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Feminist fight club : an office survival manual (for a sexist workplace)

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"Part manual, part womanifesto, Feminist Fight Club is a hilarious yet incisive guide to navigating subtle sexism at work, providing real-life career advice and humorous reinforcement for a new generation of professional women"--
Year:
2016
Edition:
1st
Publisher:
Harper Wave
Language:
english
Pages:
336
ISBN 10:
0062439790
ISBN 13:
9780062439796
File:
EPUB, 5.27 MB
Download (epub, 5.27 MB)

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OK, so it sounded glamorous: Smita had just returned from a month on the road in Europe, filming a pilot for a television series she’d scripted across thirteen cities. But Vespa-ing around the Mediterranean with a camera, sipping Pellegrino at sunset in Paris she was not. After months of pitching, casting, and rewriting her script, landing a small sum from a New York production company to film the pilot, quitting her day job and borrowing money so she could do it, she was working fourteen-hour days overseas, crammed into cheap hotel rooms with her crew to stretch their budget and gunning to hit seven countries in four weeks. Even under the best of circumstances, it would have been a grueling schedule.

And these were not exactly the best of circumstances. Despite being a seasoned producer—she’d worked on a half-dozen TV sets, managed sprawling professional crews, and assisted high-profile filmmakers—this was Smita’s first time directing on her own. She was assigned a crew of eight men: two with drinking problems, three with Adderall habits, all eight extraordinarily difficult to manage (and not just because they couldn’t seem to once show up on time).
It was not exactly the trip of a lifetime. Smita was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
And so she tried every tactic she could think of to get the crew in line. She asked for their feedback on the script, to try to get them invested in it—and dutifully tried out their suggestions, even when she knew they wouldn’t work. She tried to be accommodating—asking what she could do to make their jobs easier, bringing them coffee in the morning to try to get them out of bed. “I realized that wasn’t working,” she later said, drolly, “because they kept handing me their notebooks and their jackets to hold and asking me to get them things out of the van.”
She tacked again, trying to play it cool. When they’d opt to do it their way—on her set—she’d try to be enthusiastic in her initial responses: “Awesome!” she’d trill, “but let’s try it this way first!” They tuned her o; ut. Next she went for the plaintive thing, appealing to their guilt—“Hey guys-s-s-s-s, can we please try to be on time to set tomorrow?” But it made her feel like a nag.
Finally, she cut the crap and pulled rank. She demanded they show up on time. “How about we do it this way?” was replaced by “I don’t have time for this. Follow the script.”
It worked . . . sorta. They obeyed, albeit with disdain. When the set closed for the day, they’d head off to the bar to escape her. Everyone was grouchy. She was getting the show she’d wanted, finally—but her team was hardly speaking to her (or each other).

Then one day, in their last country, Germany, in their very last week of filming, a local cameraman came to set with a case of dried meat sticks—apparently some kind of regional specialty. He set them down, and Smita turned to her lead. “You can have one if you say your lines the way I asked!” she joked, dangling an oversized piece of jerky in his face.

To her surprise, he did it. And suddenly, the other guys on set wanted to know: Could they have meat sticks too?
It was as if she’d cracked a secret code.
“Being one of the guys didn’t work. Trying to have conversations about girls didn’t work. Mothering them didn’t work. Nothing worked,” Smita recalled, sitting in my living room during an afternoon bitch session. “I tried to look prettier, I tried to look less pretty. I pretended for a day that I was not a vegetarian because I thought maybe that was why they weren’t relating to me. But in the end, it was meat sticks. The meat sticks worked.”
The reductive view of this parable is, of course, that dudes can be trained like golden retrievers, behaving only by the grace of a showily wielded treat. And that may be true . . . to an extent (unless of course the men in your office are vegan).
But really, the meat is not the point. The point is that being a boss of any kind is hard, but being a boss as a woman is like an obstacle course—a maze of stereotypes, land mines, and invisible booby traps surprising you at every turn. Oh, she asked you twice for something? What a nag. She made a demand? She’s such a diva. She raised her voice? Must be ’cause she’s out-of-control angry.
And then there are the challenges of simply trying to find a leadership style that works: not too authoritative, or you’ll be deemed unfeminine, but not too feminine, either—go too girly and you’re suddenly emotional, soft, not capable of making the tough calls, the babysitter asked to hold your underlings’ coats.
And on and on and on . . .
If women had known to speak softly and carry a big meat stick, perhaps the revolution might already have been won. But in the meantime—or at least until those German meat sticks make their way to America—the best thing we can do is sharpen our eyes to spot the traps, the stereotypes, and the hidden biases we are statistically almost guaranteed to face. And maybe have a backup meat-stick plan.




STOP MAKING EXCUSES
Oh yeah, I know this game. Excuses like:
•  I’m leaving anyway.
•  It’s not the right time.
•  I’m not sure what I want.
•  I’m bad at negotiating.
•  The company’s not doing so well.
•  That person hates me.
•  I don’t want to get rejected.
•  I didn’t do a good enough job.
If you do *not* see your excuse of choice listed here, that’s OK. Whatever the excuse, ask yourself: If I do this—despite all of the very convincing reasons I am telling myself I shouldn’t—what is the absolute worst thing that can happen? I’m going to answer this question for you: it’s that your boss says no. And what are you going to do if your boss says no? I’ll give you three options: You can say you’re disappointed, ask what you can do to improve, and make a plan to check in again in six months. You can do that and start looking for a new job. Or you can quit. Whatever you choose, none of these options is the end of the world. Now stop making excuses.



The Trap:
“WHAT A NAG!”
One of the crowning political achievements of the women’s movement was the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, in 1920, which granted women the right to vote. Yet even back then, the (female) president of a group opposed to suffrage noted that allowing women to cast their vote would “be an official endorsement of nagging as a national policy.”10 It’s funny to think about—except that even a hundred years later, the stereotype of the nagging woman persists—and not just in the home. A man asks for something twice at work? Wow, he must really need it. But how many times have you heard a woman called a nag for the same behavior?
THE HACKS
   Find a Nag Hag
Enlist a friend to contribute to the nagging. By getting them to follow up on the small stuff—and have the check-ins come from different angles—it ensures you don’t come off as the “naggy” one.
   Multimedia Nagger
Switch up the way you check in. You already sent two emails, OK—pick up the phone and call this person. If they don’t answer, walk by their desk. It’s harder to ignore you if you get up in their face.
   Every Day I’m Nudgin’
Just remember: you can’t get fired for nudging people (especially if it’s your job to nudge people). So if shit needs doing, and the person who should be doing it isn’t, communicate deadlines, indicate there are consequences for missing them, and then, demand that they get done. If you’re not in a position to make demands, and you feel timid about reaching out again, employ the mantra we’ll discuss in part six: WWJD: What Would Josh Do?



Verbal Tripwire:
TALKING LIKE A SEXY BAAABBBYY

Kim Kardashian has made a fortune off it, but most of us won’t. She’s the woman who ends her calls with “Thank yewwwwwww”; who pads her authority with a creaky tone. That precise tone is called “vocal fry”—the low-octave rasp or fry-like sizzle achieved by vocal folds rubbing together all weird, and it is done by both women and men. And sure, that soft pitch may sound kinda sexy, it can be useful for emphasis, and it’s kinda fun to do, but leadership—for better or worse—is associated with more resonant, authoritative, and unfried tones.
vo-cal fry / n.
An awesome name for a feminist band, but more commonly used to describe a style of speech that involves elongating vowels, i.e., hiiiiiiiiii or thank youuuuuuu. Also known as “creaky voice.”
The media has been churning out trend pieces on vocal fry—or “creaky voice,” as it’s also known—since at least 2011, when young women (allegedly) began adopting it to emulate the Kardashians of the world and were being dinged for it at work (deemed less competent, less educated, less trustworthy, less attractive, and less hirable, at least according to one hotly debated study). In reality, vocal fry dates back to at least 1964, when it was used by British men to—get this—convey their superior social standing. It gained popularity in the United States around 2003, first observed among female speakers of a Chicano dialect in California.
In its more current iteration, though, there is one glaring problem: while both women and men do it, it is only women who seem to suffer12 for it. Part of that may have a scientific explanation—fry is associated with a sudden decrease in sound, says the NYU linguist Lisa Davidson. Because men’s voices are generally lower in pitch, that shift may be less noticeable. Of course, fry is also considered by many linguists to be an attempted antidote to upspeak (that tendency to end your statements in a question, with a high-pitched rise). So in effect, we’re combating the inflection by trying to deepen our voices, but then arriving at a vocal fry register. Can’t win, right?
THREAT LEVEL
 
 
	Anybody Under 40
	  

Really. Amid all the hoopla over vocal fry, a Stanford linguist13 decided to poll her students on whether they, like her, found the sound of it grating. They didn’t. She duplicated that premise in a larger study of five hundred adults—and determined that it was only those over forty who were bugged by vocal fry. In which case: curb the fry or don’t, but soon enough, fry may be the vocal norm.
	In Meetings, Interviews
	  

A 2014 study14 staged mock job interviews in which the researchers recorded seven men and seven women saying “Thank you for considering me for this opportunity” in both their normal voice and in vocal fry—then asked study participants to rate them. The sample size was tiny, but what they found was that compared to a fry-free speaking voice, frying female voices connoted a speaker who was dumber, less skilled, and less attractive to the listener—and it was women, not men, who were the most critical.
	Saying Effffff Off
	  

In the incredibly satisfying but dangerous category: telling people to get the eff over it and going about your day talking however you damn well please.



The Trap:
“BITCHY, BOSSY, TOO AMBITIOUS”
In early 2016, if you were to google “Bernie Sanders” and “ambition,” you would have found a host of articles about his “ambitious plans,” think pieces about “ambitious health-care goals,” and assorted other posts commending his professional determination. But the same web search for Hillary Clinton would yield just the opposite. Of more than 1 million results, the top hits would focus on her “lifelong” personal ambition: “unbridled,” “ruthless,” even “pathological.” In a word: unappealing.
Behold the catch-22 of women and power. To be successful a woman must be liked, but to be liked she must not be too successful: her likability eroded by her professional status.3 We may all know—or at least like to say we know—that women are perfectly capable as leaders. Yet on a deep, unconscious level we still find the image of an ambitious woman hard to swallow.4 The reasoning makes sense: for hundreds of years, it’s been culturally ingrained in us that men lead and women nurture. So when a woman turns around and exhibits “male” traits—ambition, assertion, sometimes even aggression—we somehow see her as too masculine, not ladylike enough, and thus we like her less.
THE HACKS
   Get Your Sexism in Check
All of us—yes, really, all of us—are a little bit sexist (racist, too). It’s what scholars call “unconscious bias,” and each of us has it; the result of cognitive shortcuts made by our brains. The good news is that if we acknowledge our inner sexist we can check it. So the next time an ambitious woman rubs you the wrong way, ask yourself: Would I dislike her if she were a man?
   Gender Judo
As research by the Harvard professor Amy Cuddy has shown, “warmth” has been shown to help offset the trap of being “too ambitious,” because it counters the stereotype that ambitious women are cold, power-hungry bitches. We shouldn’t have to do it, no, but it’s what the law professor Joan C. Williams has called “gender judo”—or combining communal behaviors like friendliness, humor, empathy, or kindness (the sugar) with aggression or ambition. Studies show it works. If you think about it, most of the world’s best leaders have mastered this art: they may be tough, but they’re known for their grace and humor, too.
   Make Female Power the Norm
As the economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett once told me, it’s not women who are the problem—it’s that we still define leadership in male terms.5 So use that sweetness, that ambition, or the combination of the two, to get the fuck in power. Make ambition a female trait. Chip away at that glass ceiling and don’t apologize for it. And when you’ve trailblazed your way to the top, remember your FFC duty: to bring other women with you.



Verbal Tripwire:
HOUSTON, I FEEL LIKE WE HAVE A PROBLEM
There was a time when “I feel” might have indicated that you actually, you know, felt something—like sick, excited, or guilty. But these days feelings seem to have become a touchy-feely, less direct way of stating an opinion—“I feel like we should consider trying X,” or simply another way of saying “I think” or “I believe.”
“I feel like” started catching on in the 1970s (an era of all sorts of feelings) but really gained traction in the early 2000s—like most things linguistic, among young women.5 It made sense: many of these speech patterns go back to our very adolescence, when girls make friends based on sharing (secrets, stories, feelings), while boys tend to play in groups, shouting commands.6 (No feels there.) As we grow up, though, we seem to continue to engage in these playground speech patterns—and for women, we strangely do it more when there are men around, peppering our language with oh-so-many feels.7
There are cases when expressing these feelings can be useful: there is less risk in saying “I feel like” than there is in saying “I know” or “I believe” (and in some cases we can use that nuance to our advantage). But how much of “I feel” has to do with the expectation that women must play the nurturing, feeling role and cannot simply be direct? We’re talking about business here—not a couple’s therapy sesh. “At work, it’s wimpy, weak and wishy-washy,” writes Phyllis Mindell, a professor at Georgetown, in How to Say It for Women. “Describing events or issues in terms of ‘feelings’ substitutes ‘psychobabble’ for clear thought.”8
THREAT LEVEL
 
 
	To Be Polite
	  

Sure, instead of saying “I feel like you’re not understanding,” you could say “You’re not understanding”—but “I feel like” softens the blow.
	To Resolve Conflict
	  

If you make it about your feelings, it’s less likely to feel like an attack. Consider: “I feel frustrated with your progress” or “I’m disappointed in your performance.” It’s true that women suffer if they’re perceived as too emotional at work. But there is also research to prove that expressing “muted” emotions at work, such as “I feel,” can be an incredibly effective way to communicate.9 It’s when these feels cross the threshold into “deviant”—crying, yelling, clearly angry—that women are penalized.
	Public Speeches
	  

All those feels are taking away from the time you have to actually make your point.







The Trap:
“SHE’S TOO OLD”
“I have so many questions about getting older as a woman,” the comedian Jena Friedman joked onstage. “Like, how will I be able to hail cabs once I become . . . invisible?” The Invisible Woman logic goes like this: We live in a world where women are still viewed as sex objects; where being beautiful reaps workplace benefits (for women and men); and where youth appears to be the baseline requirement for beauty (why else would we spend so much money on Botox?). Age bias affects both genders—but it affects women more. (You know how men with gray hair are still considered “distinguished,” while women are just old?) It’s why male actors peak at forty-six, while female actors tap out at thirty26 and it’s why even hiring managers say openly that a “qualified but visibly older” candidate would make them hesitate (particularly if that candidate was female).27 All of which leaves women, as the Stanford law professor Deborah Rhode once put it, “not only perpetually worried about their appearance but also worried about worrying.”

THE HACK
   Give Less F*cks
Your assignment, class? The Amy Schumer sketch, “Last Fuckable Day,” in which Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette hold a funeral for Julia’s vagina (and thus: her employability). It’s a parody, of course: of the way we treat women of a certain age. But unfortunately for the rest of us, we don’t get to chug a melted pint of Ben & Jerry’s, grow our pubes out, and row off into the sunset. There’s no easy way to diffuse gender-based ageism, and what’s so damaging about it is just how deeply it’s rooted. But the good news is that with age comes confidence: liberation, perhaps, from having to give a shit about what other people think. As for the rest of us—don’t forget: we stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us.



CONGRATS! YOU’VE NEGOTIATED.
 NOW HELP A LADY OUT.
After Jennifer Lawrence wrote an article about finding out how much less she was making than her male colleagues, Bradley Cooper announced that he’d start sharing his salary publicly—to highlight the pay gap. Here’s what you can do:
Share What You Make
One journalist I know has started emailing other women she sees writing for the same outlets, offering to tell them how much she’s getting paid—no reciprocity required. “If they’re getting paid more, great, they don’t have to tell me. If they’re getting paid less, well then, they should know,” she told me. “It’s been a really useful tactic, both concretely and in terms of solidarity.”
Create a Clearinghouse
A former engineer at Google created a spreadsheet where she and coworkers could share their salaries internally. Managers weren’t happy about it, but people asked for and received raises based on the sheet’s data. Other industries have tried versions of the same.
Talk About Your Salary!
How can you know what you’re up against if you don’t know what other people make?



Part Six
WWJD–WHAT WOULD JOSH DO?
Carry YOURSELF

with the CONFIDENCE of

 a Mediocre WHITE MAN



The Saboteur:
THE PERMASSISTANT
Don’t let them stick you with taking notes in meetings. Otherwise you’ll be transcribing far into the afternoon while the other people are getting on with what the meeting was called about.
—Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown
The head of a New York vocational school once advised his female students not to learn shorthand—because, as he put it, the “bright girl” who took dictation was “such a treasure” that she might find herself permanently stuck by her boss’s side, stenographer’s notebook in hand.19
The steno pad has gone the way of the rotary phone, thank god, but the Permassistant remains. She’s so good at keeping her boss’s life in check that he can’t live without her. She struggles to get her colleagues to see her as anything but the office admin. She is patient and loyal, and she hopes—no, assumes—that good work will help her rise up. But somehow she finds herself stuck. There is such a thing as being too good at your assistant job—at least when it’s one you don’t want to keep.
THE FIGHT MOVES
   Show ’n’ Grow
Pick up other assignments that allow you to stretch your skills; if it’s an option, take on “extra credit” or outside work that might help you get noticed. If you get tapped for a high-visibility project, say yes. The office isn’t like dating—but sometimes it is. They might not notice you until somebody else does.
   Two Legit Then Quit
A twenty-three-year-old assistant at a talent agency in Los Angeles told me he made a point of discussing with his boss during his interview that while he was happy to put in long hours and work hard, he was also interested in advancing his career and had set goals as part of a two-year plan for himself. A two-year plan may not always be realistic, so deploy this fight move with care—but the point is to make clear from the outset that you’re interested in growth.
   Move Up or Move On
Set a deadline for yourself. If, like the man above, you’ve made a two-year plan and it doesn’t feel like you’re on track to reach it, ask for a meeting to discuss your ambitions and what you could be doing better to achieve them. Patience is a virtue, but so is knowing when to leave.
   
TIME TO OPEN A “FUCK-OFF FUND”

It’s an emergency fund for when you can no longer deal—in a job, a relationship, a living situation, or otherwise. Coined by the writer Paulette Perhach—who calls the Fuck-Off Fund a form of “financial self-defense”—your Fuck-Off Fund needn’t start huge. Maybe it’s a small sum put away each paycheck that over time adds up; perhaps it’s just a few dollars when you can afford it. Whatever you can muster together, the idea is proactively saving money when and where you can because we all know that shit happens—especially at the start of a career. Also useful in cases of relationship meltdowns, creepy bosses, delinquent roommates, and workplaces in which you literally can’t stand to spend another fucking minute.  



I automatically feel dirty asking for money.”
They were the words of a female writer, seated in a Manhattan living room, explaining to a group of female friends that she was trying to muster the courage to ask an editor for a contract.
“I want to be paid for my writing, but I find myself thinking, ‘I’m just a lousy writer,’ ” she said. “When it comes to money, I feel I’m worthless.” The woman speaking could have been a younger version of myself—and yet the conversation wasn’t happening among my Fight Club, but a consciousness-raising group from 1970, recorded in the New York Times. Ah, how little has changed.

I first negotiated a salary after finding out what a male friend doing a similar job was making—and that it was thousands (tens of thousands, actually) more than what I made. I didn’t get slipped an anonymous note telling me I made less (what happened to Lily Ledbetter, the Goodyear employee for whom the Fair Pay Act is named). It was really more benign. I just asked him one day when we were talking about our jobs, and he told me. When he realized how much less I was making, he encouraged me to ask for more.
Still, I’d never asked for a raise before, and the idea was daunting. Negotiation is not a skill we are taught in school. So I started making lists, documenting every accomplishment I could think of. I asked editors who liked my work to vouch for me. I edited and re-edited my list. Then I forced myself to email my boss, asking him for a meeting to discuss “my future.” For the next six hours, I checked my email obsessively while convincing myself that I shouldn’t have done it. What if
he said no? What if he thought I was presumptuous? What if he just never responded?

There’s no easy way around it: negotiating sucks. It’s difficult, anxiety-inducing, awkward, risky—no matter your gender. Some people are good at it, a few freaks may even enjoy it, but most people I know would rather do almost anything else (and in fact we often do avoid it, at great cost).
But negotiating as a woman is a whole other story. We may be comfortable talking about our bathroom habits and orgasms, but when it comes to money, we suddenly clam up. That, and we face an absurd maze of challenges—with even the best advice at times requiring us to conform to gender stereotypes (you know, like . . . smile!).
I got my raise that first time I asked, but negotiating has never gotten any easier. I just don’t like doing it. But I’ve done enough research at this point to know that I have to—and that there are some simple tactics every woman can stockpile (including knowing that women are better at negotiating when we’re told it’s OK to do so1—so here I am, telling you it’s OK!).
Don’t take my negotiation advice because I’m a good negotiator. Take it because I’m a shitty one—which means I’ve parsed the literature, obsessively, to learn how to get better.



Verbal Tripwire:
HEDGING

They’re called “hedges,” and they come in many forms. There’s the trembling qualifier (“I’m not sure if this is right, but . . .”), serving to counteract the fear that a statement might actually be wrong. There are filler words like “kind of,” “sort of,” “apparently,” “supposedly,” and so on, adverbs with just the tiniest hint of an opinion. There are the attempts at confirmation called “tags” (“Does that make sense?”), as well as sneaky disagreements (“Actually, that’s not right”) and warm-up words like “just” (“I just wanted to check in . . .”).
Think of these words as a kind of performative maybes, with seven A’s and three E’s (maaaaaaaybeee). They are permission words: used to lessen the impact of an utterance or qualify a statement to make you sound equivocal. While kin to “sorry,” this category is different—in that it’s not a direct apology so much as apologetic air-stirring, a shy knock on a door, or as former Google exec Ellen Petry Leanse described it, a way to “put the conversation partner into the ‘parent’ position, granting them more authority and control.”4
She is right: technically our statements would sound more assertive if we removed both the “but” and the qualifier preceding it. BUT! Perhaps this is the very reason why we use qualifiers to begin with: to sound less assertive, softer, less pushy, less demanding. To create the effect of a thought we both, speaker and listener, have arrived at together.
THREAT LEVEL
 
 
	For Emphasis
	  

“That meeting was just terrible.” “That meal was just wonderful.” Those “justs” aren’t uncertain, they’re emphatic.
	To Make a Request
	  

“What if we maybe stop by for a minute?” “Could I possibly ask you a couple of questions?”
	To Buy Time
	  

A well-deployed “um” or “you know” can give you a moment for your brain to collect your thoughts—another version of the time-tested “That’s a good question, Bob,” which manages to somehow balance condescension and compliment in one.
	The Confident Swagger Hedge
	  

Used in office scenarios to make up for the fact that you don’t have an answer, while still managing to give an opinion. “Well, I don’t know who has the time to know everything about [insert topic at hand]—but it’s my feeling that we should [insert opinion anyway].” If you can employ it, use it. Men do it all the time.
	The Aggressive “Actually”
	  

It’s the “talk to the hand” of the adverb world, as the journalist Jen Doll put it: a sneaky word, used to say “you’re right, I’m right” but without actually owning the correction. Consider: “Hi, Jennifer.” “Actually, it’s Jessica.” Or “The team is all here.” “Actually, we’re waiting for Ashley.” “Actually” can lessen the blow, but it can also be used to deliver a powerful bomb. “The numbers are down sixteen percent.” “No, ACTUALLY, they’re up by five.” Just don’t let it sound like you’re surprised by your own conviction.



The Enemy:
THE BROPROPRIATOR
You could argue that our country was founded on a bropropriation of sorts: a white man (Columbus) and his crew (more white dudes) claiming credit for discovering a New World that wasn’t actually new (or theirs). In an office setting, the Bropropriator appropriates credit for another’s work: presenting the ideas of his team as his own, accepting credit for an idea that wasn’t his, or sometimes even doing nothing at all and still ending up with credit5—a convenient reality of being born male, where credit is assumed.* When it comes to women in particular, bropropriation is backed up by fact: women are less likely to have their ideas correctly attributed to them,6 and we have a centuries-long history to prove it.
 
 
	FAMOUS BROPROPRIATIONS

	   MONOPOLY

Created by an unemployed man named Charles Darrow in the 1930s. Just kidding! It was actually an anti-monopolist, Elizabeth Magie, who dreamed up the game, though Darrow sold it as his own.  
	   COMPUTER CODE

Ada Lovelace wrote the first line of code in 1843—but until recently received no recognition, while her male collaborator got credit.  

	   DNA

Rosalind Franklin’s work was crucial to understanding DNA—as well as to the work that would earn her male colleagues the Nobel Prize.  
	   NUCLEAR FISSION

When Lise Meitner’s male research partner published the paper they co-wrote, he conveniently omitted her name—and it was he who subsequently won the prize in chemistry from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.  


THE FIGHT MOVES
   Tough Talk
It’s pretty hard for someone to take credit for your idea if you deliver it with such authority that nobody can forget it. So speak up—no ums, sorrys, or baby voice allowed. Use active, authoritative words that show you’re taking ownership of what you’re saying. Not “I wonder what would happen if we tried . . .” but “I’d suggest we try . . .”
   Thank ’n’ Yank
Yank the credit right back—by thanking them for liking your idea. It’s a sneaky yet highly effective self-crediting maneuver that still leaves you looking good. Try any version of: “Thanks for picking up on my idea.” “Yes! That’s exactly the point I was making.” “Exactly. So glad you agree—now let’s talk about next steps.” Sure, sometimes a biting “Is there an echo in here?” may also work, but the thank ’n’ yank softens the edge.
   Amplify
Find a wingwoman—or wingman—to help amplify your ideas. This is what the women of the Obama White House did, when they felt they weren’t being heard in meetings. They’d commit beforehand to having each other’s backs, then walk into the meeting and make sure they repeated one another’s ideas—always with credit to its author. Not only were they less likely to be interrupted using this method, but their ideas were always attached to their rightful owner. Both the amplifier (who came off like a great colleague) and the person she was amplifying (who got her rightful credit) came out on top.
   E-vidence
Keep an email evidence dossier. If you’ve put forth an incredible idea in public, follow up with an email to your higher-ups summarizing your idea after the meeting—and cc whomever necessary to let them know it’s on the record.



LAY THE GROUNDWORK
Keep a List
A negotiation is the one time you can actually hand over a piece of paper (or follow up with an email later) with everything you’ve accomplished. Consider including the following:
•  Ways you’ve contributed to your company’s profit or image
•  Specific examples of how you contributed
•  Data that prove that contribution—be it a sales report or an email from a boss or customer telling you that you did a great job, or something else
Get Colleagues on Your Side
Reach out to all the people who have a stake in your negotiation. Will they be willing to advocate on your behalf after you’ve made your ask? Will they give you a positive review if your boss asks them? These people may not play an active role, but think of them as your backup if a negotiation gets tense.
Know the Going Rate
You may not feel comfortable asking a colleague what they make (and it may go against your company policy to do so). But find out some basics about the going rate so you don’t throw out something that’s absurd (when in doubt try Glassdoor, PayScale, or Salary.com). Research from Linda Babcock and Hannah Riley Bowles, professors at Carnegie Mellon and Harvard, respectively, has found that women are more successful in negotiations when there’s less ambiguity about the appropriate standards—so any frame of reference, industry wide or within your own company, can help you make your case.
Plan When You Want to Ask
You can’t just hit up your boss for a raise whenever you feel like it, so choose your timing wisely. Don’t negotiate when you’re feeling resentful or angry about a situation at work. Likewise, take a moment to think about your manager’s ideal frame of mind (no cornering her in the ladies’ room). The best time, naturally, is right after you’ve done something awesome. It’s even better if that awesome thing happens to correspond with your annual review (or a similar check-in). If it doesn’t, do you have a review time scheduled already? Could this wait until then? Consider your options.
Know What You’re Asking For
Be sure that you have a concrete “ask”—a dollar amount, an exact title, a benefit—in the back of your mind before you go in. You may not need to use this number, but what we’re trying to avoid here is you shrugging your shoulders when you’re asked what you want. Don’t give up your power because you don’t know what you’re asking for. Your employer will happily make the decision for you.



*  Yup, research confirms that female employees hold their female managers to different standards1 than they do their male managers.



*  Though be warned: you’ll likely be crying at the feet of a man.36 In 2011, of the 5,193 public outdoor sculptures in the United States, only 394, or fewer than 8 percent, were women.



*  A tip of the Brontë bonnet to humorist Shannon Reed, whose “Spinster Agenda” for The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts inspired this manifesto.







The Saboteur:
THE CONTORTIONIST
She’s the student who curls her legs beneath her in her seat, crouches her body around them, and raises her hand nervously, as if she’s trying not to take up too much room. Why is she all pretzeled up like this? The theories span the gamut: she’s making herself small; she’s physically protecting her organs; she’s trying to appear unthreatening. What’s clear is that she’s female—men don’t contort their bodies to appear small—and that she’s undermining herself in the process. Research has found that up to 93 percent14 of the information we infer from others is nonverbal, meaning the old adage that it’s not what you say, but how you say it, is true.* The Contortionist may say the smartest thing in the room, but we’ll be too busy noticing the weakness of her rubber limbs to hear it.
THE FIGHT MOVES
   Size Matters
Be as big as you are. Sit up straight, stand tall, clench your fist to make a point, put your feet flat on the floor, and bring a sweater if you’re cold, so you’re not curling yourself up in a shawl. Harvard professor Amy Cuddy advises her female students to raise their adjustable classroom chairs as high as possible while still keeping their feet on the floor (let’s avoid the dangling little-girl legs) and says that many have reported it to be an effective tool in job interviews.15 Conveying authority through body language is a great tool for women, in part because it tends not to carry the same negative implications as so many of our other assertive actions.
   Queen of Prop
Use objects as props to stop yourself from fidgeting while you’re speaking: a pen, a mug, anything else that’s going to occupy your hands and prevent you from messing with your hair and playing with your jewelry while you’re speaking. Also try “steepling”: pressing the tips of your fingers together in front of your chest, with your palms facing each other—so the result looks like a steeple and projects confidence.
   Womanspread
Learn to take up space. Really, force yourself to do it: women tend to occupy less space16 in public than men, holding their legs closer together and keeping their arms closer to their bodies. Try a manspread—stick out your shoe from underneath your desk like you’re about to trip someone (but, uh, don’t actually do it). Pretend there is a ruler against your back so you stand up straight—it’s likely to make others see you as more confident.17 If you’re feeling really advanced, attempt the Bro Lean: chair teetering back, hands clasped behind your head, feet up on desk. (Just don’t turn the bro lean into a bro crash.)
   Copycat
Model your body language (and your actual language, for that matter) on the most confident person in the room—or the one you want to impress. Does she get out of her seat when she’s speaking to the room? Then try it. If you’re having trouble keeping people’s attention during a (casual) meeting, it’s a way to keep all eyes on you.
BE A POWER POSER
Plenty of people have rituals before giving a big speech. They talk to themselves in the mirror. They pop a Xanax. They listen to Bach, or Beethoven, or Janet Jackson (“Rhythm Nation,” obvs). When I’m about to go onstage, I hold a coffee mug to keep my hands from trembling, and then I take it with me—it gives me a caffeine boost while solving the problem of not knowing where to put my hands.
If you’re my friend Sally Kohn, though—a six-foot-one progressive lesbian about to debate politics with a conservative white guy on Fox News—you do the following: Walk into the bathroom, or a hallway, or an alleyway—basically anywhere you can be alone for a while. Spread your feet, straighten your back, and put your hands on your hips. Tilt your chin up, take a deep breath, and then stay cemented in this position for a full two minutes—at which point your testosterone levels rise and your cortisone levels drop, making you immediately more confident and less anxious. Then straighten your shirt, flip your hair, and walk on set like a boss-ass bitch. Easy, right?
Sally learned this trick from Amy Cuddy, the Harvard psychologist whose TED Talk on the “power pose” has spawned a global following. The allure of Cuddy’s work lies in the fact that it is so easy to implement. There are “high power” poses—those that increase your confidence18—and “low power” poses, or those that reduce it. Now: channel your inner Wonder Woman and strike a power pose.
HIGH-POWER POSES

LOW-POWER POSES









1    SLINGSHOT. FOR SHUTTING UP INTERRUPTERS.
2    BULLHORN. TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.
3    TISSUES. BECAUSE CRYING HAPPENS.
4    BOBBY PINS. FOR KEEPING HAIR OUT OF EYES DURING BATTLE.
5    IP STAMP. SO NOBODY CAN STEAL YOUR IDEAS.
6    WHISKEY. NEVER KNOW WHEN YOU’RE GONNA NEED IT.
   
fem-i-nist / n.
A person who believes in equality between the sexes. (YOU!)
pa-tri-ar-chy / n.
A system that was created by and for men. No, not every man is part of the patriarchy. But we do refer to the patriarchy as The Man.
Fem-i-nist Fight Club / n.
Your crew, your posse, your girl gang; your unconditionally helpful professional support system; your ride-or-die homies.  







The Trap:
“FEMALE BOSSES ARE THE WORST”

You may think she fits the stereotype of the ice-cold female boss, but you are likely the colleague, or underling, who is actually more critical (and demanding) of her because she’s female*—expecting her to fill the role of boss, mommy, and best friend at once, running the show with both authority and grace while being warm, nurturing, and supportive (and look good while she’s doing it). It is not untrue that some female bosses may be harder on women because they’re women—but it is most certainly true, statistically, that their employees are harder on them because they’re women, too.2
THE HACK
   Know the Facts
So yes, Americans may think they prefer male bosses—by an average of 33 percent, no matter their gender or education level, according to recent studies. (Ooof.) But if you dig deeper into that data you’ll find a revealing caveat: that the majority of people who say they prefer having a male boss have never actually had a female boss. Those who had worked for a woman before in fact preferred reporting to women. So help your fellow woman out and give her the benefit of the doubt—and remind your colleagues to do the same.



*  FACT.



Praise for Feminist Fight Club
“Funny and fresh. . . . One of those books that every person, not just every woman, should read.”
—Glamour


“A worthy addition to the library of any young female professional . . . or male coworker who wants to help.”
—Fortune


“[A] cheeky guide for stamping out workplace sexism.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books


“Bennett is on a mission to reform today’s workplace, and this manifesto just might be the weapon modern women are looking for.”
—Booklist


“The best career strategy we’ve heard in a long time.”
—Refinery29


“Ms. Bennett manages to convey a remarkable amount of substance briskly and entertainingly. . . . [Feminist Fight Club] has performed a huge service not just to its target audience but to the businesses they will be joining.”
—New York Times


“A much-needed PSA.”
—Playboy


“[Bennett] takes the best of what she and her fellow professionals have gleaned over the years and presents it to us for adoption. All action, no whining. Plenty of humor.”
—Chicago Tribune


“The work bible every young woman starting her career needs.”
—The
Observer


“5 out of 5 boobs!”
—BUST magazine


“[B]ound to be passed around from woman to woman—and beyond one gender—at office happy hours this fall and beyond.”
—Flavorwire


“It is saddening that the problems described in Feminist Fight Club persist, but Bennett’s light approach and humorous neologisms make fighting the power a lot more palatable.”
—Publishers Weekly


“A classic, f*ck-you feminist battle guide full of unapologetic strategies to get down and strength up with female comrades to fight patriarchy on the daily. Every woman should have a Feminist Fight Club.”
—Ilana Glazer, comedian and cocreator, Broad City


“With mighty wit, Bennett shows women how to defeat the enemies—and men how to stop being enemies. I was not prepared to laugh out loud so many times while learning so much about a serious topic.”
—Adam Grant, Wharton Business School professor and bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take


“Engaging, hilarious and practical—full of simple tools for battling workplace sexism that every woman should have at her disposal. Jessica is a unique voice—and I will proudly proclaim myself a card-carrying member of the FFC.”
—Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and bestselling author of Lean In





*  Ironic since it’s actually men who speak up more.



NOTES
INTRODUCTION
  1.   American Association of University Women, “Graduating to a Pay Gap,” 2012, http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/graduating-to-a-pay-gap-the-earnings-of-women-and-men-one-year-after-college-graduation.pdf.
  2.   Linda Babcock and Sarah Laschever, Women Don’t Ask, http://www.womendontask.com/stats.html.
  3.   Facebook gender bias training, https://managingbias.fb.com.
  4.   Cristian L. Dezsö and David Gaddis Ross, “Does Female Representation in Top Management Improve Firm Performance? A Panel Data Investigation,” Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 9 (September 2012): 1072–89; Cedric Herring, “Does Diversity Pay? Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity,” American Sociological Review 74, no. 2 (April 2009): 208–24.
  5.   Alison Cook and Christy Glass, “Do Women Advance Equity? The Effect of Gender Leadership Composition on LGBT-Friendly Policies in American Firms,” Human Relations 69, no. 7 (February 2016): 1431–56.
  6.   Samantha C. Paustian-Underdahl, Lisa Slattery Walker, and David J. Woehr, “Gender and Perceptions of Leadership Effectiveness: A Meta-Analysis of Contextual Moderators,” Journal of Applied Psychology 99, no. 6 (January 2013): 1129–45.
  7.   Brad M. Barber and Terrance Odean, “Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 116, no. 1 (February 2001): 261–92.
  8.   Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 113.
  9.   Dana L. Joseph and Daniel A. Newman, “Emotional Intelligence: An Integrative Meta-Analysis and Cascading Model,” Journal of Applied Psychology 95, no. 1 (January 2010): 54–78, http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2010–00343–013.
10.   McKinsey Global Institute, How Advancing Women’s Equality Can Add $12 Trillion to Global Growth, 2015, http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/how-advancing-womens-equality-can-add-12-trillion-to-global-growth.
PART ONE: KNOW THE ENEMY
  1.   Christopher F. Karpowitz, Tali Mendelberg, and Lee Shaker, “Gender Inequality in Deliberative Participation,” American Political Science Review (August 2012): 1–15, http://www.bu.edu/wgs/files/2014/12/Karpowitz-et-al.-2012.pdf.
  2.   Marianne LaFrance, “Gender and Interruptions: Individual Infraction or Violation of the Social Order?” Psychology of Women Quarterly 16 (1992): 497–512, http://interruptions.net/literature/LaFrance-PWQ92.pdf; Kristin J. Anderson and Campbell Leaper, “Meta-Analyses of Gender Effects on Conversational Interruption: Who, What, When, Where, and How,” Sex Roles 39, nos. 3–4 (1998): 225–52, http://www.ffri.hr/~ibrdar/komunikacija/seminari/Anderson,%201998%20-%20Meta-alnalyses%20of%20gender%20effects%20on%20convers.doc.
  3.   Adrienne Hancock and Benjamin Rubin, “Influence of Communication Partner’s Gender on Language,” Journal of Language and Social Psychology, May 11, 2014, http://jls.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/05/09/0261927X14533197; Victoria L. Brescoll, “Who Takes the Floor and Why: Gender, Power, and Volubility in Organizations,” Administrative Science Quarterly 56, no. 4 (December 2011): 622–41.
  4.   Carol W. Kennedy and Carl Camden, “Interruptions and Nonverbal Gender Differences,” Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 8, no. 2 (December 1983): 91; Kathryn Heath, Jill Flynn, and Mary Davis Holt, “Women, Find Your Voice,” Harvard Business Review, June 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/06/women-find-your-voice.
  5.   Heather Sarsons, “Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work,” Working Paper, December 3, 2015, http://scholar.harvard.edu/sarsons/publications/note-gender-differences-recognition-group-work.
  6.   Facebook gender bias training; Madeline E. Heilman and Michelle C. Haynes, “No Credit Where Credit Is Due: Attributional Rationalization of Women’s Success in Male-Female Teams,” Journal of Applied Psychology 90, no. 5 (September 2005): 905–16, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021–9010.90.5.905.
  7.   Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, “Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee,” New York Times, February 6, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/opinion/sunday/sheryl-sandberg-and-adam-grant-on-women-doing-office-housework.html.
  8.   Lyman Abbott, “Why Women Do Not Wish the Suffrage,” The Atlantic, September 1903, http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/03sep/0309suffrage.htm.
  9.   Sandberg and Grant, “Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee.”
10.   National Public Radio, “What Happens When You Get Your Period in Space?” September 17, 2015, http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/17/441160250/what-happens-when-you-get-your-period-in-space.
11.   Brescoll and Uhlmann, “Can an Angry Woman Get Ahead?”; Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (New York: NYU Press, 2014), 100.
12.   Shelley J. Correll, Stephen Benard, and In Paik, “Is There a Motherhood Penalty?,” American Journal of Sociology 112, no. 5 (March 2007): 1297–1339, http://gender.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/motherhoodpenalty.pdf; Joan C. Williams, coauthor, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know, in a video produced for LeanIn.Org, http://leanin.org/education/what-works-for-women-at-work-part-3-maternal-wall/, based on calculations by Correll, Benard, and in Paik; “Is There a Motherhood Penalty?,” American Journal of Sociology, 2007, http://gender.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/motherhoodpenalty.pdf.
13.   Williams and Dempsey, What Works for Women at Work.
14.   LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co., Women in the Workplace 2015, http://womenintheworkplace.com/ui/pdfs/Women_in_the_Workplace_2015.pdf.
15.   Beatriz Aranda and Peter Glick, “Signaling Devotion to Work over Family Undermines the Motherhood Penalty,” Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, May 23, 2013, http://gpi.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/05/22/1368430213485996.abstract.
16.   Boris B. Baltes et al., Flexible and Compressed Workweek Schedules: A Meta-Analysis of Their Effects on Work-Related Criteria, Journal of Applied Psychology, 1999, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232480680_Flexible_and_ Compressed _Work week_Schedules_A_Meta-Analysis_of_Their_Effects_on_Work-Related_Criteria.
17.   Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?,” Harvard Business Review, August 22, 2013, https://hbr.org/2013/08/why-do-so-many-incompetent-men.
18.   Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In (New York: Knopf, 2013).
19.   EY Women Athletes Business Network and espnW, Making the Connection: Women, Sport and Leadership, 2014, http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Newsroom/News-releases/news-female-executives-say-participation-in-sport-helps-accelerate—leadership-and-career-potential.
PART TWO: KNOW THYSELF
  1.   Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, “Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee,” New York Times, February 6, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/opinion/sunday/sheryl-sandberg-and-adam-grant-on-women-doing-office-housework.html.
  2.   Joan C. Williams, Katherine Phillips, and Erika Hall, Double Jeopardy? Gender Bias Against Women of Color in Science, WorkLifeLaw, UC Hastings College of Law, 2015, http://www.uchastings.edu/news/articles/2015/01/williams-double-jeopardy-report.php.
  3.   Madeline E. Heilman and Julie J. Chen, “Same Behavior, Different Consequences: Reactions to Men’s and Women’s Altruistic Citizenship Behavior,” Journal of Applied Psychology 90, no. 3 (May 2005): 431–41, http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/apl/90/3/431/.
  4.   Sandberg and Grant, “Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee.”
  5.   Sylvia Beyer, “Gender Differences in Causal Attributions by College Students of Performance on Course Examinations,” Current Psychology 17, no. 4 (1998): 346–58.
  6.   Jessi L. Smith and Meghan Huntoon, “Women’s Bragging Rights: Overcoming Modesty Norms to Facilitate Women’s Self-Promotion,” Psychology of Women Quarterly, December 20, 2013, http://intl-pwq.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/20/0361684313515840.abstract.
  7.   Michelle Haynes and Madeline Heilman, “It Had to Be You (Not Me)! Women’s Attributional Rationalization of Their Contribution to Successful Joint Work Outcomes,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, May 7, 2013, http://psp.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/05/03/0146167213486358.full, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013–05/sfpa-wws050713.php.
  8.   Heather Sarsons, “Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work,” Working Paper, December 3, 2015, http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/sarsons/files/gender_groupwork.pdf?m=1449178759; Haynes and Heilman, “It Had to Be You (Not Me)!”
  9.   Heilman and Chen, “Same Behavior, Different Consequences”; Lise Vesterlund, Linda Babcock, and Laurie Weingart, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling with ‘No’: Gender Differences in Declining Requests for Non Promotable Tasks,” Carnegie Mellon Working Paper, 2013, http://gap.hks.harvard.edu/breaking-glass-ceiling-%E2%80%9Cno%E2%80%9D-gender-differences-declining-requests-non%E2%80%90promotable-tasks.
10.   Ellen Langer and Arthur Blank, “The Mindlessness of Ostensibly Thoughtful Action: The Role of ‘Placebic’ Information in Interpersonal Interaction,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 36, no. 6 (1978): 635–42.
11.   Katharine Ridgway O’Brien, “Just Saying ‘No’: An Examination of Gender Differences in the Ability to Decline Requests in the Workplace,” Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2015. http://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/77421/OBRIEN DOCUMENT_2014.pdf.
12.   Ibid.
13.   Ibid.
14.   Albert Mehrabian, Silent Messages: Implicit Communication of Emotions and Attitudes (Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1981).
15.   Unpublished interview with author, 2014; Amy J. C. Cuddy, Caroline A. Wilmuth, Andy J. Yap, and Dana R. Carney, “Preparatory Power Posing Affects Nonverbal Presence and Job Interview Performance,” Journal of Applied Psychology, February 9, 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038543.
16.   Baden Eunson, Communicating in the 21st Century, chapter 7, http://www.johnwiley.com.au/highered/eunson2e/content018/web_chapters/ eunson 2e_web7.pdf.
17.   Judith A. Hall, Erik J. Coats, and Lavonia Smith LeBeau, “Nonverbal Behavior and the Vertical Dimension of Social Relations: A Meta-Analysis,” Psychological Bulletin 131, no. 6 (2005): 898–924, http://www.wisebrain.org/papers/NonverbCommVerticalRels.pdf.
18.   Dana R. Carney, Amy J. C. Cuddy, and Andy J. Yap, “Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance,” Psychological Science 21, no. 10 (October 2010): 1363–68.
19.   “When the Career Woman Vies with Man,” New York Times Magazine, October 26, 1930.
20.   Christopher F. Karpowitz, Tali Mendelberg, and Lee Shaker, “Gender Inequality in Deliberative Participation,” American Political Science Review (August 2012): 1–15, http://www.bu.edu/wgs/files/2014/12/Karpowitz-et-al.-2012.pdf.
21.   Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt and Katherine W. Phillips, “When What You Know Is Not Enough: Expertise and Gender Dynamics in Task Groups,” Personal Social Psychology Bulletin 30, no. 12 (December 2004): 1585–98, http://psp.sagepub.com/content/30/12/1585.abstract.
22.   Deborah Tannen, Talking 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work (New York: William Morrow, 1983), http://academic.luzerne.edu/shousenick/101—COMPARE-CONTRAST_article_Tannen.doc.
23.   Kathryn Heath, Jill Flynn, and Mary Davis Holt, “Women, Find Your Voice,” Harvard Business Review, June 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/06/women-find-your-voice.
24.   Ibid.
25.   Olivia A. O’Neill and Charles A. O’Reilly III, “Reducing the Backlash Effect: Self-Monitoring and Women’s Promotions,” Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 2011, http://www.alphagalileo.org/AssetViewer.aspx?AssetId=40772&CultureCode=en.
26.   Ovul Sezer, Francesca Gino, and Michael I. Norton. “Humble-Bragging: A Distinct—and Ineffective—Self-Presentation Strategy,” Harvard Business School Working Paper, no. 15-080, April 2015.
27.   Michael D. Robinson, Joel T. Johnson, and Stephanie A. Shields, “On the Advantages of Modesty: The Benefits of a Balanced Self-Presentation,” Communication Research 22, no. 5 (October 1995): 575–91, http://crx.sagepub.com/content/22/5/575.abstract.
28.   Vera Hoorens, Mario Pandelaere, Frans Oldersma, and Constantine Sedikides, “The Hubris Hypothesis: You Can Self-Enhance, But You’d Better Not Show It,” Journal of Personality 80, no. 5 (October 2012): 1237–74, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467–6494.2011.00759.x/abstract.
29.   Jeffrey Pfeffer, Christina T. Fong, Robert B. Cialdini, and Rebecca R. Portnoy, “Overcoming the Self-Promotion Dilemma: Interpersonal Attraction and Extra Help as a Consequence of Who Sings One’s Praises,” Personal Social Psychology Bulletin, October 2006, http://psp.sagepub.com/content/32/10/1362.short.
30.   Ashley Milne-Tyte, “Women Stay in Jobs Longer Than They Should,” Marketplace, July 17, 2013, http://www.marketplace.org/2013/07/17/economy/women-stay-jobs-longer-they-should.
31.   Venessa Wong, “Women Prefer Male Bosses Even More Than Men Do,” Bloomberg, October 16, 2014, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014–10–16/women-dislike-having-female-bosses-more-than-men-do.
32.   Peggy Drexler, “Are Queen Bees Real?” Forbes, October 17, 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/peggydrexler/2014/10/17/are-queen-bees-real/#1391e85c83a1.
33.   Leah D. Sheppard and Karl Aquino, “Much Ado About Nothing? Observers’ Problematization of Women’s Same-Sex Conflict at Work,” Academy of Management Perspectives 27, no. 1 (2013): 52–62.
34.   Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (New York: NYU Press, 2014), 264; Robin J. Ely, “The Effects of Organizational Demographics and Social Identity on Relationships Among Professional Women,” Administrative Science Quarterly 39, no. 2 (June 1994): 203–38, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2393234?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents.
35.   Valerie Young, The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from Imposter Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It (New York: Crown Business, 2011).
36.   Laura Starecheski, “Why Saying Is Believing—The Science of Self-Talk,” National Public Radio, October 30, 2014, http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/10/07/353292408/why-saying-is-believing-the-science-of-self-talk.
37.   Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance–What Women Should Know (New York: HarperCollins, 2014).
38.   Sara Rimer, “Social Expectations Pressuring Women at Duke, Study Finds,” New York Times, September 24, 2003.
39.   Ashleigh Shelby Rosette and Robert W. Livingston, “Failure is not an option for Black women: Effects of organizational performance on leaders with single versus dual-subordinate identities,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 48 (2012), 1162–67; V. L. Brescoll, E. Dawson, & E. L. Uhlmann. “Hard won and easily lost: The fragile status of leaders in gender-stereotype-incongruent occupations.” Psychological Science, 2010; Joan C Williams and Rachel Dempsey, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Women Need to Know (New York: NYU Press, 2014), 228.
40.   Angela L. Duckworth et al., “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2007, https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~duckwort/images/Grit%20JPSP.pdf.
41.   Carsten Wrosch, Michael F. Scheier, Gregory E. Miller, Richard Schulz, and Charles S. Carver, “Adaptive Self-Regulation of Unattainable Goals: Goal Disengagement, Goal Reengagement, and Subjective Well-Being,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2003; Carston Wrosch et al., “The Importance of Goal Disengagement in Adaptive Self-Regulation: When Giving Up Is Beneficial,” Self and Identity, 2: 1–20, 2003, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carsten_Wrosch/publication/ 233264292_The_ Importance_of_Goal_Disengagement_in_Adaptive_Self-Regulation_When_Giving_Up_is_Beneficial/links/0c960533315df7b28c 000000 .pdf. Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2003, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carsten_Wrosch/publication/233264292_The_ Importance_of_Goal_Disengagement_in_Adaptive_Self-Regulation_When_Giving_Up_is_Beneficial/links/0c960533315df7b28c000000.pdf.
42.   Radostina K. Purvanova and John P. Muros, “Gender Differences in Burnout: A Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Vocational Behavior 77, no. 2 (October 2010): 168–85, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001879110000771.
43.   Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Percentage of Adults Who Often Felt Very Tired or Exhausted in the Past 3 Months, by Sex and Age Group, National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2010–2011, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6214a5.htm.
44.   Youngjoo Cha, “Overwork and the Persistence of Gender Segregation in Occupations,” Gender & Society 27 (April 2013): 158–84, http://gas.sagepub.com/content/27/2/158.full?keytype=ref&siteid=spgas&ijkey=an5gkkROnpdx2; Youngjoo Cha, “Overwork, Underwork, and the Health of Men and Women in the United States,” March 29, 2013, unpublished paper, http://paa2013.princeton.edu/papers/132394.
45.   U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American Time Use Survey Summary, June 24, 2015, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm; “Overwork and the Persistence of Gender Segregation in Occupations,” Gender & Society 27 (April 2013): 158–84, http://gas.sagepub.com/content/27/2/158.full?keytype=ref&siteid=spgas&ijkey=an5gkkROnpdx2.
46.   Pew Research Center, “Another Gender Gap: Men Spend More Time in Leisure Activities,” June 10, 2013, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/10/another-gender-gap-men-spend-more-time-in-leisure-activities.
47.   Catriona Harvey-Jenner, “Women Need More Sleep Than Men and That’s a FACT,” Cosmopolitan, March 4, 2016.
PART THREE: BOOBY TRAPS
  1.   Sharon Mavin, “Queen Bees, Wannabees and Afraid to Bees: No More Best Enemies for Women in Management?,” British Journal of Management 19, no. s1 (March 2008): S75–84, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1095907.
  2.   Gallup, “Americans Still Prefer a Male Boss to a Female Boss,” October 2014, http://www.gallup.com/poll/178484/americans-prefer-male-boss-female-boss.aspx.
  3.   Marianne Cooper, “For Women Leaders, Likability and Success Hardly Go Hand-in-Hand,” Harvard Business Review, April 30, 2013, https://hbr.org/2013/04/for-women-leaders-likability-a/.
  4.   Madeline E. Heilman et al., “Penalties for Success: Reactions to Women Who Succeed at Male Gender-Typed Tasks,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 2004, http://search.committee.module.rutgers.edu/pdf/Heilman%20adn%20Wallen %202004.pdf; Laurie A. Rudman and Peter Glick, “Prescriptive Gender Stereotypes and Backlash Toward Agentic Women,” Journal of Social Issues, 2001, http://web.natur.cuni.cz/~houdek3/papers/Rudman%20Glick%202001.pdf; Kathleen L. McGinn and Nicole Tempest, “Heidi Roizen,” Harvard Business School Case 800–228, January 2000, revised April 2010, http://hbr.org/product/Heidi-Roizen/an/800228-PDF-ENG.
  5.   Interview with author, 2010.
  6.   Amy Cuddy, “Just Because I’m Nice, Don’t Assume I’m Dumb,” Harvard Business Review, February 2009.
  7.   Paula Szuchman, “Are Recommendation Letters Biased Against Women?,” Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2010, http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2010/11/15/are-recommendation-letters-biased-against-women/.
  8.   Ibid.
  9.   Lynn Peril, Swimming in the Steno Pool: A Retro Guide to Making It in the Office (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011), 203.
10.   The Center for Legislative Archives online, http://congressarchives.tumblr.com/post/37712637089/on-december-11–1917-alice-wadsworth-president.
11.   Stephanie A. Shields, “Passionate Men, Emotional Women: Psychology Constructs Gender Difference in the Late 19th Century,” History of Psychology 10, no. 2 (2007): 92–110.
12.   Veronica Rocha and Lee Romney, “Black Women Kicked off Napa Wine Train to Sue for Discrimination,” Los Angeles Times, October 1, 2015.
13.   Alessandra Stanley, “Wrought in Rhimes’s Image,” New York Times, September 18, 2014.
14.   Huda Hassan, “The Angry Black Woman Must Die,” BuzzFeed, July 31, 2015.
15.   Roxanne A. Donovan, “Tough or Tender: (Dis)Similarities in White College Students’ Perceptions of Black and White Women,” Psychology of Women Quarterly 35, no. 3 (2011): 458–68.
16.   LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co., Women in the Workplace 2015, http://womenintheworkplace.com/ui/pdfs/Women_in_the_Workplace_2015.pdf; Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Tai Green, “Black Women Ready to Lead,” Center for Talent Innovation,2015, http://www.talentinnovation.org/_private/assets/BlackWomenReadyToLead_ExecSumm-CTI.pdf.
17.   Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” The National Bureau of Economic Research, 2003, http://www.nber.org/papers/w9873.
18.   Jay Newton-Small, Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works (New York: TIME, 2015).
19.   Rosabeth Moss Kanter, “Some Effects of Proportions on Group Life: Skewed Sex Ratios and Responses to Token Women,” American Journal of Sociology 82, no. 5 (March 1977): 965–90.
20.   Kimberly E. O’Brien et al., “A Meta-Analytic Investigation of Gender Differences in Mentoring,” Journal of Management 35, no. 2 (2010): 537–54; Herminia Ibarra, Nancy M. Carter, and Christine Silva, “Why Men Still Get More Promotions than Women,” Harvard Business Review, September 2010; Sylvia Ann Hewlett et al., “The Sponsor Effect: Breaking Through the Last Glass Ceiling,” Harvard Business Review Research Report, December 2010, 35; Kim Elsesser, Sex and the Office: Women, Men, and the Sex Partition That’s Dividing the Workplace (New York: Taylor Trade Publishing, 2015). (The first statistic comes from research by the economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett.)
21.   Leah D. Sheppard and Karl Aquino, “Much Ado About Nothing? Observers’ Problematization of Women’s Same-Sex Conflict at Work,” Academy of Management Perspectives 27, no. 1 (2013): 52–62.
22.   Madeline E. Heilman, “Description and Prescription: How Gender Stereotypes Prevent Women’s Ascent up the Organizational Ladder,” Journal of Social Issues 57, no. 4 (Winter 2001): 657–74.
23.   Andy Martens, Michael Johns, Jeff Greenberg, and Jeff Schimel, “Combating stereotype threat: The effect of self-affirmation on women’s intellectual performance.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 42 (2006): 236–43; Marguerite Rigoglioso, “Simple Interventions Bridge the Achievement Gap Between Latino and White Students,” Stanford University News, February 14, 2013, http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/february/latino-achievement-gap-021413.html.
24.   Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (New York: NYU Press, 2014), 228; C. M. Steele, S. J. Spencer, & J. Aronson, “Contending with group image: The psychology of stereotype and social identity threat,” http://disjointedthinking.jeffhughes.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Steele-Spencer-Aronson-2002.Contending-with-group-image.pdf.
25.   Ioana M. Latu, Marianne Schmid Mast, Joris Lammers, and Dario Bombari, “Successful Female Leaders Empower Women’s Behavior in Leadership Tasks,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 49, no. 3 (May 2013): 444–48.
26.   Chris Wilson, “This Chart Shows Hollywood’s Glaring Gender Gap,” Time, October 6, 2015.
27.   Jessica Bennett, “The Beauty Advantage,” Newsweek, July 19, 2010.
28.   Alison Cook and Christy Glass, “Above the Glass Ceiling: When Are Women and Racial/Ethnic Minorities Promoted to CEO?,” Strategic Management Journal 35, no. 7 (July 2014): 1080–89; Ken Favaro, Per-Ola Karlsson, and Gary L. Neilson, “Women CEOs of the last 10 years,” PwC Strategy&, April 29, 2014, http://www.strategyand.pwc.com/reports/2013-chief-executive-study.
29.   Michelle K. Ryan, S. Alexander Haslam, Mette D. Hersby, and Renata Bongiorno, “Think Crisis–Think Female: The Glass Cliff and Contextual Variation in the Think Manager–Think Male Stereotype,” Journal of Applied Psychology 96, no. 3 (2011): 470–84, https://www.uni-klu.ac.at/gender/downloads/FP_Ryan_2011.pdf.
30.   Tom Lutz, Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears, chapter 1, https://www.nytimes.com/books/first/l/lutz-crying.html; Sandra Newman, “Man, Weeping,” Aeon, September 9, 2015.
31.   Lutz, Crying.
32.   Ibid.
33.   Unpublished research by Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, Davis; Olga Khazan, “Lean In to Crying at Work,” The Atlantic, March 17, 2016.
34.   Anne Kreamer, “Why Do Women Cry More Than Men?,” The Daily Beast, December 18, 2010, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/12/18/john-boehner-crying-why-do-women-cry-more-than-men.html; Richard H. Post, “Tear Duct Size Differences of Age, Sex and Race,” Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/37483/1330300109_ftp.pdf?sequence=1.
35.   Jessica Bennett, “Why So Many Women Are Crying at the Gym,” Time, October 20, 2014.
36.   “Why the Dearth of Statues Honoring Women in Statuary Hall and Elsewhere?,” Washington Post, April 17, 2011.
PART FOUR: GET YOUR SPEAK ON
  1.   Jin Ko Sei, C. M. Judd, and D. A. Stapel, “Stereotyping Based on Voice in the Presence of Individuating Information: Vocal Femininity Affects Perceived Competence but Not Warmth,” Personal Social Psychology Bulletin 35, no. 2 (February 2009): 198–211; R. C. Anderson, C. A. Klofstad, W. J. Mayew, and M. Venkatachalam, “Vocal Fry May Undermine the Success of Young Women in the Labor Market,” PLoS One 9, no. 5 (2014), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4037169/.
  2.   Jan Hoffman, “Overturning the Myth of Valley Girl Speak,” New York Times, December 23, 2013; Caroline Winter, “What Does How You Talk Have to Do with How You Get Ahead?” Bloomberg, April 24, 2014.
  3.   Amanda Ritchar and Amalia Arvanito, “The Form and Use of Uptalk in Southern Californian English,” presentation made at the 166th ASA Meeting in San Francisco, December 5, 2013, http://acoustics.org/pressroom/httpdocs/166th/4pSCa2-Ritchart.html.
  4.   Ellen Petry Leanse, “Just Say No,” LinkedIn Pulse, May 29, 2015.
  5.   Rich Smith, “I Feel Like We Say ‘I Feel Like’ All the Time,” The Stranger, July 15, 2015.
  6.   Deborah Tannen, interview with author.
  7.   Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (New York: NYU Press, 2014), 66.
  8.   Phyllis Mindell, Ed.D., How to Say It for Women (New York: Prentice Hall Press, 2001).
  9.   Deanna Geddes and Lisa T. Stickney, “Muted Anger in the Workplace: Changing the ‘Sound’ of Employee Emotion Through Social Sharing,” 2012, http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2731708.
10.   Douglas Quenqua, “They’re, Like, Way Ahead of the Linguistic Currrrve,” New York Times, February 27, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/science/young-women-often-trendsetters-in-vocal-patterns.html.
11.   Ann Friedman, “Can We Just, Like, Get Over the Way Women Talk?” New York, July 9, 2015.
12.   Anderson et al., “Vocal Fry May Undermine the Success of Young Women in the Labor Market.”
13.   “What’s the Big Deal About Vocal Fry? An NYU Linguist Weighs In,” NYU News, September 29, 2015, https://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/nyu-stories/lisa-davidson-on-vocal-fry.html.
14.   Anderson, “Vocal Fry May Undermine the Success of Young Women.”
15.   Jessica Bennett and Rachel Simmons, “Kisses and Hugs in the Office,” The Atlantic, December 2012.
16.   Roderick I. Swaab et al., “Early Words That Work: When and How Virtual Linguistic Mimicry Facilitates Negotiation Outcomes,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 47, no. 3 (May 2011): 616–21.
17.   Women’s Media Center, “Name It. Change It. Findings from an Online Dial Survey of 800 Likely Voters Nationwide,” 2010, http://www.lakeresearch.com/news/NameItChangeIt/NameItChangeIt.pres.pdf.
18.   R.W., “Obituary: Geraldine Ferraro,” Economist, May 27, 2011, http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/03/obituary.
19.   Bellack, Marisa, “I Was Gay Talese’s Teaching Assistant. I Quit Because of His Sexism,” Washington Post, April 9, 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/04/09/gay-talese-sexism/.
PART FIVE: F YOU, PAY ME
  1.   “Women Negotiate Better for Themselves If They’re Told It’s OK to Do So,” Harvard Business Review, September 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/09/women-negotiate-better-for-themselves-if-theyre-told-its-ok-to-do-so/; Deborah A. Small, Michele Gelfand, Linda Babcock, and Hilary Gettman, “Who Goes to the Bargaining Table? The Influence of Gender and Framing on the Initiation of Negotiation,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 93, no. 4 (2007): 600–13.
  2.   American Association of University Women, “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap,” Spring 2016, http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/.
  3.   American Association of University Women, “Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation,” 2013, http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/03/Graduating-to-a-Pay-Gap-The-Earnings-of-Women-and-Men-One-Year-after-College-Graduation-Executive-Summary-and-Recommendations.pdf.
  4.   Jessica Bennett, “How to Attack the Gender Wage Gap? Speak Up,” New York Times, December 15, 2012.
  5.   Fiona Greig, “Propensity to Negotiate and Career Advancement: Evidence from an Investment Bank That Women Are on a ‘Slow Elevator,’ ” Negotiation Journal 24 no. 4 (October 2008): 495–508.
  6.   Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003), http://www.womendontask.com/stats.html.
  7.   Nolan Feeney, “Study: Women More Likely to Be Lied to in Negotiations Than Men,” Time, August 3, 2014; Laura J. Kray, Jessica A. Kennedy, and Alex B. Van Zant, “Not competent enough to know the difference? Gender stereotypes about women’s ease of being misled predict negotiator deception,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, November 2014.
  8.   Chris Guthrie and Dan Orr, “Anchoring, Information, Expertise, and Negotiation: New Insights from Meta-Analysis,” Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 2006.
  9.   Hannah Riley Bowles and Linda Babcock, “How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma? Relational Accounts Are One Answer,” Psychology of Women Quarterly 37, no. 1 (2013): 80–96.
10.   Hannah Riley Bowles, “Why Women Don’t Negotiate Their Job Offers,” Harvard Business Review, June 19, 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/06/why-women-dont-negotiate-their-job-offers/.
11.   Bowles and Babcock, “How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma?”
12.   Hannah Riley Bowles, Linda Babcock, and Lei Lai, “Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 103, no. 1 (2007): 84–103.
13.   Jennifer L. Holt and Cynthia James DeVore, “Culture, Gender, Organizational Role, and Styles of Conflict Resolution: A Meta-Analysis,” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 29 (2005): 165–96.
PART SIX: WWJD—WHAT WOULD JOSH DO?
  1.   Carla A. Harris, Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace (New York: Plume Books, 2010).
  2.   Georges Desvaux, Sandrine Devillard-Hoellinger, and Mary C. Meaney, “A Business Case for Women,” The McKinsey Quarterly, September 2008, 4, http://www.womenscolleges.org/files/pdfs/BusinessCaseforWomen.pdf.
  3.   Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance–What Women Should Know (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 19; “Yet Another Explanation for Why Fewer Women Make It to the Top,” Washington Post, April 1, 2011, https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-leadership/post/yet-another-explanation-for-why-fewer-women-make-it-to-the-top/2011/04/01/gIQA2IIP9N_blog.html.
  4.   Claire Martin, “Wearing Your Failures on Your Sleeve,” New York Times, November 8, 2014.
  5.   Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In (New York: Knopf, 2013).
  6.   “Gender Study Shows Women Are ‘Driven by Fear of Failure,’ ” Times Higher Education, November 6, 1998, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/gender-study-shows-women-are-driven-by-fear-of-failure/109745.article.
  7.   James P. Byrnes, David C. Miller, and William D. Schafer, “Gender Differences in Risk Taking: A Meta-Analysis,” Psychological Bulletin 125, no. 3 (May 1999): 367–83; Catherine C. Eckel and Phillip J. Grossman, “Men, Women, and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence,” in Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, vol. 1, ed. Charles R. Plott and Vernon L. Smith (Amsterdam: North Holland, 2008), 1061–73.
  8.   Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (New York: Viking Books, 2016).
  9.   Thomas Gilovich and Victoria Husted Medvec, “The Experience of Regret: What, When, and Why,” Psychological Review 102, no. 2 (April 1995): 379–95, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033–295X.102.2.379.
10.   Madeline E. Heilman and Julie J. Chen, “Same Behavior, Different Consequences: Reactions to Men’s and Women’s Altruistic Citizenship Behavior,” Journal of Applied Psychology 90 (2005): 431–41; Lise Vesterlund, Linda Babcock, Laurie Weingart, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling with ‘No’: Gender Differences in Declining Requests for Non-Promotable Tasks,” 2013, http://gap.hks.harvard.edu/breaking-glass-ceiling-%E2%80%9Cno%E2%80%9D-gender-differences-declining-requests-non%E2%80%90promotable-tasks; Katharine Ridgway O’Brien, “Just Saying ‘No’: An Examination of Gender Differences in the Ability to Decline Requests in the Workplace,” thesis, Rice University, 2014, https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/77421?show=full.
11.   Neil Irwin, “How Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Workweek, and Why It Matters,” New York Times, May 4, 2015; Original research: Erin Reid, “Embracing, Passing, Revealing, and the Ideal Worker Image: How People Navigate Expected and Experienced Professional Identities,” Organizational Science, April 20, 2015.
12.   Catherine C. Eckel and Phillip J. Grossman, “Men, Women, and Risk Aversion: Experimental Evidence,” in C. Plott and V. Smith, ed. Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, vol 1. Ch. 113, 1061–73, 2008; Doug Sundheim, “Do Women Take as Many Risks as Men?,” Harvard Business Review, February 27, 2013, https://hbr.org/2013/02/do-women-take-as-many-risks-as/.
13.   Ibid.
14.   Madeline E. Heilman and Michelle C. Haynes, “No Credit Where Credit Is Due: Attributional Rationalization of Women’s Success in Male-Female Teams,” Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 90, no. 5 (September 2005); 905–916. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.90.5.905.
15.   Eugene Caruso, Nicholas Epley, and Max H. Bazerman, “The Costs and Benefits of Undoing Egocentric Responsibility Assessments in Groups,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 91, no. 5 (November 2006): 857–71.
16.   Baden Eunson, Communicating in the 21st Century, chapter 7, http://www.johnwiley.com.au/highered/eunson2e/content018/web_chapters /eunson2e_web7.pdf.
17.   Christopher F. Karpowitz, Tali Mendelberg, and Lee Shaker, “Gender Inequality in Deliberative Participation,” American Political Science Review (August 2012): 1–15, http://www.bu.edu/wgs/files/2014/12/Karpowitz-et-al.-2012.pdf.
18.   Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, “Madam C.E.O., Get Me a Coffee,” New York Times, February, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/opinion/Sunday/sheryl-sandberg-and-adam-grant-on-women-doing-office-housework.html.
19.   Joan C. Williams and Rachel Dempsey, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (New York: NYU Press, 2014); Madeline E. Heilman and Julie J. Chen, “Same Behavior, Different Consequences: Reactions to Men’s and Women’s Altruistic Citizenship Behavior,” Journal of Applied Psychology 90, no. 3 (May 2005); 431–41, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.90.3.431.
20.   Constance Gager and Scott Yabiku, “Who Has the Time? The Relationship Between Household Labor Time and Sexual Frequency,” Journal of Family Issues, February 2010.
21.   Scott Coltrane, “Research on Household Labor: Modeling and Measuring the Social Embeddedness of Routine Family Work,” Journal of Marriage and Family, November 2000.
22.   Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, “Same-Sex Couples May Have More Egalitarian Relationships,” NPR’s All Things Considered, December 29, 2014.
23.   B. Heilman, G. Cole, K. Matos, A. Hassink, R. Mincy, G. Barker, “State of America’s Fathers: A MenCare Advocacy Publication,” Washington, DC: Promundo-US,http://men-care.org/soaf/download/PRO16001_Americas_Father_web.pdf.
24.   A. Croft, T. Scmader, K. Block, A. S. Baron, “The Second Shift Reflected in the Second Generation: Do Parents’ Gender Roles at Home Predict Children’s Aspirations?,” Psychological Science, July 2014.
25.   Jamie Ladge, Beth Humberd, Brad Harrington, and Marla Watkins, “Updating the Organization Man: An Examination of Involved Fathering in the Workplace,” Academy of Management Perspectives, October 7, 2014.
26.   Stephanie L. Brown, Dylan M. Smith, Richard Schulz, Mohammed U. Kabeto, Peter A. Ubel, Michael Poulin, Jaehee Yi, Catherine Kim, and Kenneth M. Langa, “Caregiving Behavior Is Associated with Decreased Mortality Risk,” Psychological Science, April 2009.
27.   Facebook unconscious bias training, https://managingbias.fb.com.
28.   Cristian L. Dezsö and David Gaddis Ross, “Does Female Representation in Top Management Improve Firm Performance? A Panel Data Investigation,” Strategic Management Journal 33, no. 9 (September 2012): 1072–89; Cedric Herring, “Does Diversity Pay? Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity,” American Sociological Review 74, no. 2 (April 2009): 208–24.
29.   Alison Cook and Christy Glass, “Do women advance equity? The effect of gender leadership composition on LGBT-friendly policies in American firms,” Human Relations 69, no. 7 (February 2016): 1431–1456.
HOW TO START A FEMINIST FIGHT CLUB!
  1.   Marilyn Yalom and Theresa Donovan Brow, The Social Sex: A History of Female Friendship (New York: Harper Perennial, 2015).



The Trap:
“WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY?”
The stereotype of the Angry Black Woman is a reliable trope: hostile, loud, self-sufficient to a fault. It exists in pop culture, in our offices, and even in public life: Remember that group of African American women who were kicked off a Napa Valley wine train for being too “loud”?12 Or what about that New York Times profile of Shonda Rhimes, in which the writer wondered whether a TV titan lauded for her strong black female characters might title her autobiography, How to Get Away with Being an Angry Black Woman?13
The threat of this stereotype is multifold: if they’re already perceived as “angry”—and research shows they are*—then black women may also be more likely to fall victim to the “too aggressive” trap, penalized for the same behavior that gets rewarded in men. It also creates a constant sense of having to modify one’s behavior. As the writer Huda Hassan explained in an article for BuzzFeed, “As a black woman in public, I’m hyperconscious of my actions, tone, and words out of fear that I might seem too angry.”14
THE HACKS
   Keep It on the Record
In Rhimes’s case, many called for the Times article to be retracted, but she preferred to keep it on the record—as a kind of historical document. “In this world in which we all feel we’re so full of gender equality and we’re a postracial [society] . . . it’s a very good reminder to see the casual racial bias and odd misogyny from a woman written in a paper that we all think of as being so liberal,” she said.
   Have a Good Retort
Call it the Amandla Stenberg approach: When the teen actress was called “too angry” on Twitter she responded with the following: “I have strong opinions. I am not angry.” What she perhaps unknowingly employed was a trick advised by the law professor Joan C. Williams in her book What Works for Women at Work: that to offset the stereotype of the out-of-control angry woman, it can work to reframe the emotion as something other than anger (or justify it based on cause). Stenberg reframed it as being opinionated; in an office setting, Williams has advised tying any emotion back to a shared business goal. So if he says, “I don’t know why you’re so upset,” you say, “I’m not upset. I’m concerned about our progress.”
   Don’t Get Mad, Get Even
Which means having an even number of women of color in your office in proportion to the population. Whether that means passing along a résumé, making an effort to offer support to young women of color, this task shouldn’t fall only to the minorities in the room. The more diverse your office, the better off it will be—and suddenly, being “mad” will be seen for what it really is: not actually “mad” at all.



ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
Australia
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*  Yeah, so, in a situation where men and women work together on a project, research has found that colleagues (or bosses) tend to infer that it is the men who deserve the credit. Argh!



WWJD?:
FAIL UP
It’s a lesson that Silicon Valley has taken to heart: according to research by Shikhar Ghosh, a lecturer at Harvard, more than a third of venture-backed start-ups blow through their investors’ money, and 70 to 80 percent do not deliver their return.4 But those start-up founders don’t hide their failures; to the contrary, they flaunt them—blogging about them, gathering to talk about them at conferences like FailCon. You know what else most of these start-ups have in common, besides failure? They’re run by . . . yep, men.
The female fear of failure begins early. Research by the psychologist Carol Dweck reveals that even in elementary school, girls tend to give up more quickly than boys—and more so the higher their IQ. That fear doesn’t abate with age—particularly in male-dominated fields, where women’s contributions tend to be judged more harshly. And when a woman does fail, she is more likely to believe it’s personal5—she sucked—while men view it as circumstantial (the business sucked).
It’s not all bad. Women’s fear of failure6 may prompt them to become better informed; they take the time to read up on their ideas so they can supply evidence. But then of course there’s the feedback loop: People who fear failure are less likely to put forward ideas, to take intellectual risks, and more likely to quit. They tend to avoid new challenges in favor of sticking to what they’re already good at.7 How can you learn if you don’t try something new?
FEMULATE HIM
   You’re in Good Company
Executives called the pilot episode of Seinfeld “weak,” claiming that no audience would want to watch the show again. Oprah was fired from her job as a reporter. Harry Potter was rejected on the first round, because publishers thought it was “too long” for a children’s book. In short: the world is full of stories about successful people who failed on their first try, tried again, then succeeded on the next. Picasso had to produce more than twenty thousand pieces of art to make a few masterpieces that we remember—don’t you think your odds are better?
   Failure FOMO
In his book Originals, the business professor Adam Grant describes how there are two kinds of failures:8 those centered on action and those centered on inaction—or, failing by botching the thing you tried, or failing by not trying at all. Most people think, ahead of time, that it’s the failed actions they’ll regret the most: the anguish of a tanked business or the humiliation of the botched marriage proposal. But guess what? When people reflect on their biggest regrets, what they regret most are the inactions—or the failure to try, not the failure itself.9
   Learn From Your Mistakes
“There is no school, no therapy session, no amount of money that will earn you the wisdom and strength learned by an epic fail mistake,” says Rachel Simmons, a leadership coach at Smith College. She’s right—research supports the fact that we indeed learn more from failure than success.



COPYRIGHT

Names and identifying characteristics of fight club members and other characters throughout the book have been changed to preserve their anonymity. In some cases, composite characters have been created and timelines altered to maintain narrative flow.
FEMINIST FIGHT CLUB. Copyright © 2016 by Jessica Bennett. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.
FIRST HARPERWAVE PAPERBACK EDITION PUBLISHED IN 2017.
Cover design by Jonathan Gray
Illustrations by Saskia Wariner with Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell
Grenade illustration by Kovalenko Alexander/Shutterstock, Inc.

Fist art by Zmiter/Shutterstock, Inc.
ISBN 978-0-06-243978-9
EPub Edition SEPTEMBER 2017 ISBN 978-0-06-243979-6



The Trap:
“HOW DO I FIND A MENTOR?”
You don’t have to have mentors who look like you. Had I been waiting for a black, female Soviet specialist mentor, I would still be waiting.
—Condoleezza Rice
Having somebody to advise you on your career is important for everyone—but for women it’s often crucial, because they’re coming from a disadvantage. Yet there’s a supply problem when it comes to such advisors for women, and not just because two-thirds of male executives are hesitant to have one-on-one meetings with junior women20 (because it might be taken the wrong way). Women tend to rely on other women for mentors, which is excellent—except that most of us still work in places where it’s mostly men in charge.
THE HACK
   PBOD (Personal Board of Directors)
“Mentor” may be the business world’s favorite buzzword of the moment, but people don’t just emerge into the working world with mentors—those relationships develop over time. So what can you do if you’re just starting out? Here’s one idea: create a group of mentors. One friend has one she calls her PBOD—or “personal board of directors”—who weigh in on one another’s decisions and dilemmas. A PBOD (or a Fight Club for that matter) doesn’t require you to find one specific person to “be your mentor”—and it’s a less weighty ask: you’re spreading the advice around (and giving some back, too).







The Enemy:
THE STENOGRAPHUCKER

The Stenographucker treats you like the office secretary, even when it’s clear you’re not: asking casually if you’d “mind taking notes,” ccing you on his travel arrangements, or ordering you to “grab coffee” for a client (your client). Sometimes he inadvertently assumes you are the secretary (or the kitchen help, in the case of Mellody Hobson, the black female chair of the board at DreamWorks Animation).* My friend Alia, who works at a nonprofit, recently attended a cocktail reception for a prestigious scholarship she’d won. Along with the other honoree, a man, she was asked to greet guests at the door. But instead of outstretched hands to congratulate her—those went to the man by her side—she received more than a few coats in her face. People assumed she was the coat-check girl.
THE FIGHT MOVES
   Bad Barista
Do what digital strategist Aminatou Sow does: when male colleagues ask her to make coffee, she tells them politely that she would be happy to do so, if only she knew how—her mother told her never to learn how to make coffee so she wouldn’t end up having to make it. (The copy-machine equivalent: “I’ve broken the copy machine so many times, I’m not supposed to touch it.”) For further inspiration: see Shel Silverstein’s “How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes,” which every woman might consider having tattooed to her arm (“If you have to dry the dishes / And you drop one on the floor— / Maybe they won’t let you / Dry the dishes anymore.”)
   Cash in Your Woman Card
Katharine O’Brien, an organizational psychologist, says she uses the following strategy to avoid being disproportionally asked to help out: she says no, and then explains bluntly that she doesn’t take meeting notes because she believes it puts women in a subordinate position—of having to record, not speak. “I’ve done this for years and I’ve found it to be very effective,” she says. “Most people understand my reasoning and any contention it causes has been fleeting.”
   Throw to a Bro
That is, backhand* this assignment by suggesting another guy for the job. “I’m actually on the hook for a big presentation right now. But you know who’s actually great at making spreadsheets? Brad over here. Brad is excellent at making spreadsheets.” Other possible comebacks include “Would you like me to get you coffee while I’m at it?” and “Are your hands broken?”
   Put the Phucker in His Place
I once heard a story of a female CEO who was chastised by a colleague for being out of Diet Coke in a board meeting that she was chairing. Instead of getting upset, she turned to the man and said sweetly, “I’ll be sure to add that to the agenda for next time.” He shut up.
   No Volunteers Allowed
Research shows unequivocally that the majority of secretarial tasks fall to women,7 but women are also more likely to say yes to doing them—and to volunteer of their own accord. We know, saying no can be difficult. But here’s one thing that’s not: not offering in the first place.




The Saboteur:
THE DOORMAT
She is afraid to say no, even when she wants to, and ends up overworked and exhausted as a result—placing the needs of others above her own. The Doormat differs from the Office Mom in that she’s not simply being tasked with taking on the mothering role, it’s that she’s being relied upon to take on everything—and unfortunately for her, the remedy isn’t as simple as saying no more often. The Doormat isn’t simply a pushover, though she likely knows that there’s an implicit expectation that she says yes because she’s female—communal! agreeable! helpful!—and she’s right. When men say no to extra work, we understand (he must be busy!), but when women decline they are penalized:9 they receive worse performance evaluations, fewer recommendations for promotions, and are considered less likable by their peers. So how do you say no without incurring the penalty—or, at least, decide when the ding is worth it?
THE FIGHT MOVES
   Know Your Rung
Assess your place on the overall ladder. Are you an intern? An assistant? Is it your job to put in extra hours and legwork? Yes? Then it’s probably not an awesome idea to start refusing to do so. In either case, assess your rung on the ladder—and who’s doing the asking. Is it a senior colleague, or the fellow intern in the cubicle next to you? As with all the guidance in this book, trust your instincts—and common sense.
   Assess the Cost
Weigh the task—or the “opportunity,” as it may be—before you commit. How time-consuming is it? What will you get out of it? Is it an appropriate task to be asked of you—e.g., please help me fact-check this document—or are you a manager being asked to pick up your boss’s dry-cleaning? Consider all of this in context: Do you like, respect, or work directly for the person asking? Does this person always ask for help, or is this a rare instance? Will they reciprocate? Do you actually enjoy doing this task? None of these are earth-shattering questions, but it’s worth being strategic. If reviewing someone’s report will put you in their good graces, then do it. Saying yes is not a bad thing necessarily, but keep in mind that people often do it simply out of a sense of obligation.10
   Just Say No
Try to separate refusal from rejection. Both women and men tend to feel guilty when they have to say no, but women feel more guilty about it.11 Remind yourself that you are saying no to the request, not the person. Think about the costs associated with not saying no—such as less time spent on more important work, on fulfilling work, or just getting out of the office. Remember: You can’t make everyone happy all the time. If you are employed, and not a volunteer helping sick children, nice is not your number-one priority.
   Underpromise, Overdeliver
Research shows that we expect women to say yes more frequently than men12 (that patriarchy, man!). But studies also show that those asking for the help actually underestimate how likely13 a person is to say yes (in other words: they may be more prepared to receive a “no” than you are to give it). In some circumstances, it’s safe to assume that the other party isn’t expecting you to say yes as much as you may think they are.
   Quid Pro Quo
It’s not just not saying no that causes inequity—it’s not asking for something in return when you do. As you’re weighing the decision about whether to complete the task, ask yourself: What’s in it for me?
   

SITUATION: You really don’t have time.
INSTEAD OF: “There’s no way I can do that.”
SAY (IF IT’S YOUR BOSS): “I’m swamped right now but I’d like to help. Can you help me prioritize?”
SAY (IF IT’S A COLLEAGUE): “What’s your timeline? I have a couple of other things on my plate at the moment.”
SITUATION: You disagree with the ask.
INSTEAD OF: “I don’t think that will work.”
SAY: “I have another idea to throw out . . .”
SITUATION: You don’t want to do it (but don’t have a good excuse).
INSTEAD OF: “No”
SAY (IF IT’S A COLLEAGUE): “Sure, I’d be happy to. Do you mind doing [something equally awful/tedious/horrifying] for me in return?”
SITUATION: The ask is ridiculous/inappropriate.
INSTEAD OF: “Screw. You.”
  SAY: “Unfortunately, I can’t.” (Then stop yourself from explaining further. That whole justification thing won’t work for assholes anyway.)





*This book is 21 percent more expensive for men



The Trap:
“YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE AN ENGINEER”
It didn’t take long for twenty-two-year-old software engineer Isis Anchalee Wenger to feel the wrath of the Internet. In 2015, the San Franciscan woman was asked to appear in a recruiting ad for her company. “My team is great, everyone is smart, great, and hilarious,” the advertisement read, along with her photo, appearing on buses throughout her city. There was just one problem: commuters—or at least those who chose to make her likeness go viral—thought Wenger was too pretty to be a “real” engineer. Or perhaps she was just too female. Because while much ink has been spilled to the fact that pretty people of both genders earn more money than average-looking people, a woman can’t change the fact that she most likely looks like . . . a woman. As long as men dominate certain industries, “female” will not be the norm.

THE HACK
   Twirl on Them Haters
Justin Trudeau is “pretty”—does anyone think that makes him a worse politician? Some might say Mark Zuckerberg is not—and he’s worth $35 billion. Do you think either of these men has to answer questions about his competence because of the way he looks? Wenger started a hashtag, #ILookLikeAnEngineer, and hundreds of female engineers submitted photos of themselves holding up signs that read: “This is what an engineer looks like.” Guess what? They all looked different. If somebody thinks you don’t look like a [fill in the blank], ignore them—and just keep talking. Eventually they’ll have to hear the words coming out of your mouth rather than judging you by your appearance.




Part One
KNOW THE ENEMY
BEHAVIOR to
 WATCH
 OUT for



BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY?
Clearly that song was written by a man.
New rules. You CAN cry at work—in fact, you must cry at work. In fact . . . do me a favor and think of it as “bring your tears to work day.” Hell, while you’re at it, “#bringyourpussytoworkday,” every day. You’re gonna need it.
—Jill Soloway, creator of Transparent
Here are a few places I have recently cried:
•  In bed. You know that one.
•  In the bathroom of my coworking office, crouched on the floor.
•  In a payphone stall that reeked of pee.
•  In front of the mirror trying to put on makeup, but crying every time the mascara wand hit my eye, resulting in smeared black streaks that looked sort of dark and sexy.
•  While watching a YouTube clip I later realized was branded content for Microsoft. Now I’m more depressed.
•  On every form of public transportation: planes, cars, trains, subways, the bus, taxi. Also walking and biking.
•  Outside my therapist’s office, which is next door to an STD clinic, which always felt like a very public statement.
•  In the shower, sitting down, wondering if I was going to get some kind of terrible vaginal infection from touching the porcelain.

Naturally, because I am apparently not only a frequent crier (I had a bad breakup, K?) but also a professional journalist, I started noticing and keeping notes on everything I could find out about crying. Where people cried publicly. Whether people stared at them when they did. Where it was socially acceptable to cry. The history of crying (did you know humans are one of the only species to cry emotional tears?). And, of course, the endless debate over whether or not it’s appropriate for women to do it at work.
There’s a whole lot of “advice” out there on the topic: most of it speculative, little of it backed up by data, most of it telling you to avoid the tears if you don’t want to come off like a total sap. “If anything, when you cry, you give away power,” said the TV host Mika Brzezinski, recalling to the Huffington Post back in 2014 how she cried when she got fired from CBS. Or as Frances Hesselbein, former CEO of the Girl Scouts, put it: “Tears belong within the family.”
But do they?
There’s a bit of ancient history of it being socially acceptable for men to cry: religious tears, heroic tears, tears of patriotic fervor (members of the British Parliament were said to cry so hard they could barely speak).30 Yet it’s women’s tears that are viewed as problematic: manipulative (as the Latin writer Pubilius Syrus observed: “Women have learned to shed tears in order that they might lie the better”); as a tool in a woman’s arsenal of feminine wiles (“A woman wears her tears like jewelry,” an ancient proverb31 proclaimed); or as a sign that we can’t handle the pressures of power.
These days, we still can’t win. Cry too much and you’re too emotional, soft, your intellect and business acumen clouded by emotion. But if something sad happens and you don’t cry . . . yikes. Stone cold bitch. If you can fall somewhere in between . . . well, Hillary Clinton accomplished that . . . once. When she teared up in New Hampshire in 2008, after being asked how she was holding up, she won the state. More than one pundit attributed the win to her “uncharacteristic” display of emotion.
But it’s safe to say that was a fluke. That somehow, by accident, Hillary hit the near-impossible bull’s-eye of what falls within the boundaries of “socially acceptable” female crying (which has actually been studied). Among the characteristics: She was crying