Saturday, March 28, 2009
Networking for Girls
The battle begins the day the girl is born, but then it really depends on geography. Females conceived in some countries are not lucky enough to be born. Think India, China, and some parts of Africa and other parts of the world, where a female child is seen more as a curse than a blessing. So, the battle is fought and won before the girl is born.
If the government allows families only a child or if an expensive dowry has to be paid why then would any logical thinking family want one with two X chromosomes?
So, from the play ground to the boardroom girls are bullied by those of the other sex, but sometimes too the cruelty is from within. Sure there's that part about kissing in a tree and a baby carriage on the journey from play ground to boardroom. But, even what society has come to refer to as the dating game is some sort of trick to make women really believe they are some priced jewel. It's not uncommon for men to talk about their women over drinks like they are bison or buffalo. Whoever came up with the concept of the trophy wife must have had dinner with Socrates at some point; there's no other appropriate term for spoils from a hunt than of course a trophy.
But these days, it's not so much about being hunted. Some women really love to believe they are deer or maybe warthogs. Now, now this is not meant to offend but walk into any dance club on Saturday night and if you stare long enough, you'll notice you're standing on grass. Some deer might walk by and make an attempt to brush against the male. She might have that deer in the headlights look on her face. And a guffaw that in between teeth if listened to long enough sounds like a plea to be taken home. Home to the slaughter or maybe for Easter brunch, but just wants to be taken home.
It's like the Trojan commercial where the men look like pigs, but now the joke is on the ladies. With eyes as big as possums they stare at these men. Dance with me their eyes seem to say...and then take me home.
But really it's not the hunt neither is it the chance of being born or not being born. Those were an aside. How is a girl supposed to move up in the world when she is only supposed to just be deer? She's talked about like she's a priced moose or bison, but really all she is is deer.
There are countless of those events. The swanky networking shindigs. It's always open bar and the cheeses are so exquisite. This girl doesn't care about the cheese or the nicely arranged Ritz crackers, she wants some business cards...a lead to something. But remember she is but deer.
So now the cards are all stacked. Or maybe they are in a fancy card case from Tiffany's. Remember the gentleman who works for Random House? Nice Armani suit, really great shoes...smelled good too but wore the dreaded band, going south on his anatomy, on an appendage, on one of his phalanges. Yes that guy. He talked to you about how he climbed his way up the ladder at the company. And of course he mentioned that he had to play tooth fairy that night to some grubby monster with play dough up his ears and brocolli underneath his bed.
But the man has connections, connections the girl needs. The key word is network! Network! Network! But how does she call him and start a conversation about a potential lead?
It's easy to tell women to network but then it's not so easy to make things happen once the hangover from all that good wine is gone. So a good girl keeps his number for weeks while it burns a hole in her card case. She's not even remotely attracted to the guy, but what if she calls and he gets the wrong signal?
"Hey, I remember you...red lipstick...ahhh yes was it a magenta suit?" he quips. "They call them power suits these days my secretary tells me..." Now why didn't he make reference to junior with the missing tooth's Mom? Doesn't she have an opinon on power suits? If he had mentioned junior's Mom and not secretary it would signal that although he remembers the suit and lip rouge he still wants to make it clear that the ring on his finger is doing things other than cutting off his circulation. "Okay, bring your resume and we can brainstorm opportunities for you at the company over lunch." Now this is starting to look not so good. He remembererd the red lipstick. Sure it was worn so it would be remembered, but he remembered it. Surely he's a family man. He rambled about junior all night long...but I could easily email the resume. And he could Twitter a response to me. Why do we have to do lunch?
Or maybe it's not the Armani suit wearing executive from the publishing house. Maybe it's the older gentleman who is well connected. He calls her dear. Now is that dear as in you're just like my grandchild dear, deer or what is it really?
Soon, there are all these invites to do lunch, meet at Gallery X, Museum Y, and Bar Z. But the girl only wants to network and connect with the power brokers. She doesn't want to be your mistress or rescue you from your unhappy matrimonial contract. She just wants to be your friend and maybe someday your co-worker or your friend's co-worker.
And then in the midst of all this, there's inspiring news about alpha females like Sarah Palin and Nadya Suleman who got to the top sans business card from Armani wearing dude or Grandpa-well-connected and girl wonders what she's doing wrong. Maybe she'll call Hugh Hefner tomorrow. He's always taking applications she's told. He'll take her home, he'll be good for networking, and definitely he'll give her a job. She won't be deer no more. Now she'll be a bunny.