Tina Fey’s Bossypants has been taken up by all kinds of great bloggers as a guidebook for women negotiating, well, pretty much everything, and for good reason! Needless to say, the blogs I was most interested in were the ones that thought through how Fey’s wit and strategic sharp thinking can serve as excellent advice for women weaving through the traffic of academia. Tonight while I was cooking dinner I found myself wondering which other women might offer a similar kind of unexpected insight. So, in the spirit of Le Tigre’s “Hot Topic” here’s the beginning of an eclectic list:
Julia Child: If I had a dollar for every time I said “Sorry to bother you, but” or made some other caveat before presenting my ideas well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be so concerned with getting a tenure-track position. Not only is Julia Childs the maven who repeatedly reminds us to make “No apologies!” she also took risks to do what she loved. No matter what. I’d say that’s pretty great advice for us at any stage of our careers.
Megan Leslie, MP (NDP): Last week I walked into my classroom and lo, there in the front of the room was Megan Leslie. She had just given a guest lecture and students were lined up to talk with her after class. She introduced herself to each one saying, “Hi, I’m Megan.” As I was setting up my computer behind her she turned and introduced herself to me with the same simple words. She’s clear spoken, uncompromising, and always seems to manage to get the last word in without being snide. Moreover, she’s a crucial voice for women in a space that is run by a government that grows increasingly hostile to women. Clear spoken, incisive, and uncompromising: three ways of being that will certainly work in the academy as well.
Maya Arulpragasam: I think that there’s much to be learned from a smart, savvy, badass multi-tasker with a sense of global politics rhythm to boot. No apologies here, that’s for certain.
Your turn readers. Which women should we be watching, and why?