i wanna be arrogant!

it’s been some time now, but in january i read a post here that made reference to yet another blog post here

to be less mysterious, the whole discussion arose when Clay Shirky wrote a rant about women not being self-promoting, arrogant or jerky enough in pretty much those exact words.

this isn’t a new topic for anyone who’s thought about the way they view themselves, about the way children are socialized, etc. nonetheless quite a few interesting more or less formal texts were written as a result of this spark.

even though it’s about half a year late i wanted to offer it up here for discussion purposes because it’s something i’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking about as well as discussing with both male and female friends…

to begin again:

initial clay shirky post

i first read about it here

further texts


should we encourage self-promotion and lies @plasticbag.org

questioning the merit of meritocracy @geekfeminism.org

a rant about socialization @salon.com

1 thought on “i wanna be arrogant!

  1. interesting. i know there have been many “women and tech” discussions that focused on “Self-perception of expertise level” as wikichix put it (which i think is very much related to the point about the lack of arrogance exhibited by women, in contrast to men)…

    anyway, i think it’s worth pointing out that the advice for women to be more confident is perfectly valid (and positive) outside of the particular dichotomy that you can either be a self-effacing fool or a self-confident jerk, because in fact being confident and being jerky/arrogant are not and should not be necessarily the same thing. for instance, self-confidence about your expertise level should perhaps really be something to be encouraged more in women, even if arrogance should not.

    other than that, i have many thoughts, :) but basically i really like this point quoted in the last link above (taken from 3 Reasons Why Women Can’t Be More Like Men):

    ‘The world sucks, change yourself’ is a recipe for injustice. This “change-yourself-to-fit-in” advice has been given to pretty much every marginalized group over the years, and it sticks around because, for some individual people, it works. But those people still have to work within the existing power structure. The harpy/diva/bitch archetype isn’t going to go away because a few women are allowed to sneak around it, and the culture of rewarding self-promotion above other qualities isn’t going to become fair for everyone just because a few women manage to share the pie. Those who are marginalized by a system are often those best able to see its flaws, and teaching those people just to work around their marginalization is a great way to keep them quiet, and to keep anything from ever changing. Let’s not fall for it.

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