blog for more borderline racist commentary.
I confess that she got engaged way earlier than just now. I had to get used to the idea. It’s a big change and of course I’m happy for her, but I’m nervous about the change.
I like the guy. Okay, of course I like the guy. Melissa is very good at setting a goal and meeting it. He is smart and interesting and loves Melissa and he is maybe the only person in the world who is as obsessed with gaming airline miles as she is.
But back to me. I notice that I’ve been thinking in analogies lately. My professor in grad school told us that writers use analogies to keep distance. Like the ants in Farewell to Arms. Hemingway can’t watch all his minor characters blow up at the end of the book. So he sets the ants on fire.
But recently I read that people do that as a way to form consensus. In my mind, consensus is railroading, to my own end. (And that is a metaphor, not an analogy.) But I think my analogistic fervor comes from wanting to have consensus with me and Melissa about what our next phase will be.
Here is an analogy I’ve been using lately. Deciding to have kids is like deciding to have spaghetti. If the only option for dinner is spaghetti, then that’s what you’re eating. You can only pick something that is not spaghetti if you have something else...
An interesting way to divide things is into commitment and not commitment.
So many people say they want to “change the world” but everyone they point to as a world-changer is someone who was extremely committed to their cause.
Commitment is a lot of pain (see Seth Godin’s book, The Dip) and it means giving up a lot as well.
I am interested in putting people who stay in a long-term marriage in the same category as people who revolutionize their industry because both types of people exhibit big commitment.
Then we are simply talking about commitment vs not being so hard-core. So training for the Olympic swimming, fulltime parenting: same type of commitment because you give up everything else.
Part-time parenting, weekend swim class, constandncareer changes, these are forms of non-commitment. I’m not saying its bad. Just these are two different ways to choose to live, and we should be honest about what we are doing.
Maybe you have not said all of these phrases, but you have said one of these, and you need to own up to it. Because all the #metoos of the world are not going to change things without you taking personal responsibility for the ways you put down other women.
“I could never stay at home with kids. It’s too boring.”
The implication here is that people who stay home with kids require less stimulation than you do. Maybe they are dumber than you are, or more simple than you are. Maybe they don’t have the incredible potential to change the world that you do. You were born for better things.
Most people who stay home with kids have a choice: they could work full-time at an interesting job, or they could focus on raising their kids and taking care of their family. The people who are home with their kids did a cost-benefit analysis for the family as a whole and decided the extra money they’d make working was not as beneficial as the extra time they could give to making their family run well.
This does not mean the person is boring or stupid. But it might mean you are boring and stupid to assume that people who stay home with kids are not as interesting as people who work all day. And if IQ is what you’re concerned about, consider that an Ivy League education makes moms more likely to stay home.
A few months ago I did an experiment. I usually charge $350 for a coaching session, and at that fee I let people pick the time they want to talk. But then I said that if people booked the session at 7am or 10pm I would discount the cost to $150. Nearly overnight I was booked for three months solid. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. There’s a really dirty underbelly in Silicon Valley.
Asperger hot houses of IQ discrimination, sex slave enthusiasts with one or two startups under their belt, and Luddite / Mormon / Mennonites who work at Google but don’t let their wives leave home without complete body coverage. If you think I’m exaggerating, read this piece in Vanity Fair. If you want to coach the people in these cesspools of intellect, their sweet spot seems to be $150 an hour.
2. Self-administered personality tests yield inaccurate results.
Fortune 500 companies adore personality type tests, because they ensure only leaders get trained to lead. And entrepreneurs love personality type because one bad hire can kill an early-stage startup. So when I am coaching for $350, most people have taken a personality test through work, with some expensive consultant administering the test. And the test results are usually correct.
But at the $150 price point most people do not have the kind of job where your boss hires someone to give you the test. So they just give the test to yourself. This is when personality testing doesn’t...
Business school applications are due at the beginning of January. Now is the time to withdraw your application.
Because you should not go to business school. If you want to start a company, you should start a company. And if you want to climb the corporate ladder you should do that. An MBA does not help you with either of those goals.
An MBA gets you into middle management. If you’re a strong performer you get into middle management faster by working than you can by taking two years off of work to get an MBA.
If you want to be an entrepreneur then go be one. Entrepreneurship is about being scrappy, cutting corners, and figuring out new ways to do things. If you think you need to go to school for that then it’s a sign that you’re not cut out to do it.
This is not controversial stuff I’m saying here about business school. Yet every year people apply. In most cases the people who go to business school are essentially announcing they are failing in their work.
Here are five types of underperformers who go to business school.
1. People who work with morons.
Did you ever hear the expression “A players work with A players?” The other truism is that A players don’t encourage other A players to get MBAs. If you are a high performer then no boss would encourage you to leave and get an MBA. Because they want to keep working with...
This week Melissa is working with clients in New York during the day and sleeping at my apartment in Swarthmore. I wait for her to return each night at 9pm like I am like the cranky wife frustrated by her spouse’s long commute. My kids wait to light Chanukah candles with her like they are the cranky four-year-olds frustrated by the long wait for gifts.
And my older son says, “If you bought me socks for Chanukah then can I have them now? Because all mine are dirty.”
1. Give gifts that affirm what the recipient is doing is ok.
Melissa gets home. With gifts. And we light candles immediately. Most people scold me that my kids don’t like to read. Melissa doesn’t care: She bought both the boys books with no words.
She is particularly good at buying my older son gifts because they’re both INTJs. Tonight she gives him Crap Taxidermy. The botched procedures are disgusting. I am grossed out by the implications of torture. My son doesn’t care. He says, “This book really shows how difficult it is to stuff an animal.”
Melissa gives me a glycolic mask.
I put it on my face right away.
My older son says, “Why are you trying to be young?”
I talk without moving my lips so I don’t crack the mask: “Women who look younger make more money.”
He says, “That’s so great for women. You are really helping to break stereotypes.”
“If I weren’t trying to be younger...
When Squarespace contacted me and asked me to collaborate with them, I said yes. I usually say no to everybody. But, everybody I know uses them for their sites and their sites all look so good. And I thought it would be really good for my brand to be working with Squarespace. So I said yes. Then I did a lot of thinking about the best way to do the partnership with them, because I had a million ideas and you can do anything on Squarespace.
My grandma had a children’s book store. I helped her do the book buying to open the store. I got to pick the books for the kids my age.
I remember thinking this is so fun. And also, why does she get to have a store and I don’t?
Every day after school I went to the bookstore. There were after-school snacks in the fridge and dry shoes if I forgot to wear boots. I loved opening boxes of books and hearing the crack of a new spine.
The inventory system was all on handwritten index cards. My grandpa taught me calligraphy and we wrote the name of the book and the author and the publisher, and then we sat next to our card, rereading it, while the ink dried. Then we tucked it into the book, significantly slowing down the already-slowest inventory system in the world.
Ask me the publisher of any children’s book published from 1975 – 1990. Really. I know...
First of all, a confession: I think the wage gap is fine. I am paid much less than men with my experience and track record, and I don’t care, because I want to be with my kids.
Still, I know many people are passionate about closing the gap. In this post, I will tell you what you can do to close the wage gap.
First of all, there are more women than men who are qualified to go into STEM but women are not interested.
Second, the gender gap in tenure-track STEM is not any bigger than the one in senior leadership in business. And we know that this gap is not because women don’t have equal opportunity. It’s because men are fine leaving kids home with nannies and women are not.
So men and women have the same choices in life but women want to care for kids more than men do.
And that’s a much bigger problem than a simple wage gap.
The problem starts in school. Teachers constantly reinforce the idea that kids go to school so they can grow up and get important, impressive jobs. They train kids from a young age that they are only as good as their report card. Which means kids lose their natural ability to determine what is valuable and important to them and what is not.
So by the time men and women get through school and get jobs, they have been trained to compete for external validation....
This course runs December 4 – 7 at 7pm Eastern includes four days of video sessions and email-based materials. The cost is $195 but you can save $50 if you use this coupon code in the next two days: SAVE. Sign up now.
Melissa will be there, and special guests will be there, and my kids will be there, in the background asking for things I said no to, because parents are so vulnerable when they are on live video.
Melissa and I have a love/hate relationship with INFJs. We hate them because they are so judgy. And we are not judgy because we are too uncaring to be judgy. But actually we spend a lot of time being judgy about the INFJs for being so judgy.
Two days ago I was pacing my living room coaching an INFJ and it went like many coaching sessions with INFJs. I said, “To get started, what’s your personality type and how old are you?”
The person answered, “I’m an INTJ and I’m old.”
I said, “You’re an INFJ. An INTJ wouldn’t summarize their age like that.”
She told me about her divorce. And she was defensive and shut down and I said, “We can’t get anything done if you are defensive and shut down. Why are you like that on this call?”
She said she felt stupid for marrying someone like her husband and she hates having to tell people.
She is having the classic INFJ problem: she judges everyone else so she...
You know you’re in denial when your bio still says you live a thousand miles from where you really live. That’s pretty much where I am right now.
Also I couldn’t do obsessive late-night purchases on Anthropologie because I couldn’t remember that I still had the farm address on my credit card. And then I thought I didn’t have money because my card didn’t work. It’s messed up. I need to just get a grip on reality and update my address.
Try to to guess the one link on my site that gets the most clicks. Well, actually, it’s mailbag, and now that I’m writing this, I’m going to have to put a new question there. I have no idea why it’s so popular, but before I start getting friendly with quick money lenders, I should focus on monetizing that section.
But after mailbag, the most popular link is the Photos of Penelope link. For the five people who read this blog and have never clicked on it, it’s here, but it’s also on the bottom of every page. And I used to really like the page a lot. It’s pictures of me having fun and being thin and feeling in love. And pictures of me using my startup funding to pay people to do my hair and my makeup to get me ready for a fancy photo session.
Now I look at that page and it’s mostly pictures of me on the...
My brothers are always the first people to send an email to say I misinterpreted research that I’m linking to. (Which I accept as a love note to let me know they read my posts.) So last week when my brother sent me a link he thought I’d like, he also sent me a summary:
There are more men in STEM careers than women, which of course you already know. But the real reason we can’t solve the gender gap in STEM careers is shocking. At the time they enter into college, there are actually many more women who are qualified for STEM careers than men. However the majority of qualified women choose to do non-STEM majors in college. While the majority of men who are qualified for STEM careers choose STEM majors. So, it turns out that the researchers have found that the gap between men and women in STEM careers exists because men who are not qualified for STEM careers simply do not go to college.
So, women and men are very similar at STEM, but men not in STEM cannot get into college. Which means the reason we can’t solve the gender gap in STEM careers is not anything people could have ever imagined.
What’s striking about this research is we’ve asked the wrong question. We have been asking why aren’t women going into STEM, but the truth is women don’t want to go into...
Now that I am finally writing again, I’m so excited to tell you what’s been happening. And I have all these pictures I took, thinking, this will be good for the blog. But then I didn’t write anything.
You can’t get stuff done if you don’t plan an exact time of day you’re going to do it. So I planned to wake up and write before the boys get up.`
When the boys were little I’d try this and they’d use their child radar to wake up the second I was awake. So I gave up writing in the morning. And anyway, I decided it can’t be true be that people who wake up early are higher performers because caretakers of little kids wake up early for years and it kills their career.
But now my kids are older. So I tried again.
And it turns out my son wakes up extra early every day, so he can have time alone before I start bugging him about making sure he a to-do list to meet goals for his day. And to play video games.
It was sobering to watch him. First of all, I realized how important alone time is for him. He’s willing to get up hours before everyone else in order to get it. I also learned that he needs a break from me harping on the idea of always having goals and working toward them.
I wish I had something...
So often in my life I have felt like I’m failing when I’ve actually been taking a break. After college I had various odd jobs and every night I read books. I read a book a night for a while. I used to ignore that part of my story — glossing over it and skipping from college graduation to professional beach volleyball. But the late-afternoon reading that slipped into late-night reading was my break.
I was exhausted from navigating the social life of school. I was dying to read books I chose myself. Maybe most importantly, I needed time to process my nightmare childhood. Because when you are living a nightmare you can’t process. You are just surviving.
The next time I took a break was when I got fired from a high-paying writing job. The break wasn’t then. It was before then. I was sending my editor articles I had already published and telling him they were new. He found out and I felt terrible. I loved the job and I loved the editor. For years I hated myself for being so dishonest.
But I needed a break. I had a child who was failure to thrive, and I had no help from family and I was the sole breadwinner in New York City. It was too much. The pressure was killing me and the only way I knew how to get a break was to lie.
I have more resources now. So...
For a while, when I was pregnant and blogs were still new, I was the top commenter on my blog. And of course, every post I write is sort of an ode to me, or at least an ode to the current diatribe-colored glasses I’m wearing. So there was no need for a shout-out.
Then I wrote a lot on mainstream media sites, and I didn’t need to write an ode to my top commenters because my bosses did. When they fired me. I got fired from Yahoo because a big advertiser commented one too many times that I was terrible for women. I got fired from a newspaper because a guy set up spam bot, or whatever it’s called, to comment that I’m an idiot for saying job hopping is good.
Usually my editor, who is now Melissa, would take out the part where I misuse the word spam bot. She works hard to make sure I don’t look old and outdated. She tells me I should not use Snapchat like it’s email, and then she edits one of my best snaps for the blog to celebrate my coolness. So I’m writing a note here to the editor: don’t delete the part where I misuse spam bot. If I did misuse it. I’m ready to risk sounding old and technically incompetent on my blog. There’s a reason old people sound technically incompetent: They don’t fucking care.
Speaking of Melissa,...
The reason I’m not homeless after basically taking a year off from writing is that I have been doing a lot of coaching. I say career coaching, but honestly, no one over 30 has a career problem. All problems that look like career problems are really something else.
But the only coaching most people can justify spending $350 on is coaching that will lead to making more money. So people hire me to talk about their career and they realize they do not have a career problem. After talking with me for ten minutes. So with the remaining 50 minutes I do career coaching about non-career problems.
I love talking with the people who call. It takes a smart, curious, brave person to set up a coaching session with me. If you read this blog for even just a tiny bit of time you know there will be no beating around the bush. A lot of people cry. And I tell them, “Don’t worry, a lot of people cry. And anyway, I have Aspergers so I can just ignore it.”
Well. If they want me to. Or I can express empathy. But for sure no one is signing up for a coaching session because they heard I’m great with empathy.
I get lonely. I spend all day with my kids. They say interesting things, like, “Mom, why are you so forgiving to everyone in your life? I think you have Stockholm Syndrome.” But in spite of that, or...