I’m not a feminist crusader. Although I’m not oblivious to the issues, I honestly don’t think of myself in terms of a gender when considering getting a job done. I’m just me. Either I can do the work or I can’t. If I can, I’ll work hard to prove it.
Even so, here’s a plain truth: guys can carry steno pads.
If you read my earlier post, Steno-sis, you understand the reference. After I wrote it, I thought of a long-time colleague who always used a steno-pad as his note-taking medium of choice. I’m sure he had scores of them stashed around his office, filled without a second thought to how he looked scribbling beneath the spiral binding.
He started at the company around the same time I did, is fairly close to my age, and our careers followed the same general trajectory. He never got the speech, and it didn’t seem to hurt him. The main difference? He’s a guy. No one ascribed secretarial allusions to his persona, simply because of that fact.
I’m not complaining. This guy was really good at his job and earned every promotion he got; he just had to worry less about appearances.
And that’s the way of the world. It just is. Frankly, I care a little, but not a lot. I can’t change it by myself, though I do believe those perceptions will eventually shift, however slowly. In the meantime, it makes more sense to put my energy into understanding my world and learning how to navigate it most effectively. Rather than bemoaning the unfairness of this scenario, I’ll move the needle far more by ditching my own steno pad and doing great things, proving that I have the mettle to get the job done–with another kind of note pad, alongside my steno-bro.
And that’s my analy-sis.
P.S. You really should read Steno-sis if you haven’t. This post will make a lot more sense with proper context.