Women and Tech: Earn vs. Have

Surfing around as I do laundry, make cornbread and generally have that rare thing called a quiet Saturday morning and came across a post by Shana Albert entitled Social Media and Gender issues come back to haunt me.
Shauna does a nice job explaining how she’s fought age and discrimination in the workplace, prior to staking out social media as her (new) turf, and then she says this thing that just got me going: “The issue is my past insecurities of being a young female professional in a man’s world. I earned my spot then and I will keep trying to earn my spot in the Social Media world now as well.”
While I respect her point of view, the big bing that went off was this: Why do women continually feel they have to earn a place in the world?
Why don’t more women recognize that they have a place, and the challenge is just to keep it, or to expand what you have?
Is this a scarcity thing? I need to make space for myself in the crowd?
Or is this a lack of confidence thing? I’m a woman and I don’t deserve anything unless I earn it and am a really, really good girl?
(Can you tell this logic makes me nuts?)
Either way, it’s not something I buy into and it seems like a particularly female point of view–and not in a positive way.
Shauna, girl, don’t ask for permission and worry you’re good enough, just do what you want to do and contribute in a positive way–you have no control over what other people think, so skip it.

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  1. Anne Z. says:

    Why is it particularly female? Because we are questioned, always questioned. So we question ourselves.

  2. Amy Gahran says:

    Yeah, I sometimes feel like I have to earn my place. I don’t know if that’s a gender thing, I’ve always been like that. I feel like that less than I used to. For me, I don’t know that it’s a gender thing. I tmight just be age. But it might be gender. I dunno, I’ll think about it.
    – Amy Gahran

  3. Jill says:

    Ha! I was thinking, as I read the post, that I wanted to comment that I’m not sure the earning thing is gender as much as our culture of bootstraps and meritocracy and so on. Then I read Amy’s comment before I started typing!
    Thanks for provoking the thought, though, Susan – I agree – why do any of us feel we have to earn the place – is all of a life a competition that say you have to meet some threshold to be recognized? And the more thresholds you exceed, the more you’ve earned…what exactly?
    It’s funny – when I asked for raises at a non-profit where I worked, I got the reputation of being all about the money. But I felt that it wasn’t about the money at all – it was about what I deserved and should be earning, in financial compensation, for the services and output I provided.
    But – if we think it IS all about the money, as an end in itself, then maybe that concept of “earning a place” comes back in?
    Like Amy, I’m not quite sure either.
    Very interesting…

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