Is Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Still a Girlboss?

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S1: This is the waves. This is the wave is the wave, this is the way this is, the way this is the

S2: waves tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

S3: Welcome to the Waves Slate’s podcast about gender, feminism and girl bosses. Every episode, you get a new pair of women to talk about the thing we can’t get off of our minds. And today you’ve got me. Shannon Palus, a senior editor at Slate covering health and science,

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S1: and Emily Peck. I co-host Slate’s Money podcast. I write a newsletter for Fortune about the workplace, and I’m content director at fund raisers. I’ve basically been leaning in for a long time and also covering leaning in for a long time.

S3: And today we’re going to talk about girl bosses, women entrepreneurs and the fall of Elizabeth Holmes, who may or may not be a girl boss. She’s currently awaiting trial for fraud for a company, Theranos. I’m interested in talking about this because I feel like I have been kind of the target audience for a lot of the Girlboss stuff. I read Sophia Emma Russo’s book hashtag Girlboss when it came out in 2014. I watched the rise of Elizabeth Holmes as Theranos with a mix of like AR and jealousy. And over the past few days preparing for this, I’ve been thinking about why I was so attracted to the hair, especially in Sophia Amoruso as Buck. And I think the main thing that drove me to it was that, you know, I was like 24 or 25 when I read that book and this idea of conjuring a world where you were successful and powerful, like really appealed to me. I didn’t like my job very much at the time, and I was kind of doing well in hindsight was like the slow, hard, tedious work of building skills and figuring out where I fit into the journalism world and trying things that didn’t work. And being a girlboss in some way is just sort of seemed to be like skipping all of that.

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S1: Yeah, I mean, I wanted to talk about the Girlboss because I mean, I’ve just been thinking about girl bosses, maybe even before the term girl bosses was a thing. Maybe since I first in 2010 or 2011 watched Sheryl Sandberg’s TEDx talk. Sheryl Sandberg is the Facebook chief operating officer. And maybe like one of the pioneering girl bosses, I would say. And the talk was, you know, about getting more women into upper management really put the onus on women to do that work, to lean in to to make it happen for themselves. And I really believed in that. But when the Girlboss term kind of first was popularized in the early 2010s, like around the time you were reading that book, Shannon, I really, really hated the term Girlboss. I just thought it was kind of almost horrifying kind of infantilizing. It was like, we can’t just call women bosses. They have to be girl bosses. We have to like pink it up. I mean, we don’t have boy bosses, right? No one’s like, you go Mark Zuckerberg, you boy boss, you bad ass like that would be really weird. So there’s obviously something, you know, sexist about the whole thing. But at the same time, like if this was the way to get people excited about women being in charge, then I guess it was fine. So it’s something I’m conflicted about.

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S3: And of course, in the background of the rise of girl bosses was the rise of Elizabeth Holmes. And now we’re witnessing her possible downfall and we’re going to talk about how she maybe counts as a girl. That’s how she does and doesn’t fit that mold and all the twists and turns of Girlboss Ness right after this break. And wanted to take us back in and welcome all our new listeners and our old ones, too. We haven’t forgotten about you. If you’re loving the show and want to hear more, subscribe to our feed. New episodes come out every Thursday morning while you’re there. Check out our other episodes, too, like last week’s discussion about the state of white men on television. I loved listening to that.

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S4: It was great.

S3: First, we’re going to talk about girl bosses Emily tell me a little bit more about why the concept of girl bosses horrified you so much.

S1: The concept is horrifying to me because it is so contradictory. On the one hand, we’re celebrating women as leaders, and there are so few women in power in charge of anything like despite all the hype around girl bosses, they’re just there aren’t that many women CEOs. There aren’t that many women entrepreneurs. Women get four percent of venture capital funding. I mean, there’s not a lot of women in charge at all. So we’re glad to have girl bosses around. And then there’s so much research that I’ve seen and written about that points to the fact that people are deeply uncomfortable with women in positions of authority. So it seems clear that the reason girl bosses caught on at least for a while, was because it was a way of softening the woman in authority. Like she looks perfect. She’s well coiffed, so this is a way to kind of like soften that problem, maybe a solution to that contradiction or whatever, but it’s not really a solution. I mean, the problem is all those girl bosses kind of looked a little bit the same. They’re all white. They all are kind of around the same age millennial. They all look perfect. Ivanka Trump kind of was like the Earth Girl boss or one of them. The whole term makes these women have to carry a lot of weight for feminism when really they just want to be bosses of companies. And it’s just this is capitalism. Like, it’s not anything but just people want to be in charge of companies and make money. And that’s why I brought up Ivanka Trump like she would try to be a girl boss and talk about feminism and all this. But really, at the end of the day, she’s just about making money, supporting capitalism, carrying water. So the whole concept is kind of kind of horrifying because it’s like girl bosses are supposed to sort of take on the mantle of feminism and equality at the same time. These are just privileged women trying to make a buck. Maybe a better example would be the Sheryl Sandberg as Girlboss. You know, she came out and she told women to just lean in, work harder, really try and get to the top. And it felt like feminism. But at the end of the day, the reason women don’t get to the top isn’t just because you’re not sitting at a conference table with the other guys. It’s so much more complicated, has to do with culture, has to do with sexism, has to do with a system where if you have a baby like there’s no childcare, it has to do with racism, which no girl boss ever really dug into and probably led to their downfall a bit in more recent years.

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S3: Yeah. Like, I feel myself, you know, bracing against the backlash a little bit. For example, I actually don’t have a problem personally with the term girl. And like, maybe it’s a little bit sexist that Girlboss has been positioned to sound like a silly term. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it. And I came to the conclusion that I feel like the same way about the word girl that I do about bitch, which is that I. Feel fine saying it about myself or select friends with whom it’s like, Oh, hey, girl, like girl girl time like girl stuff. There are just like little phrases I use around certain people, but. Where, like, I might actually know, I’m like, I’m thirty one and it’s 20, 21, I would never call myself a girlboss now, but maybe in 2014 I would have like that. OK, being a Girlboss is the thing a little bit to aspire to, but I know that if anyone else ever called me a girlboss or just be like, Oh my God, get that away from me.

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S1: Yeah. On the one hand, it was something empowering, and I think some of the criticism of it is probably sexist. That tock Kylie Bateman’s tick tock kind of making fun of girl bosses kind of like epitomises all the the ways people criticise girl bosses.

S5: I’m always walking down the street or as I like to call it, the sheet. That’s right. I’m a lady in the sheet and a girl lady in the sheets. It isn’t easy to make it in beautiful NYC, but nevertheless,

S3: I girl sister. Hey, buddy, I’m good boss in here.

S1: It’s become a stereotype and something to be mocked, and there is something that feels sexist about it, Shannon. So the reason we’re talking about this is because we’ve come a long way from when everyone was excited about girl bosses and recently in the cut, there was a piece that a lot of people were reading called The Girl Boss is dead long live the girl boss. And there’s been a lot of discussion now about Is the girl boss dead? What to think about it? And I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and it feels like the girl boss just couldn’t stand up to the moment we’re in. Like, first me to show that, you know, you can lean and all you want. But there’s if there’s a systemic sexual harassment around you, you’re not going to get to the top. Then there is, you know, the pandemic and George Floyd. And so now we’re in the situation where the got the girl boss kind of just falls apart.

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S3: Yeah, and there were there are a couple of key moments last summer with Leandra Medine Cohen, who founded Man Repeller, which is a fashion blog that was like all about not having to wear makeup or where things to be appealing to men. And also Audrey Gelman, the CEO of The Wing, a workspace where only women are allowed, where people kind of realize like, Oh, well, they’re welcoming to women, but like what kind of women and dancers, so often white women. And both of them stepped down from their positions in the face of criticism from from their employers.

S1: Yeah, it was like, these are women who were using sort of the Girlboss mantle and the feminist mantle to market themselves. But in the end, they were sort of exposed as kind of empty. I mean, Shannon, you told me I should listen to this podcast with Leandra Medine Cohen. This painful interview we’ll link to in the show notes where she talks about getting quote unquote cancelled, which just means people criticized her publicly, and then she resigned and closed down her company. And she basically kind of defends herself, and it’s just the most cringy interview I’ve I’ve really ever listened to. I think in which she just does not understand. I don’t know how to say this, but she does not understand her privilege. What did you think was interesting about that?

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S3: The moment that sticks out to me as she talks about feeling so insecure financially growing up that she worried that her family was going to be homeless? And, you know, they had a vacation home

S1: and in the Hamptons

S3: and the Hamptons, right? Not just in little podunk second home, like a real second home. And I think that gets to the heart for me of why. Like any one individual positioning themselves or like being positioned in the culture as a beacon of feminism and, you know, oncoming inequality is so sorry to use an overused term, but problematic because on the one hand. OK. Rich New York girl goes to private school is like but like is one of the people at private school who is like less money now. They’re people at private school and feels financially precarious, like that story on its own is just like emblematic of why capitalism to use a very broad brush is so fucked up. It makes just the fact that, like wealth and money and you can have a lot of wealth and you can be around people of even more wealth, and you can still feel very insecure about that, says something about the larger system in which Leandra exists instead of Leandra, in my opinion. But then when you’re like, held up is as sort of this influence, and her role was to sort of teach women how to be in the world in this fundamental way where. How to dress to be more themselves?

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S1: Yeah, I understand, I mean, I’ve been thinking about this a lot too, because it’s like there’s only so much these girl bosses can do for us. The one project that really they had was like, There aren’t enough women at the top of things. We should have more. There could be a girl bosses, but there’s so much more to it than that. Like, I’ve been thinking a lot about this because I’ve written so many articles. I was at The Wall Street Journal a long time, and there are so many articles about like, there aren’t enough CEOs that are women. We should have more. But like that is not the only problem for women. That is just one small thing, like because if you could take it to its extreme, it just doesn’t hold up as a progressive project like imagine. There are not enough women dictators. We need more women dictators like it. Just there’s a lot more to it than that. It doesn’t hold up. And like Leandro Modin, Cohen’s project was fine. She got to be in charge of a business. Great, good for her, but like, that’s all she was, and that’s just where it ends. And I think the events of the past 18 months, three years, I don’t know. Since MeToo, George Floyd, the pandemic, there’s just a lot more to the project. Maybe the last place to go now is, you know, what do we do with our girl bosses if girl bosses are over? I hope they’re not over. I still want girls to be bosses.

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S3: You want bosses who are girls or women, but not

S1: I want them. Yes, bosses. Yes.

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S3: Yes. My answer to this question is I feel like one thing that the pandemic has forced me to do is like, start thinking really small in my life about the things that are immediately around me and looking towards this like almost like model like figure in a book that you know, I’m sure was available in airports. Isn’t the right answer, but just like thinking about who are the women in my life, who I can look to when I pick a job or like a manager, what qualities am I looking for? How can I like in my workplace? Think about like giving help to not just. Women, but anybody who like needs leadership or could use advice on how to move up. I’m talking about this from a very personal perspective, but zooming and OK, if we’re going to get rid of girl bosses as idols like. How do we think we’re practically almost about how to change things and small scale? Yeah.

S1: I mean, I can’t help but think about the media piece to this fortune had a piece about the demise of the Girlboss, of course, and they mention like when women are founding companies now, there’s like a whole marketing apparatus that kind of kicks in around their projects and the marketing apparatus says to them, Go be a girl boss. Like I get press releases all the time that says, like First Woman, CEO of oddly specific company like First Woman in the furniture business, SEO Startup Founder has amazing insights. It’s like that apparatus needs to go away, like we need to keep the women in charge piece and get rid of maybe the marketing piece around it like that needs to be retired.

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S3: We’re going to take a break here, but if you like what you’re hearing on the waves, we would love it if you would like and subscribe to the waves wherever you get your podcasts.

S1: And if you want to hear more from Shannon and myself on another topic, check out our Waves Plus segment gateway feminism, where today we talk about the one thing that helped make us feminists. I’ll be talking about middle school and Shannon will actually be talking about college, so it kind of there’s a nice symmetry there. And stick around for our next segment. Where will we finally be considering whether or not Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder of Thanos, is indeed done that a girl, girlboss?

S3: Now we’re going to talk about Elizabeth Holmes, the former CEO of Theranos, a blood testing startup that did not exactly do what was promised to the point where Holmes, as you probably have heard, is awaiting criminal trial right now. And we’re going to talk about where Holmes fits into the era of the Girlboss Emily. Would you consider Holmes a Girlboss?

S1: OK, so when we first decided to talk about this, I thought she wasn’t a girlboss. Now I’ve decided she is definitely a girlboss. Elizabeth Holmes was definitely a girlboss because she just fell into that marketing apparatus of Girlboss. She was celebrated as a woman. Shannon, you pointed out that she was celebrated as a woman of the year in glamour. She landed on the cover of Fortune magazine, famously. She was widely covered and celebrated for being the first female billionaire entrepreneur. If you watch the documentary about her on HBO, which I recommend, there’s like scenes of her sort of surrounded by women who clearly are looking up to her as a girl boss. It’s like she didn’t go around like Sophia Amoruso and an advertiser herself as a girl boss, but she sought out all that coverage, and she she basically leaned into positioning herself as a girl boss.

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S3: I think lean into being a girl lost. I agree. I think that. And I think that, you know, the people around her treated her like a girl boss, there’s a lot of work subtext or maybe even text in John Kerry’s book Bad Blood, where she was this charming sort of like granddaughter like figure to some of her investors. She worked while on the cover of these magazines because they could say, You know, we’re promoting equality. We’re putting a woman on the cover. She’s a self-made woman, girl, billionaire. And also, there’s this other element now, as she, you know, is solidified in the chronicles of history as kind of a scammer where Sophia Amoruso talks about in her book The Little Bit That I Can Stomach Listening to this weekend about how the first thing she sold online was a book she stole on eBay and how she engaged in like shoplifting and thievery before reforming herself to start this multimillion dollar company. And I think that in both of them, they’re sort of this strain of like being immune to the rules of society in a way and kind of whatever you have to say or do to get yourself to the top kind of is OK because you’re furthering this larger cause of like changing the world with like your Younus and your cronies.

S1: But it’s interesting you you mentioned sort of like do whatever it takes to get to the top pull off the scam because so many men who make it to the top are also doing whatever it takes. The Facebook motto that Mark Zuckerberg came up with is move fast and break things. People loved until recently, Adam Neumann, the CEO founder of WeWork, who was basically another kind of scammer. And these people, Adam Neumann, Zuckerberg, have been criticized for these things. But I think I think the women, the girl bosses get criticized more harshly. I think there is higher expectations that women aren’t going to scam you, rip you off, lie to you, do whatever it takes. Right?

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S3: Yeah. So I think one of the things they think about when you know the question of are we harder on women than we are on men comes up is the fact that Elizabeth Holmes actions have consequences for other women who are not in any way, shape or form connected to her, except for the fact that they’re women. There is this piece in the New York Times a couple of weeks ago titled They Still Live in the Shadow of Their Noses Elizabeth Holmes about female entrepreneurs facing comparisons to homes when they’re talking to investors and having a little bit of a harder time selling people on it. If the marketing apparatus of woman entrepreneur in Silicon Valley was a good strategy for promoting a company and then the top woman topples, it becomes a little bit of like just a poisonous strategy, but like a way to exist that’s been tainted.

S1: That’s the curse of the first. I think you see it for people of color to a lot. There’s so much expectations on you, so much expectations on you. When you are the first, the first female billionaire, the first successful entrepreneur, that’s a woman that it’s going to. It’s going to rain on everyone else. And it’s just it’s not fair. I don’t know. Oh yeah.

S3: In a way that like I’m I doubt that men are going into or, you know, and being compared to like Adam Neumann right now, the same like the same level of toxicity or ramifications. Like, you know, maybe there is a guy with like a co-working idea is having a hard time.

S1: But yeah, co-working might be tainted by Adam Neumann. But like there are plenty of CEOs named Adam that are going to be fine, literally that may look just like him. That will be fine. Like it’s not his downfall. Doesn’t like diminish all the other atoms, all the other longish haired CEOs. They’re probably going to be OK. But because there are so few women homes, her falling off a pedestal kind of like shakes everyone else’s foundations, too.

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S3: So maybe this is a good time to talk about if we think Holmes is going to play up the fact that she’s a woman and the fact that women are subject to sexism at her trial. John Kerry grew on his podcast Bad Blood. The Final Chapter talked about the fact that Elizabeth Holmes is a new mom, and he says, and he’s like, kind of he’s self-aware invocations of that. His first thought was like, Oh my God, she’s doing it for me. Yeah, like, I have to admit that was that is kind of my main thought, too. It’s hard to look at this person who’s been in. The public eye as a scammer and not think that cynically about about her motives.

S1: Yeah. Not only has John Kerry ruined, others said, Oh, Elizabeth Holmes just got pregnant for sympathy to make her the juror feel, you know, more empathy for her, but also the reporting says her to her defense will be that her boyfriend at the time when she was at Theranos, the chief operating officer of Theranos Sunny Bhojwani was abusing her physically and mentally, and that’s why she did her scam. I think it’s a it’s a long shot defense, and it also puts all of us in a weird the jury, the media and in this weird position where we all say we want to take these kinds of allegations seriously. At the same time, it’s hard to take them seriously when it’s coming from Elizabeth Holmes. It’s really kind of a mess. It’s important to note that Sunny Balcony has, I think, through his lawyers. Spokesperson has denied all those allegations categorically and says there was no such abuse at all.

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S3: So Karen Hunter, an outside consultant hired to vet Theranos, who has been subpoenaed to testify at the trial, told ABC News podcast The Drop Out that during his time interacting with Theranos, it was very clear that Elizabeth was in charge, but it was just ludicrous to think that Sunny was controlling her because

S1: Elizabeth defense may be that she wasn’t in charge, that this was really Sunny’s operation. What would you say to that?

S6: Hey, there’s that’s just completely untrue. I mean, there’s just no way. Sunny was was a distant second. You know, she came up with the plans and the strategies, and he helped execute them. He was the bad guy, but she ran the meetings. He rarely participated unless it had something to do with it or whatever. It was clearly the Elizabeth show. There’s no question about it.

S3: John Kerry says on his podcast that for this defense to fire Elizabeth would have basically had to have been a puppet of sunny Babylon is like devoid of free will. And for me, it’s clear that the question of whether or not this was an abusive relationship is separate from the question of whether Elizabeth Holmes should be held accountable for their nose.

S1: Yes, absolutely. I think that’s correct.

S3: And I think the other thing that like this conversation shakes loose in my head is that it can be true that people are sexist towards Elizabeth Holmes, and it can be true that she has a harder time or an easier time on the stand because she’s a woman. And she also can just have done this like huge, terrible graft. But she deserves to be held accountable for the sexism happening to somebody who doesn’t raise their own role and things. Before we head out, we want to give you some recommendations. Emily, what are you loving right now?

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S1: Speaking of podcasts about women, I really like a podcast about a fictional woman called Aack Acast cast by Jamie Loftis, which is about the comic strip Cathy, which was a big part of my life growing up because I read the comics every day, and Cathy ran for decades about a single white woman trying to make it in America and Loftus. This podcast is just so good because Cathy like the Girlboss for a while everyone made fun of in a way that did seem a little sexist and weird, but also justified. And what Jamie Loftus has done is kind of like, bring it back and show why Cathy was actually like, quite feminist and was pointing out a lot of really big problems for women in the United States and deserves a second look. So I recommend everyone go and listen to Outkast because it’s fun. What are you recommending, Shannon?

S3: I’m recommending a book called For Luckiest Girl five. It came out in 2015, and it’s going to be a movie on Netflix at some point in the future. They just wrapped filming in August, and the main character is a little bit of a girl boss, though she would definitely bristle at the word girl. She works at a cosmopolitan style magazine and is set to get married soon. And the whole book is basically about this sort of shell of perfectionism and like drive at work and image of herself as like a successful woman living in New York City and kind of what that’s covering up for and the trauma in her life that has led her to feel that she needs such a show. It was a really, really fast read, and it kind of helped shake loose some things in my own brain as we’re all going through this pandemic rethinking of what work means and what it means to care about your job and what it means to identify with your job. And well, you know when you read fiction and it just helps crystallize something that like you knew, but you didn’t really like, feel totally it did that for me a little bit with how I think about, like my own success and like wanting success and what I feel like that’s compensating for protecting me from

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S1: who I really want to read this now. Great.

S3: All right. That’s our show this week. The Waves is produced by Cheyna.

S1: Rob Susan Matthews is our editorial director with Joon Thomas. Providing oversight and moral support. They are our girl bosses, y’all.

S3: If you like the show, be sure to subscribe, rate and review wherever you got your podcasts. And please consider supporting the show by joining Slate Plus, members get benefits like zero ads on any Slate podcast and bonus content of shows like this one. It’s only one dollar for the first month. To learn more, go to Slate dot com slash the waves.

S1: Plus we’d also love to hear from you. Email us at The Waves at Slate.com.

S3: The waves will be back next week. Different hosts. Different topic, same time and place.

S1: Thank you so much to our slate plus listeners as part of your subscription, you get this bonus segment. Gateway feminism, where we talk about things that made us feminists. So Shannon, what is your gateway feminism moment?

S3: My gateway feminism moment this week is stories my mom told about her Lady Lab Group in college. She was a chemical engineering student in the 70s, back when there were not a lot of women chemical engineers. I think there are a lot more now. But she did her lab work with, I think, three or four other women, and the professor called them the Lady Lab Group as a joke because they are the only one that in the lab section. And she stayed in touch with them ever since, and we’ll have meet ups with her Lady Lab group. And I think it’s sort of self-evident why that’s a gateway feminism moment for me. Just the idea that you can go into hard sciences, you can find your people there. You can stake out your little corner of the world

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S1: and you went into hard sciences, right, Shannon? I mean, did you have a lady lab group or was it sort of like, OK, this is many decades later, and we don’t need those anymore because it seems to me from the outside that we do need those kind of groups still in these male-dominated spaces.

S3: Yeah. So by the time I got to college in 2008, people would actually joke that chemical engineering was femme and because it was 50 50 men and women. Well, again, that’s what counts as like femme and I was in physics and it was 20 percent women. And yeah, I felt really isolated. A lot of the time I had one friend, Victoria, we would do our homework together and like Tan and Chong between, I don’t know, like really stereotypical girly things, but just, you know, the things that I was interested in doing it. Team chemistry transferred schools, and that was bad. And then, yeah, I I didn’t really find that and I was sad.

S1: Yeah, it is really important. As complicated as the Girlboss thing is, it’s so it is important to have to to look around and see people that look a little bit like you or maybe understand you.

S3: Yeah, I think it’s important in anything you’re doing that’s hard or just anything that you’re doing for a significant chunk of your week to have people around you who are interested in the same things. And maybe that sounds like a little sexist in a way because you are all obviously interested in physics. But it felt like. Yeah, there is just sort of a limit to to how much camaraderie could happen when when there weren’t a ton of other women around. Emily What is your gateway feminism moment?

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S1: I feel like it’s not dissimilar to yours. One of my like big talking points when I talk about being a feminist is what happened to me in middle school or junior high. So in seventh grade, I’m starting a new school. We were all it was all new school, first year of middle school and there were like so-called honors classes, which I guess are problematic. We could do a whole separate show on honors classes for so-called gifted children, whatever. So I was in like honors, English honors, math, whatever. In these classes, it was very much 50-50 girls and boys. And then the next year, almost all the girls were gone from the honors classes. It was very strange and I was still there and I felt like very weird about it. Like I felt like it was on girls of me to remain in the gifted classes. And I don’t really understand why those other girls filtered out. But I know I grew up in a very kind of like sexist little Long Island town where I was made to feel weird about doing well in school. And I think about that a lot when I look at the job world, at the hard sciences, at everything, and you just don’t see as many women. And I think that’s actually really changed today. There was a piece in the Times this week about the majority of college students. Now are women. So things are changing. But yeah, when I think about sexism, I think about like eighth grade English coming to the first day and being like, Where the hell are all the girls? Like, what happened to the what happened? I still don’t really understand

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S3: why did it feel bad to be a girly

S1: girl? I’m supposed to be a girl, Shannon, like supposed to be girly, like you. It felt like I was doing it wrong. You know, like, I don’t know, I wasn’t getting what I was supposed to be getting like. At the same time, I really like to read and be in the honors English class, so I wasn’t going to stop, but I did feel this sort of like discomfort, like I wasn’t doing it right.

S3: One thing I think about a lot is that like, it feels we’re smart people. We get along with a variety of people, probably like relatively sociable, and it seems like men and women don’t have to be that different. You can, like, hang out in the male, you know, like, why wouldn’t I have anything to talk about with like the boys and my physics program? In fact, I had a lot to talk about with them. In fact, I was friends with a lot of them and, you know, would work at coffee shops and stuff. But it’s just that like little uncomfortability thing where it’s like, Oh, I want people who are like, have a little bit more in common with you in certain aspects. I don’t know. It’s hard to. It makes me uncomfortable sometimes to talk about it and to think about it, because what should the difference be? But it’s it feels really real.

S1: Yeah, it does attention because you one to at the one hand, you’re like feminist. Everyone is equal and there’s it’s fine. So it feels weird to kind of crave more women around you, but I feel it all the time. Still, I just started kind of a new job, and there are a lot of I was in a meeting recently and it was all men and me and I was like, This is weird. It feels weird. We’re not talking about women’s issues. It’s not specific. It doesn’t matter to the work, but it still felt a little uncomfortable. It’s OK, but like being a woman is part of your identity. So when you’re in spaces with other people, you want sort of to click in on your identity, right? That’s part of it anyway.

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S3: Or you want to have people with your identity just like around in general. Yeah. To talk to you, like, you know, we’re not talking about some situation where, oh, I have like had to eat lunch with some men at my workplace. It’s very easy to know we’re talking about being like a little bit isolated.

S1: Yeah, feeling isolated and being the only woman in these organizations leads to so many different kinds of problems. Stereotyping, you know, being the only one is is hard. Those are our gateways to feminism, and we’d love to hear yours. Email us at the Waves at Slate.com and thank you again for being a slate plus member of.