When we think the world hasn’t changed…

February 3, 2014

We live up close and personal in our world and sometimes, it’s too close to really see what’s going on. While it’s true that change comes slowly, sometimes it happens without us noticing.

Cleaning out some bookshelves the other day, I came across this book, which was published in 1996.

How to Succeed in Business Without a Penis.

Some 20 years later the title seems anachronistic. Women are succeeding in business every day and have been for a very long time. And while it’s still not a completely gender-equal world, a book like this would never go anywhere today, simply because most women believe we can succeed without a penis.

I just read this quote, attributed to Sallie Krawcheck:  “People say to me, ‘Has being a woman helped or hindered your career?’ and the answer is yes.”

The pace of change may be slow and barely perceptible as we are living it. But it does happen.

As this title, now seeming so startlingly out of date to me, illustrates.

14 comments on “When we think the world hasn’t changed…
  1. Doreen McGettigan says:

    Wow 1996 really was a long time ago. Many would say women have the advantage when it comes to earning positions but the pay needs to catch up.
    We need to get better at negotiating our contracts.

  2. Karen says:

    You’re right that the title is out of date, but I won’t stop talking about feminism until things like “slut-shaming,” “fat-shaming,” inequities in reproductive rights, and disproportionate poverty levels are all things of the past. It seems like every time we celebrate a victory in one area, we discover that we’re falling behind in another.

  3. Very funny book title, by the way. I’m not sure we’re 100% there yet, but it’s gotten a lot better since 96. The whole equal pay for equal work thing is still an issue.

  4. So out-of-date. Who would choose a penis anyways?

  5. Haralee says:

    Sexism and discrimination against women is still alive, but often couched in political correctness.

    • admin says:

      It’s still there, but young women somehow don’t seem to see it. They feel entitled to equality and therefore they don’t understand the concept of feminism applied to their careers.

  6. Survive55 says:

    There is currently way more equity between the sexes in the corporate workplace than there was 20 years ago. In fact, during my run in the middle management structure of a couple of Fortune 500 companies it seemed like it was a growing practice to hire more women (over men) and advance more women (over men) to meet diversity policies.

    P.S. I also knew a lot of men without penises (per se) that were succeeding in the corporate world because they had skills other than common sense and a hard work ethic to get them by…..just saying, LOL.

    • admin says:

      Yep, more equity. But not equal. Also, unless they were born the wrong gender, all men have penises and the book’s premise plays off the fact that simply by being a man they were given preferential treatment (“success”). It didn’t mean they had “balls,” which is another thing entirely–in fact, I’ve been accused of that. Or do you mean that the “men without penises” are actually aggressive women or slept their way up? I’m not sure what you mean–would you mind clarifying? Thanks!

  7. I can’t believe I don’t remember this book being published! Yes, we have made quite a few changes and improvements since then, but I still think we have a ways to go for equality in the workplace.

  8. Susan Cooper says:

    Women are most definitely successful in today’s world…. Sadly it wasn’t always this way and it was a fight for many of us. I worked in an industry that was very male dominated and I worked hard to make a place for myself. 🙂

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