Author Topic: In the New Yorker...  (Read 470643 times)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #310 on: July 14, 2011, 08:41:40 pm »
by the time I finished the article I felt vaguely annoyed with myself for wasting my time on the "issues" facing this enormously fortunate and privileged woman and the others like her mentioned in the article.

Wow, you read it differently than I did. Obviously she is fortunate. I thought that was the point -- she's an extreme anomaly.

In other words, what I thought was the "issue" is that so few women in general are able to become as enormously fortunate as she is by rising through the ranks in the technology industry, as the statistics mentioned early in the piece pretty clearly showed. The ones who have issues, consequently, are not the Sheryl Sandbergs, it's the ones we don't hear about because they don't have those jobs.

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I preferred the article about the bicyclists in Rwanda.

I skimmed that one. I like Philip Gourevitch, but it was pretty long and it didn't grab me right away.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #311 on: July 14, 2011, 09:05:36 pm »
Wow, you read it differently than I did. Obviously she is fortunate. I thought that was the point -- she's an extreme anomaly.

In other words, what I thought was the "issue" is that so few women in general are able to become as enormously fortunate as she is by rising through the ranks in the technology industry, as the statistics mentioned early in the piece pretty clearly showed. The ones who have issues, consequently, are not the Sheryl Sandbergs, it's the ones we don't hear about because they don't have those jobs.

Yes, I guess I did end up reading it differently. Part of my point was that Sheryl Sandberg was "enormously fortunate" from the get-go: Ivy League education, Lawrence Summers as her mentor, and so forth. For me, as a child of the Working Class, I ended up asking myself, Do I really give a flip whether women can rise to the top ranks of the technology industry? No. That's an issue for an extremely small, privileged group of people to begin with.

Do I really care who's in the top ranks of the technology industry, male or female? No.

Understand that I'm not denying the existence of a glass ceiling. I would just be more engaged, and more sympathetic, to an article, for example, about women trying to become middle managers at Walmart, rather than an article like this one, about a small handful of women becoming millionaires in the technology industry.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #312 on: July 14, 2011, 11:11:02 pm »
I actually had similar feelings as you, Jeff, as I read the article. I wasn't able to finish it, either.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #313 on: July 14, 2011, 11:37:50 pm »
Yes, I guess I did end up reading it differently. Part of my point was that Sheryl Sandberg was "enormously fortunate" from the get-go: Ivy League education, Lawrence Summers as her mentor, and so forth. For me, as a child of the Working Class, I ended up asking myself, Do I really give a flip whether women can rise to the top ranks of the technology industry? No. That's an issue for an extremely small, privileged group of people to begin with.

Do I really care who's in the top ranks of the technology industry, male or female? No.

Understand that I'm not denying the existence of a glass ceiling. I would just be more engaged, and more sympathetic, to an article, for example, about women trying to become middle managers at Walmart, rather than an article like this one, about a small handful of women becoming millionaires in the technology industry.

I don't know for sure, and I could easily be wrong, but I would guess it's possible that by now it's not that hard for women to become middle managers at Walmart.

In fact, my feeling is that in most professional fields women are represented at many levels -- especially on the lower rungs, like middle managers at Walmart -- except at the very top, where they are still a tiny minority. And apparently the minority is even smaller in the tech industry, which isn't known for being particularly female-friendly in the first place. But it happens in other big companies, as well as in public office and other areas.

That doesn't directly affect me in any way I can think of (my own profession is fairly woman-friendly; the editor of the newspaper where I work is a woman; I'm not a millionaire; I'm not all that interested in the tech industry; I don't have daughters, etc.). But it's important to me in the same way, say, marriage equality is important to me even though it doesn't affect me directly, because I want everybody to have the same opportunities.

What's the solution, in this case? I think it's structural and institutional and societal. Sandberg thinks it's more personal -- that the problem is that women aren't stepping forward and grabbing the bull by the horns. I disagree with her, but I found it interesting to hear her side.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #314 on: July 15, 2011, 08:44:41 am »
Well, here's an odd one: I'm actually "ahead" of my New Yorkers!

I guess because that one issue had only one article (the piece on Harriet Beecher Stowe) that I wanted to read, and the last issue being a two-week issue, I've actually finished up all the issues in my queue. Today being a Friday, I'll read a newspaper at lunch, but after that, I don't know what I'll read until the next New Yorker arrives.

Incidentally, I've also started a file of editing/proofreading goofs in the magazine. Eventually I will send them to the editor. The last straw that made me start this file was actually the Sandberg article. Sombody's name went from Hewlett to Hewitt and back again within the space of two paragraphs.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #315 on: July 15, 2011, 08:46:30 am »
I don't know for sure, and I could easily be wrong, but I would guess it's possible that by now it's not that hard for women to become middle managers at Walmart.

That might be true. I don't know. When I dreamed up that hypothetical topic, I was thinking of that class-action lawsuit over pay that was recently thrown out of court. I do have it somewhere in my memory that Walmart has been accused of not being particularly woman-friendly.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #316 on: July 15, 2011, 10:01:29 am »
That might be true. I don't know. When I dreamed up that hypothetical topic, I was thinking of that class-action lawsuit over pay that was recently thrown out of court. I do have it somewhere in my memory that Walmart has been accused of not being particularly woman-friendly.

That could be.

But, and not to prolong this quibble forever, now that I think about it, even if the Walmart workers did have a problem I doubt that an article about them would be inherently more interesting to me than an article about people at the upper echelons of the tech industry. I've worked at Kmart and at Macy's, so I feel fairly familiar with what life is like in the former group. Whereas the latter is a group I'll never be a part of, so that article to me was a peek into that world. It was interesting, to me, to see what kind of people wind up there.

Today being a Friday, I'll read a newspaper at lunch, but after that, I don't know what I'll read until the next New Yorker arrives.

Wow, that never happens to me. In just about every room of my house there are stacks of books and magazines waiting to be read. In fact, I'm halfway into at least five books as we speak and have several more in the queue. I'll never even put a dent in the whole collection, of course, but at the same time it's hard to throw them away.

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Incidentally, I've also started a file of editing/proofreading goofs in the magazine. Eventually I will send them to the editor.

Maybe they'll hire you!  :laugh:


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #317 on: July 21, 2011, 08:52:48 am »
Yee-haw! Finally, I've got a New Yorker to read again! No more dragging a heavy book to work just to have something to read over lunch!  ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #318 on: July 21, 2011, 01:01:30 pm »
Now, here's something that I really like about The New Yorker: So often, it seems to me, reviews are so much more than just reviews. The Hilton Als review in the July 25 issue of the new production of Terrence McNally's Master Class, with Tyne Daly as Maria Callas, is a case in point.

Als begins with a reminiscence of the opera queens he knew in the 1980s, many of whom are now dead of AIDS. Then he gives us benighted provincials some biographical information on Callas herself. Only then does he turn to the new production of McNally's play and Daly's performance as Callas. He speaks very highly of both.  :)
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Meryl

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Re: In the New Yorker...
« Reply #319 on: July 21, 2011, 10:07:32 pm »
Now, here's something that I really like about The New Yorker: So often, it seems to me, reviews are so much more than just reviews. The Hilton Als review in the July 25 issue of the new production of Terrence McNally's Master Class, with Tyne Daly as Maria Callas, is a case in point.

Als begins with a reminiscence of the opera queens he knew in the 1980s, many of whom are now dead of AIDS. Then he gives us benighted provincials some biographical information on Callas herself. Only then does he turn to the new production of McNally's play and Daly's performance as Callas. He speaks very highly of both.  :)

I saw Master Class a few weeks ago, largely to support a colleague of mine who directed it, and thought it was really good, and Tyne Daly also.  But no matter how good the play and performances, the best parts are the monologues, during which the lights dim and you hear Callas's actual voice fill the theater in excerpts from La Sonnambula and Macbeth.  She can still make the hair stand up on my neck.  What a great artist.  8)

I'm so glad Terrence McNally wrote that play so that people outside the opera world can get a glimpse of the power of great artistry and be reminded of who and what Callas was. 
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