our careers tha… 79 other people learning how to ask myself the tough questions about what I want out of my career. It felt like single-handedly undoing every crappy internal dialogue that makes us feel selfish for wanting more out of our careers than just a paycheque.
I read my fair share of business books, usually knocking out one every month or two. For the most part, I would describe the genre as helpful. Some books remind you of things you’ve learned; others spark a new idea or approach to something you’re stuck on. But every now and then, one of these books reframes your assumptions about what it means to lead and manage others. How F*cked Up is Your Management? is one of these books.
We ended the call and I just sat frozen in my chair for a few minutes. Did this really just happen? Was I seriously just asked by the third largest paper in the nation to write their “feminazi” narrative to counter their “reasoned and compassionate” editorial? Was I just asked to be one of the excuses for why this whole “me too” moment needed to be shut down? Was I just asked to be their strawman?
I have not yet figured out how to drive all men into the sea. I’ve considered maybe taking a boat to the middle of the ocean to start shouting about the wage gap to see how many men would try to swim over to tell me that it doesn’t exist. But I’m very fond of a few men (including the two I gave birth to — nepotism, I know) and I also get really seasick on boats.
What do we mean by “Big Bugs”? Software that exacerbates racial biases in the criminal justice system is a big bug. Security policies that put sensitive data from hundreds of millions of people at risk are a big bug. Apps that secretly spy on users (including, yes, Beyoncé) have big bugs. Undermining trust in legitimate journalism and exacerbating fake news? Yep, that’s a big, big bug.
…nds are not white? Do your friends of color feel comfortable telling you when you are being racist? When with other white people, what jokes are you letting slide in order to not make waves? What racist comment are you cringing at but choosing to ignore? In what ways are you helping to make white supremacists feel comfortable in their bigotry, in order to not make yourself uncomfortable as well? What friendships are you risking in order to help make your racist friends better people and to help make your friends of color more safe? How are you fighting the normalization of racism and bigotry in everyday life?
… are a product of the system that every person in this country with white privilege helps maintain. I know that sounds harsh; it sounds like I’m painting the majority of Americans with a broad brush, but the system of white supremacy does not care about your intentions, it does not care if you do or do not hold hatred for people of color in your heart—it only cares that you participate in the system.
Coming back to a startup after maternity leave is like starting a new job with a bunch of familiar faces. There will be a lot you already know, but brace yourself for a lot to be new — new people, new context, new priorities. Like the Queen Street Viaduct, the river you last stepped in is not the one you find yourself stand…