How to keep doing the work

Protestor holding a sign that says “OUR VOICES COUNT.”
Protestor holding a sign that says “OUR VOICES COUNT.”
People gathered near the Post Office in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to celebrate the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States. Photo: Paul Weaver/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

For many, 2020 has been a time of increased civic awareness and involvement, whether we focused our energies on helping our neighbors deal with Covid, living more ecologically sound lives, joining in the fight for racial justice, or just devoting our attention to the election as if everything hinged on our all-caps rage-tweeting. Now we find ourselves in a new place, post-election, and many have breathed, finally, tentatively, asigh of relief.

But we are also exhausted, and there is still work to be done. Maybe you’re drained from 9 months of a pandemic. Maybe you’re depleted from navigating a recession…

There are no two sides here. This is unprecedented and corrupt.

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died, and, because it is 2020, we do not have the luxury of just mourning. Because it is 2020, even she did not have the luxury of passing in peace; instead, her final statement was an exhortation for procedural fairness in the Senate. “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” she reportedly said on her deathbed, dictating to her granddaughter. It’s a very specific fervent wish, because, of course, it being 2020, she knew her dying wish likely would be ignored. …

Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate is a true lesson in leadership

Getty Images / Drew Angerer

I don’t know about you, but last week I was depressed about the Veepstakes. It felt like a redux of the bruising gender politics of ugly elections past. And then, suddenly, there was a pick: Kamala Harris! And my weltschmerz vanished — not just because Harris is a soul-liftingly historic choice (or because as a former lawyer myself, I’m in awe of her prosecutorial chops). My heart also swelled because Joe Biden, despite a clown-show VP selection process, had chosen an amazing and qualified woman — despite, and perhaps because of, the fact that she had been his harshest critic.

That’s it. That’s what she wants.

Across all the mom groups I am in — and I am in a lot of mom groups — I hear gripes about time. Specifically, never having enough of it. These moms were used to having less of it than they wanted, obviously, but that was before the global Coronavirus pandemic reshuffled every aspect of our lives and swept them all inside the home, where work and school and childcare and life rituals now coexist alongside anxiety, stress, and a new and Draconian disinfecting regimen for pretty much everything we do.

Now, two months into COVID-19 officially being named a…

“Bridgesplaning” might be annoying, but sometimes it has a purpose

A photo of a slightly disgruntled woman looking at a man talk, waiting for him to finish.
A photo of a slightly disgruntled woman looking at a man talk, waiting for him to finish.
Photo: georgeclerk/Getty Images

There’s a classic Saturday Night Live sketch called “The Chris Farley Show,” in which Chris Farley fumbles his way through an interview with the music legend Paul McCartney: “Remember when you were with the Beatles, and you were supposed to be dead?” asks Farley. “That was a hoax, right?”

“Yeah,” says a very alive McCartney.

In a sketch, it’s funny to keep going over something super-basic that everyone knows. It’s much less funny in real life when you are trying to get things done and someone else, instead of being useful, decides to tell you something that you didn’t ask…

“SNL At Home” reminded me of Nov. 17, 2007 — the only other time the show was forced out of 8H

Screenshot via @nbcsnl on Instagram

I watched “SNL At Home” last night, knowing it would be special, and historic. In Saturday Night Live’s 45-year history the show has only left Studio 8H three other times — for in 1976 to make way for NBC election coverage, in 1977 to broadcast a Mardi Gras special from New Orleans, and on Saturday, November 17, 2007, when the industry-wide writer’s strike closed down productions everywhere. Of those three examples, the first was an intra-NBC decision and did not disrupt the broadcast, and the second was a prime-time special on a Sunday so didn’t really count as Saturday night…

I’m a single mom. I’ve been there.

Rachel Sklar (and Ruby’s foot).

Hi. I hope you are doing okay. What a time we are in. Godspeed. Okay, to business.

I’m a single mom to an almost-five year old. I work for myself — I run an online professional network for women and am a writer, lyricist and consultant — so not only do I work from home, but I often do so at odd hours depending on when news breaks or the need otherwise arises. The bottom line: I have done LOTS of work while being distracted by my child. That work has frequently taken much longer than it should have. …

Calling attention to the problem leads to better behavior all around

Photo: valentinrussanov/Getty Images

Ever since the term “manterrupting” was coined in a 2015 TIME article, people have argued that it’s not a thing. I’m here to tell you that it is. And not just on debate stages (see Biden and Sanders this past summer) — also in your office, and maybe even at your dinner table. It’s interrupting, except done by a man to a woman with wearying regularity.

Now, just in case you’re about to “manterrupt” me and mansplain why manterrupting isn’t a problem: there are many studies that show that, well actually, yes it is. Writer Jessica Bennett coined the term

Forge Guide to Public Speaking

But you get to control the lighting

Illustration: Kiki Ljung

This story is part of How to Get Better at Public Speaking, the Forge guide to talking in front of a crowd.

Early in my career, I invited Nora Ephron, whom I had worked with, to Skype in to a panel I was coordinating. She politely declined, but her reasoning always stuck with me: “I’m too old to Skype. Lighting is everything.”

I don’t actually believe she was too old to Skype — she was Nora Ephron! A legend — but she wasn’t wrong about the lighting. …

Gabrielle Union’s ouster from ‘America’s Got Talent’ shows it’s sometimes necessary to be ‘difficult’

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In the appalling case of Gabrielle Union’s removal from America’s Got Talent by NBC, “A source close to the production disputes that Union was fired,” reports Yashar Ali at Vulture, “and specifically that she was fired for being perceived as ‘difficult.’”

There it is, in all the news stories: that insidious little word. “Difficult.”

In case you missed it, here’s what was “difficult” about the wildly popular actress during her stint as a judge on the performance contest show, which led to her three-year contract being cut short after one season: According to multiple press reports, she complained to NBC…

Rachel Sklar

Writer, entrepreneur & activist. Founder of and Change The Ratio. Just here to elevate women & sing showtunes. Find me @rachelsklar on Twitter/Insta.

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