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If Steve Jobs were a woman…

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

…he’d be treated as a CEOILF.

…there’d be incessant carping about his sense of fashion (rather, the lack thereof).

…he could either be hard-working and unlikable, or incompetent and likable. Pick one.

…the over-pricing of his products would be evidence of his narcissism and be seen as a personal failing, not as evidence of his good/bad business sense.

…TV commentators would complain about his boring presentations, and wonder if he was *pimping* out his products a bit too vulgarly.

…late night comics would make jokes about raping his kids. Only the girls, of course.

…people would say ‘why doesn’t he just GO AWAY already?!’ while simultaneously clicking on every news link about him.

…people would make videos about punching him in the face, strangling him, and sexually assaulting him. In humor, of course.

…people would complain for years about how he was selfish in not having kids.

…people would be horrified that there were rumors of a kid he didn’t acknowledge.

…people would complain about how selfish he was in having kids and not staying home and taking care of them himself.

…people would complain about how selfish he was that he stayed home and took care of his kids for a few years, thereby *abandoning his company*.

…battle-lines would be drawn around his parenting choices – whether he chose to breastfeed or not would indicate how good a parent he was.

…his falling out with John Sculley, Gates and others would be seen as evidence of his b*tchiness, and he would NEVER get past it.

…sleazy pseudo-journalists would camp outside his house and write tell-all books about his family.

…sleazy journalists would say *good lord, isn’t it horrifying* about the brown and black (wo)men he slept with in India and elsewhere.

…his ideas would always be ignored. Even when they were good.

…his ideas, if un-ignorably fabulous, would be appropriated sans acknowledgement.

…his product names would be treated as evidence of narcissism rather than personalization (iDevice)

…there would always be deep insinuations about how much influence, exactly, Laurene (who? his spouse!) had on his work and the firm.

..he would never, ever, EVER be seen as a visionary. No matter what he did or said.

Deepika IS or DOES?

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Via MissMalini, yet another example of ‘men DO, women ARE’.


Deepika Padukone: “Killing them softly with her smile” – Deepika’s feminine mystique prompts us to dig deeper into….. what makes Bollywood’s current dream girl tick
Imran Khan: “I should lead by example” – Actor Imran Khan writes….on how he works on greening life in the metropolis.

It’s like palmistry when I was growing up – they all kept saying you should read the right hand of men, and the left hand of women. And then, further, that the left hand is what you start out with, what is ‘God-given’, and the right hand is what you make of it. My mother, then still a feminist, said categorically that I should always extend my right hand – because “nowadays women are also in control of their destinies – or should be”.

If women even today in 2009, in the most privileged class of Indian society, including the most visible, most successful career women – are only about their beauty, their looks, and who their families are, there’s very little chance that they can do or be anything different from the cards they were dealt. And one of the fundamental ideas, if not the fundamental premise, of modern human civilization is that no matter who you are, you get a chance to make of your life what you want to – through hard work and smart use of the resources available to you. It’s still not an equal playing field by any means – but each one of us has the right to try, the right to the ‘pursuit of happiness’ (and not just in the US of A). And when half the population is denied that basic human right, how on earth do we call ourselves civilized?

Ghar ki murgi vs. bahar ka murga

September 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Contrast:
Palin Attacks Fed on Hong Kong Visit, Wants ‘Responsible China’

with

Ahmadinejad urges Obama to see Iran as friend

They couldn’t have said for the former: Palin urges ‘responsible China’, cites concerns about Fed direction. Like the German POWs who were given priority seating in concerts and musicals in New York over black Americans in the 1950’s (read here), the average American today shows more restraint and respect when talking about a demented male dictator from a country far away, a potential threat to the US – than a domestic female politician. Maybe a hundred years from now, we’ll see real change. Or maybe not.

Asked about the difficulties of balancing her political career with her home life, Palin said today: “I have a husband. I could have used a wife.”

Like my own grandmom told me when she visited my chaotic house as I’d started working – I need a housewife myself.

Women are dumb

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Not in the dumb=stupid sense, but women literally do not speak in public. I notice this at work all day, and in the news, on TV, in movies around me. Remember the Lindsay Campbell Moblogictv video Where My Ladies At?, where the less men know the more they’re willing to spout their wisdom but women always, always are so reluctant to speak – afraid, intimidated, hesitant, nervous, silent.

Look at Mika Brzezinski here, she would make my mother-in-law totally proud with her wonderful portrayal of a good desi bahu in the company of men. In the middle of a heated and very profoundly dramatic ideological debate taking place in front of her. And it’s unlikely that she has nothing to say or think, or that she agrees with both sides – that’s simply not possible, and not now after 15 years and 6 months of public debate on these issues. Notice the only time in both videos that she feels bold enough, or uninhibited enough, to open her mouth – she shakes her head in disgust and mumbles in agreement when Joe brings up the ‘death panel discussion’ – obviously to Mika, she can only compete on equal intellectual terms against a woman, that woman being Sarah Palin. Mika seems to believe that debates are like matches at Wimbledon – you can only play against others your own gender.

And oh, don’t you love Anthony Weiner – and he’s engaged to Huma Abedin. I don’t know which of them I’m more jealous of. Umm, wait, actually, my crush on Huma is a thousand times bigger. But Anthony’s not too bad either, and he’s the only one in this administration or in the public debate to so boldly make some very obvious points – not even Krugman has pointed directly to the large elephants in the many rooms this debate is taking place in.

What’re your weekend plans?

August 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Keep your weekend free. This Sunday, I’m getting myself a copy of the New York Times’s special issue. Yup, after nearly four years of being increasingly distrustful, disappointed, disillusioned and disgusted with the NYT, I’m actually recommending to everyone that they buy and read this issue, because of the most heart-warming, well-researched articles they’ve put out in a long, long time.

The Women’s Crusade
Nicholas Kristoff talks about the ‘alchemy of gender’ in a deliciously long article, excerpted from his and Sheryl WuDunn’s book. I was alternately in tears and alternately giggling with excitement and nodding in vehement agreement through the story (but it could just be undiagnosed bipolar :-))

A New Gender Agenda
An interview with Hillary Clinton (swoon already), but I’m shocked at how much and how often she references India. It’s clear she’s actually one of the rare Westerners who can wrap their heads around the fact that one nation can be both more liberal and more conservative vs. another at the same time; that progressiveness is not a one-dimensional continuum. She gets that India is, in many ways, a model of development for the West and desh seems to be as top of mind for her as it is to me. And most effectively of all, she’s understood that advocating to the rest of the developing world (argh, I hate that term) that development = American values will not get them or her too far, that she needs to use someone else, someone closer to the developing world as an example – therefore the frequent references to Indian democracy in Nigeria, and to Liberian elections in Congo. Wish someone would smash some of her wisdom into Aaron Sorkin’s pathetic little brain sometime.

And hey, I’m suddenly more respectful of journalists again. Who knew.

Ooh, look, shiny Twitter!

April 22, 2009 Leave a comment

I was reading this post the other day and realized I’ve grown up, finally. My old boss at the fuddy-duddy-but-hugely-successful-global-CPG firm would heave a sigh of relief….

A few years ago, when I was there, all I could think of was ‘new media’, ‘interactive’, ‘internet’, ‘360 degree’. I was so caught up in the buzzwords – each time I heard of a new way to sell things, I was hooked. Excuses of top management didn’t make any sense to me – of low penetration, of mainstream moms not caring for high-technology, of low costs & high reach of TV, of lack of measurement tools, even of medium unsuitability (“oh, people don’t go to the Internet to buy detergent or paper towels” – WTF? they don’t watch Lost or 24 for paper towels either!). It took a lot of my ideas being shot down for me to start realizing I wasn’t going to succeed by putting those in front of management.So I stopped – but I never stopped following them myself, or caring for them. I even got my Twitter account back when they had ~5000 users. Oh, those days.

Half of my early excitement for new media was that this seemed like something I could ‘own’ within the firm as my specialization, and I couldn’t own say, rural sales because being a girl those things came with safety hazards and hoops for me to jump through. Second, the Internet, in its early days was completely gender-indifferent and seemed like a place I could finally forget what was between my legs and focus only on what was between my ears – and have everyone else focus there too (this was, of course, disproved pretty badly last year, with the uber-geeks and Internet gods being the worst sexist offenders every.single.day, and threw Hillary Clinton and Palin supporters out of mainstream online discourse and left us cowering in the deep dark ‘safe spaces’ that we could create for ourselves). Finally, it made me think I would help empower all those millions of Indian moms by giving them an easy way to network, connect, communicate and make their own Girls Clubs so that they would no longer fall for our silly, tall, often-asterisked claims.

But these last two years, I’ve grown up. I believe as strongly as any Proctiod that traditional marketing, – measurable, reliable, boring, designable – works. For consumers, and for us – marketers and advertisers, who, frankly, don’t know yet how to really use these new powerful tools. The people who seem to be winning in the new media are exactly the same people who won in the old media. People with power and money and clout in the bricks and mortar world are using their heft to succeed in the new world, too. The offline bullies are the online bullies, only now they don’t even use deodorants. A NYT reference gets your average political blogger-boy very happy indeed, because it means newspaper gigs for him, and maybe leading to a book deal. Most of the time now, new media is just an amplifier (see Anne’s predictions on what will be in the news tomorrow). The paradigm hasn’t changed, the patriarchy hasn’t been dismantled, and the paths haven’t shifted.

No wonder I’m disillusioned. So much so, that I can’t be bothered that my company blocks Twitter and FB and all of these new media. So much so, that I can only smile at Critical Mass’s Riot excitement and shake my head. I don’t mean that it won’t work – I mean I don’t care that/if it does because there’s nothing in it for me.

And seriously, who buys toilet paper on Twitter, anyway?

Bad NBC. Down, boy, down.

April 20, 2009 Leave a comment

NBC suffering?

NEW YORK: NBC Universal saw its profits fall by 45% to $391 million (€301m; £267m) in the first quarter, with chief executive Jeff Zucker writing in a memo to staff that “a weaker advertising market and slower consumer demand,” along with one-off costs, all contributed to the decline.

Profits down 45% this year? Yay!

He also stated that without “one-off” costs, its profits would have fallen by just 15% during the first quarter as a whole.

These costs included a $45m fee to broadcast the Super Bowl, as well as a writedown in the value of its local TV unit ION Media, and increased film development costs.

C’mon, that doesn’t even make any sense. If the Super Bowl had costs, there had to be profits too. You’re not telecasting the Super Bowl out of the goodness of your hearts, are you? Just admit you did a really bad job and kept trying to upcharge advertisers who were, not making too much money. There’s just so much you could’ve got out of them, even if the upfronts sold mid-year last year there was already strong talk of a worsening economy.

And oh, wait, it gets worse:

[Jeff Zucker] praised the “incredible strength” of the company’s cable TV operations, which now account for 60% of NBC’s operating profit, and are continuing to perform at “record-setting levels.”

Srsly??!!!!

People, stop watching stupid TV content. Vote with your remotes, or you will perish! And take the rest of us down !!!!111!!!1!!!!!

When will America really change?

Sigh.