The Summer Reading Program for Children and Teens has begun at the Night Vale public library. This comes as an alarming surprise given that the program was abolished by the city council thirty years ago. Though parents and teachers have asked on several occasions to reinstate the program, the city council has maintained its position. Citing lack of tax payer funds, the extreme danger posed by books, the peril of exposing children to librarians, and of course the incident that precipitated the ban, which the towns older residents will only refer to as:
The Time Of Knives.
just so we’re clear:
- getting called out for doing something shitty is not the same as “getting hate”
- if someone is telling you that you did something shitty, they are not criticizing you as a person
- messing up does not make you an irredeemably awful human being
- but how you respond to criticism can be a pretty good indicator of your awfulness
Internalize the bold.
The most recent encouragement to just “fake it til you make it” comes from Katty Kay and Claire Shipman who published a feature on the “confidence gap” in the Atlantic. In the undoubtedly well-meaning piece, Kay and Shipman share troubling research outlining an equally gloomy picture: Women undervalue their accomplishments, and it’s holding them back in the workplace.
Although it’s true that some women suffer from more self-defeating thoughts and lower self-esteem, gender inequality can’t be reduced to mental health issues. Women’s lack of opportunities in the workplace are due to much deeper issues, and it’s time we admit that. Instead of telling women to change their personalities, maybe it’s time we take a look at the entire system.
Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of ways we can help women that don’t include telling them just to hold their head up high.