I have said about ten million times that there is no more glass ceiling, there is no more salary gap between men and women, and there is no reason to keep bitching about sexual harassment because it's merely a legal issue, not a men-are-evil issue.

Okay. So if the gender gaps are not around these feminist favorites, then are there any gender gaps we should be concentrating on? Yes. Here are three:

1. The startup gap. Women need to be compensated at a higher rate than men if they are to give up their personal lives in order to work. Law firms accomplish this by keeping women on partner track even when they're part-time. Corporations do this by offering flex time and other business-bending options for high-performing women who want to take care of kids.

VCs talk endlessly about why there are so few women running venture backed companies, but it's incredulous talk. The reason is that VCs don't pay women more. Here's the bottom line: If you take a man and a woman doing the same office job and the same parenting job, the man will think he's doing a good job at parenting, but not the woman.

This makes genetic sense. The men had to think the kids were fine when they left the cave to hunt. Or else they wouldn't leave and no one would have eaten. The women had to think the kids always needed more attention. Otherwise, the women would say, “This is good enough” and then the kids would starve or get eaten by lions.

How this translates to the VC world is that you need to spend TONS of time away from kids doing a startup. For women to do that, they need to be compensated more than men. Other industries have done it in order to benefit from women’s brains. The VC world should follow suit.

2. The orgasm gap. People who have orgasms do better at work: they earn more, they hang out with higher powered people, they are better at public speaking, and they walk with a more confident gait, which, of course, inspires confidence.

So we need to pay attention to the orgasm gap, which Hannah Seligson reports in the Daily Beast: “Women are shattering political glass ceilings, surpassing men in the workforce, and even winning Indy-car races. But there’s one area where the gender gap has proved particularly stubborn: The orgasm gap.”

Paula England, a professor of sociology at Stanford University, says, “The orgasm gap is an inequity that’s as serious as the pay gap, and it’s producing a rampant culture of sexual asymmetry.”

Where does this orgasm gap come from? Probably the amount of effort expended in bed”?and who’s expending it. England’s study found that women give oral sex to their male partners in all contexts”?from casual hookups to serious relationships”?at significantly higher rates than men do. (Hat tip: Sepideh)

And if you're wondering how this pans out across generations, things seem to get worse in the younger crowd—Caitlin Flanagan reports in the Atlantic that girls are giving blow jobs just to get the boys to shut up.

3. The fun gap. As soon as men and women start aging, the men are happier. Maybe they have had more training on how to have fun. But life is too difficult for any of us to wait to have fun. So we should all start learning to have some levity early on, and this is the damage of the fun gap.

You can see the gap at the bar. Alcohol makes us have a more broad imagination and do a wider range of things. So why is it more acceptable for professional men than professional women to go out with friends and get drunk? Why is it okay for men to get drunk in order to have an easier time hooking up, but it's not okay for women? This is such a serious problem that New York magazine calls the gap the the last frontier of feminism.

It's clear that women are spending more time following the rules than men, and people who have more fun actually do better in life: their fun snowballs, and the more we enjoy the more we get of what we enjoy.

It starts in kindergarten, where the girls sit in their chairs and pay attention in class, and they socialize in the lunchroom. The boys, on the other hand, have spent the first five years of their lives turning everything into a gun or sword and cannot be contained in a classroom atmosphere.

Yes, these are generalizations, but as the mom of two young boys, I have never heard any parent disagree with these generalizations, (and it’s official that boys are six months behind girls developmentally by kindergarten). I did not buy guns for my sons. I didn't have to. They can use anything. And I remember as a fourth grader thinking, (from the back of the classroom, where all the strong performing girls sit because they don't need help from the teacher) “Wow, the boys sure are doing poorly in school.”

The problem is that the boys are having all the fun. Women are doing better than men in school but school is not what makes kids successful at work. What actually prepares you for life is athletics, aiming high, breaking rules, playing video games. Girls should do those things more. Then, as they grow up, they should spend their time figuring out how to get more orgasms.

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  1. Jim C.
    Jim C. says:

    Point No. 1 is really a reach. It says women won’t do the same work as men for the same amount of money, so they have to be paid more than men. Shades of the 1940’s, with the genders reversed!
    Does that make the author a female chauvinist pig?

    • Amber
      Amber says:

      I don’t really look at it like the startups HAVE to pay women more. They just need to if they want more women involved.

      Most women I know who have kids would trade in money for extra time. In the startup world, this isn’t really feasible, so the only alternative is more money.

  2. SG
    SG says:

    Examples of industries where they’ve started paying women more than men? besides beauty, porn, stripping, and prostitution?

    Also I think you’ve mistaken the concept of a startup, if you’re paying yourself market rate or the VCs are… one of two things is true, either its not a startup or you have no equity stake. In a true startup no one should really be full salary. So they’re certainly not going to over- compensate women (though this could be the reason why you’re always running out of funding with Brazen Careerist)

    Women don’t run startups exactly because of the type of company they are. Risky, Bold, Game-changers… Women have gotten to where we are today by being good at working and acting socially within the status quo and if its working why jump into a startup?

    • Joselle
      Joselle says:

      You’re wrong about women being paid more than men in beauty (I’m assuming you mean fashion), porn, stripping and prostitution.

      Fashion industry: mostly owned by men. Magazine publishers? Mostly men. Therefore, they make more money, even if female models make more than male ones. That’s only one small example in a vast industry. And who cares about models anymore? It’s all about celebs.

      Porn: Again, female porn stars may make more money than male ones but most porn directors and distributors are men. I don’t know how much gay male porn stars make in comparison to female ones. But again, they’re men, too.

      Stripping: Ho hum. Yawn. Strip clubs are owned by men. They make the most money. Women don’t become rich being strippers. That is a myth. Sure, they can make money on the tips (like bartenders and servers) but they are mostly getting paid nothing and are not the owners, which is where the money is.

      Prostitution: Are you serious? Including child sex trafficking, you’re telling me women run this show? I will get second-wave castration feminist here. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You’re joking. Women not only don’t make money in this industry, they LOSE. Stop watching Pretty Woman.

  3. Wil Butler
    Wil Butler says:

    Okay, then. I guess some of that is agreeable. A bit sexist and generalized, but agreeable.

    Women do, indeed, need to break some of these barriers, but they need to do it for themselves. With the exception of the higher pay, these are all things that no one can give to women, they need to take them.

    If women want to have fun, then they need to go out and have fun, unashamedly. If women want to succeed in business, then they need to put in the (sometimes ridiculous) hours and leave their kids in someone else’s care for a while, or not have any (not preferable, I know, but people need to decide what areas in life they are going to be successful in). Very few companies are going to pay someone more just to coerce them into being interested in a job.

    As a man, I’ve lost many jobs because I was unwilling to sacrifice my life to the level that was demanded.

    As for the orgasms, I really think that everyone, everywhere, could benefit from a few more of those. If young women want to have more, maybe they should leave the sexual submission behind and start asking men to go down BEFORE they start gobbling nob – most of us know that it’s probably not going to happen after.

    And, women really, really need to give more direction. I never had a girlfriend orgasm until I found one that was willing to walk me through where to find her sensitive parts rather than replying with “Anything!” to the question “What do you like?”

    So, I must agree, there are many barriers women still need to break, but it’s never going to happen unless women break them themselves. And women who are independent, strong, intelligent, and successful-personally, professionally, and orgasmically-need to guide and mentor young women so they don’t become the sex puppets that society seems so determined to turn them into.

    And, I certainly hope that anyone with sons is helping them become more than the imbicilic, lazy, selfish overgrown boys that popular culture seems to so revere.

  4. Alex @ Happiness in this World
    Alex @ Happiness in this World says:

    Penelope,

    I’m afraid this whole post is a bit of a reach for me.

    What evidence is there that women are better at jobs than men (the only real reason I would find to justify paying them more)? What evidence is there that men are less concerned about good parenting or satisfied with doing less for their children than women (your link there is broken)? If there is evidence (and I certainly admit to the possibility) please present it. Your evolutionary argument is hardly an argument.

    Where’s the survey that proves most people think it’s okay for men to get drunk to hook up but not women? And even if that were true, why should a woman who wants to have fun (if that’s her definition of fun) care? Maybe the fact that she does care is the real reason she’s not having any fun.

    I don’t mean to be overly harsh here as I’m a big fan of your writing and don’t want to be part of your audience that relishes criticizing you. Obviously, generalizations often do turn out to be true, but if you’re going to make them, you need to back them up with proof. Lacking that, this comes off as a piece that’s trying to sound clever rather than be taken seriously.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Alex. I can’t tell you how upset I am that that link is broken.

      My brother sent that link to me about four months ago. And I was so excited about it that I’ve been walking around with the url in my notebook, then transferring it to a new notebook. I wanted to keep it in mind for a post and I didn’t want to forget about it or lose it. And I’ve been thinking all this time about what it means that men think they are good parents and women think they are bad parents.

      Okay. So here I am, my big day, and it didn’t even occur to me that the research would be gone. It was an academic paper.

      So I called my brother at Microsoft. I had to call him three times to get him out of a meeting. He said, “This better be really important.”

      I said, “It is. The linchpin of my post today is a dead link. I need you to find the research again.”

      So I remind him what the link is. And he goes to Google cache and looks. And he looks in his Outlook to see if I made an error in the url. And I didn’t.

      It’s unfortunate that the link is dead. You will have to trust me on this one. That the research is there. Somewhere.

      But maybe readers will come to my rescue today. Maybe people will have a conversation about how experience tells us the parenting perception gap is true as well. Because in my own experience, it’s true.

      -Penelope

  5. Amber
    Amber says:

    I love your comment about the startup gap. It drives me crazy to hear an online argument among famous startup folks that sounds like:
    Kid-less guy: You can’t have a family and run a startup (or even work in one)
    Guy with kids: No way, I totally do that. It’s all about balance (and the fact that my wife is totally making sure everything’s great at home)

    The orgasm gap is hilarious and true.

    The only thing I disagree with is the fun gap. I’m sick of women (including myself) expecting other people to be responsible for our happiness. It’s not my husband’s job or society’s job. I mean, my husband and society have -some- responsibilities to me. Like orgasms and equality (in that order). Fun is not one of them. That is one we need to fix for ourselves.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      This is a really interesting comment, Amber. Because on some level, I think that each woman can fix each gap on her own. Personally, I would never wait around for someone else to fix this stuff for me.

      This is a good question for another post: Are gender gaps a social problem or an individual’s problem?

      –Penelope

  6. Alan Wilensky
    Alan Wilensky says:

    Here we go again with the oral sex! I say make it policy, each and every post MUST mention oral sex. It’s in your contract.

    Maybe if we make this a policy, I can take advantage of the policy if I ever get a date again. It’s only been 10 years, why lose hope now?

  7. Marie Chesaniuk
    Marie Chesaniuk says:

    Let’s talk solutions.

    What we need to close these gaps is a third option beyond the usual gender/sexual dichotomies (read: dualities – a set of two options – as in ‘women do this, men do that’). First, we get stuck in the same old gender roles – which do not provide a solution. Next, we get stuck again by being derivative. I give you the wave of feminism in which women think they need to be men, which still limits them to the same old dichotomy they were stuck in. (Except now they wear pants that make them look like they’ve got junk in the wrong trunk.) And, more importantly, this role reversal doesn’t actually create a new option for anyone. It just suggests your only options are to be the same old woman or the same old man. To that I flip the bird.

    Here is my third option: vehemently be yourself. No one fits those old molds perfectly; there is always a part of you and your life that exists outside those boundaries. And that is where people create their own third options that, conveniently enough, happen to be tailored to their own unique existences.

    Re. The Fun Gap, Penelope, you read my mind! And to read some more of my mind, visit: http://www.thepointmag.com/female1.html
    and check out my article on the female slacker.

    It’s good to see a growing discussion around this topic. Let’s keep it going!

  8. Jason
    Jason says:

    Number #1 is both unfair, and will never happen for practical reasons. You’re saying pay women more for an equal amount of work? This is the old gender gap reversed. Pay should either be hourly (for jobs that basically are “manning a post”) or results-based (most white-collar jobs). It should not depend on your gender, age, race, or culture, except if one of those factors influences your results (and then again, you’re actually being paid for your results). Plus, no company (especially start-ups of all companies) is going to pay someone more when there is someone else who can produce the same work at the same quality for a lower level play.

    #2 is somewhat in the individual woman’s control, as long as she makes demands and holds out until her demands are met.

    #3 is completely within the individual’s (man or woman) control.

    • Marcia
      Marcia says:

      I agree with your comments, but why isn’t #2 the same as #3? We all have hands…we all have sexual parts….what’s the problem here?

  9. Joselle
    Joselle says:

    I’ve heard men say they won’t perform oral sex on a woman unless they are committed and/or totally falling head over heels for her. It’s an intimacy thing.

    Unless they are hung up on oral sex and won’t do it no matter what. In which case, I wouldn’t even bother with them.

    Women should give themselves more of their own orgasms. Men give themselves most of their own orgasms, even if they are sleeping with a ton of people. It’s just what they do on a daily basis, like brushing teeth. It’s not even sex. It’s release. It’s, as you brought up, FUN.

    • Wil Butler
      Wil Butler says:

      Can’t argue with that, Joselle.

      I really doubt that women give themselves orgasms on anywhere near the same frequency as men, and that’s truly a shame.

      Orgasms are wonderful, calming, healthy things, and if a woman doesn’t have someone who can reliably give her one, then she certainly should give them to herself.

  10. Jonah
    Jonah says:

    So you’re saying that if you pay a woman enough money, her hard-wired genetic feelings about her kids needing more attention will magically go away, thus making her more productive? Wouldn’t the opposite happen? Since she’s being paid more than her peers for the same position, wouldn’t she feel additional pressure & stress to devote more time to work, away from kids?

  11. Alex @ Happiness in this World
    Alex @ Happiness in this World says:

    Penelope,
    Well (and ironically) done on producing the link. My only remaining criticisms now are two: first, most of the research the article cites are from the 1980’s and early 1990’s and I wonder if there have been changes since then given the increase of women in the workforce (I have no data to support that supposition however ;) and secondly, quoting from the article itself, some data contradicts your supposition:

    However, another portion of the literature points to a lack of gender differences in parenting experiences (Hill & Holmbeck, 1987; Pittman, Wright, & Lloyd, 1989; Simons, Whitbeck, Conger, & Melby, 1990). Greenberger and O’Neil (1990) found that concerns about children substantially influence both mothers’ and fathers’ psychological and physical well-being. Seccombe (1991) reported that mothers and fathers do not differ in the importance they place upon the costs and benefits of parenting. Some studies also find an absence of gender differences in parents’ reactions to child problems. Wierson et al. (1990) studied parent-adolescent conflicts and found that mothers and fathers did not differ on levels of stress and on perceived parenting competency. Similarly, Small, Eastman, and Cornelius (1988) found that mothers and fathers reported the same level of overall parental stress. They concluded, “The absence of mother-father differences may reflect a societal trend toward greater equality of parents in child rearing. At the very least, the data suggest that mothers and fathers are equally concerned about the behavior and activities of their adolescent children, and that they share the stress and strain of parenthood”.

    Best,

    Alex

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Well. It sort of doesn’t matter about this research. Because it’s clear that men are more willing to endure the hardships of start-up life than women are. And it’s clear that this is similar to other professions where women get paid more because they won’t work unless they get paid more. That, really, is my point. That in other professions people recognize that if you need women who have kids on staff, it takes more money to convince them to work the same hours that men with kids work. So women should aim to get the same treatment in other sectors.

      Penelope

  12. Jeromy Timmer
    Jeromy Timmer says:

    Penelope did not say to pay women more, she said to compensate them more. The examples she gives are of companies that find ways to keep women involved and engaged in their career while they have a family. Those companies do it to keep great talent, not just out of the goodness of their hearts.

    If men and women tend to be motivated differently, then it makes sense to compensate them differently.

  13. Ariella
    Ariella says:

    Penelope:

    I AM a lawyer and your citation to that ABA article just makes me laugh. You go ahead and cite to that article all you want, but I hope you realize that the reality is that women are hugely under-represented as partners in both big and small law firms throughout the United States. “Part time” in a law firm means 40 hours; full time means anywhere from 60 to 90 hours, depending on the firm. The idea that female lawyers who work PART TIME can ever measure up to their male counterparts who have wives staying at home with the children is misguided and laughable. Maybe you can come up with some anecdotal “evidence” to prove the truth of your statement, but I doubt it.

    AS.

  14. Laura
    Laura says:

    So, I agree on some level with what people are commenting about paying women more being unfair. However, I think that not all workers are equal and when you look at marginal productivity and cost, it might be wise to pay a really well qualified woman more and get rid of the underperforming men. Because won’t there be an average competency among both the men and women who might want to be involved with a specific project? And wouldn’t it be more productive to try to pick the best of both groups for the lowest total cost? And if that means 4 men at a lower salary and 1 or 2 women at a higher one, if you do get what you pay for, it should come out better in the end. It honestly makes me want make graphs.

    As far as both orgasms and fun, I think it is a matter of especially women being a little less uptight. I get actually a lot of oral sex. Most men I meet are way into it. Maybe it is where I live or maybe it is the type of man I tend to go for, but I don’t find it hard to get away with my recreation. And I’m not afraid to defend my pursuit of fun and good sex. Seriously, who can really argue against it?

  15. Aaron B
    Aaron B says:

    Do you happen to have other resources to the orgasm gap topic? I ask not because I challenge what you are saying, but because it sounds interesting. I want to know more!

    "school is not what makes kids successful at work" – €“ Well said!

  16. prklypr
    prklypr says:

    Just one question: is it possible for you to write a post without mentioning who gets/how often/your lack of/ oral sex?

  17. Marina Martin
    Marina Martin says:

    I’m an efficiency consultant who strongly promotes the concept of milestone-based pay in lieu of salaries to my clients … this way employees have greater flexibility in choosing projects and the mother (or dog-owner or person-who-loves-picnics) can put in less work and get paid less (or more) much more fairly and diplomatically than “You get a $5,000 direct deposit on Friday no matter how you compare to others’ workloads this past week or your contribution (or lack thereof) to the company’s future.”

    The day I ever support a woman being paid more for the same work will be a cold day in Hell (where, after a lifetime of firing people for a living, I expect a cozy little apartment). If she wants to be part of a startup, she should do it later/earlier in life or choose not to have kids. When you have your cake and eat it too you end up with indigestion and a burnt cake. Yuck. “Lack of vagina” is not a valid business concern, and plenty of male-only companies succeed just fine.

    (All that said, I appreciate that you didn’t perpetuate the falsehood of the “gender wage gap” — although you may have proposed its opposite!)

    As for orgasm gaps and fun gaps … that’s up to each woman to speak up about and change for herself.

  18. Teri
    Teri says:

    God Penelope, I hate it when you start tackling “gender gap” issues. You look so out of your depth. This is one reasons why blogs suck — bloggers can just make up complete BS, and the more traffic you get in response, the better — who cares if what you say has any basis in truth. If you are citing Paula England – a sociologist who built her entire career on studying the wage gap – then you seriously ought to know how ridiculous it is to claim that there isn’t a wage gap (in your first sentence, no less).

    • Teri
      Teri says:

      Um, Marina? You may want to read the reports you post. Here’s a quote:

      In 1970, the median usual weekly earnings for women working full-time was only 62.1 percent of those for men; by 2007, the raw wage gap had shrunk from 37.9 percent to just 21.5 percent.

      As the report you cite notes, there’s a wage gap. Yes, it has to do with different labor market choices. And yes, it also has to do with occupational sex segregation and discrimination. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with means and medians.

      And yes, the Department of Labor knows there’s a wage gap. I work for the DOL.

      • Marina Martin
        Marina Martin says:

        I appreciate how you quote a sentence about medians and then make a statement that medians have nothing to do with the matter at hand. Glad my tax dollars are employing people who never took basic statistics.

        There is no gender wage gap in the sense that women are not getting paid less than men for equal work. If this were true, everyone would hire women and pocket the “gap” for themselves.

      • Jack
        Jack says:

        Marina: There is no gender wage gap in the sense that women are not getting paid less than men for equal work. If this were true, everyone would hire women and pocket the “gap” for themselves.

        Haha, so true :-) Makes sense.

        If a wage gap difference has to be proved, you have to normalize educational background, industry and working hours. MBA schools tend to have more elastic standards (I say this having worked at a major US b-school) for female applicants, yet few schools in the country get more than 25% female applicants.

        And then after that, most male MBAs are paid more than female MBAs, but then, most male MBAs are in consulting/finance working 100 hours a week. Most female MBAs are in consumer products, non-profits etc.

        But those women, who are MBAs, working in consulting/finance, for 100 hours a week, do get paid as much as the males around them.

    • Jim C.
      Jim C. says:

      Amen. Especially about the vapid college degrees.

      I tried and tried to talk my daughter into going into a science major. (I mean real science — physical, biological, or earth sciences.) She majored in anthropology instead. It qualified her to work as a checkout clerk at a grocery store. In recent years she upgraded to a bill collector.

      Realistically, the only thing you can do with a BA in anthropology is go back to school and either get a teaching credential or get a PhD in anthropology or archaeology. But just try to tell an 18 year old girl that.

  19. Susie Q
    Susie Q says:

    @SG – one quick note: women do NOT get paid more than men in porn. That’s a complete fallacy, and I know because I live in San Fernando Valley and have run into quite a few porn directors/producers/agents/actor/actresses, etc. Men get paid more because it’s harder to find men who can get it up for that long. The starting salary for female porn actresses is around 700/hr, and for men it’s more like 1000-1200/hr.

    Now, as for Penelope-

    I want to address your assumptions about sexual harassment, to which, I would first like to say “F you” for trying to tell me it’s not a problem. Seriously. Having been harassed to the point of debilitating depression, with no legal options (because I was in a “secure building” and could compile no evidence), with no HR to turn to (small business), and in a position where I couldn’t quit because they weren’t paying me enough to survive for a week without a job and my satanic boss enjoyed torturing me too much to fire me…. all I am less with is “F you.” You have NO IDEA what it’s like to be sexually harassed and no options for getting out. To say that it’s just a “legal thing” now is tremendously insulting.

    And let me point out additionally that I had a BA at the time and was working in an office environment that’s pretty damn typical otherwise.

    I used to respect your writing, but now I can see it’s just the stupid fluff of someone who hasn’t had to deal with the realities of the job market in far too long.

    • Anthony
      Anthony says:

      To be perfectly blunt, it’s reading nonsense like the nonsense on this blog that make me regret being a web developer. I absolutely love what I do, and I love the voice and opportunities the internet can give to talented and intelligent people, but without people like me, Penelope wouldn’t be able to spread her idiocy. I’m sorry for what you’ve been through, and I’m sorry that that my field enables people like her to spread this idiocy.

  20. Lawyer Mom
    Lawyer Mom says:

    I agree with Ariella – part time in law means working full time for less pay and being treated like dirt. Its Bullsh-t.

  21. KateNonymous
    KateNonymous says:

    Maybe #3 is tied to the alleged historical reference in #1. It’s harder to have fun when you’re worried that the kids are going to be eaten by lions, and easier to have fun when you’re bonding over the hunt, don’t you think?

    And while I think I get your point about sexual harassment, it’s not “only” a legal problem. That wording minimizes it and also suggests that legal problems don’t matter. When in fact legal problems reflect larger societal problems, so I’m not sure how you can suggest, plausibly, that the legal aspect is somehow a limiting factor.

  22. Jack
    Jack says:

    I think I’ve pretty much had it with this blog. This used to be my first choice for personal career tips, but its level is degrading in ways that a real manager in the real world would not appreciate.

    1. The previous post on ‘conflict of interest’ was clearly advice that if indulged in, would be unethical (and possibly illegal). Of the 90% or so comments that blasted Penelope for this, there is little clarification or justification for what she said.

    When a company does not connect with customers, and chooses to ignore them, customers walk away. I think Guy Kawasaki would agree.

    2. I recommended this blog to my younger siblings (ages 16 and 20). Yeah, they are somewhat old enough to know, yet, this blog has more on Penelope’s
    a. need for oral sex (all men in Wisconsin bars take note)
    b. lack of money/funding (all Brazen Careerist VC funders take note)
    c. insecurities about her children, than career advice for readers (eh, I hope her kids don’t read her blogs – not ever, for their own good)

    If a career advisor chooses to give advice that is unethical or immature, then I think I should walk away.

    All said, I haven’t yet unsubscribed to PT’s blog. But in my blog reader, I have shifted it from my ‘Career – read and note’ section to ‘Miscellaneous entertainment’ section.

    PS: PT, if you want
    a. your VC’s to give you more start-up money, or
    b. your partners to give you more oral sex, or
    c. your own permission to not be this stressed out and to have some fun,
    …then you need to ask. Don’t blog about it and hope the people around you will know.

    • Anthony
      Anthony says:

      I’ve been thinking for a long time as well. If I’ve read Penelope’s bio correctly, she has never been an employee of corporate America. Never. It makes me seriously question her qualifications as ‘careerist.’ I don’t even honestly care that here work has been posted on Yahoo or by major media outlets. Based on what I’ve seen from both, this merely proves that Penelope can operate the shift key and make sensational claims regardless of the evidence.

      In fact, I honestly believe that the philosophy that underpins much of Penelope’s post is the reason why the American economy is in so much trouble. A major theme of this blog that it is important for one to be likable and well connected, but I do not recall ever seeing any mention of providing actual value or quality with your work. Not once. Who cares if you can actually do what you say you can? Who cares if what you do helps the people you are working for? As long as you smile and look put together, there really isn’t need to be an actual asset.

      Once we expand this to the financial and manufacturing centers of the economy, it becomes clear rather rapidly why we are in such a state of affairs. Most of the heads of these financial institutions and manufacturing firms were all swell guys ®. I’m sure they were are very well connected, but in reality none of them had any clue as to what they are doing. As a result, we have bunch of really likable guys who nearly destroyed the global economy, and they would have had they not used their networks with the Federal government to put out one of the largest outlays of cash in the history of the United States.

      To all of Penolope’s readers, I am not a swell guy ®. I’m not someone who likes small talk. I’m not someone you’d likely want to have beer with, and I don’t even drink, but none of that really matters. What matters to my clients is that I provide their businesses with value. What matters to them that I’m reliable, do quality work, and that I do it with integrity and a genuine concern for both their needs in addition to my own. If we’d all start focusing on providing real value to our clients, employees, and our society instead of updating our profiles on the latest social networking abominations, then our economy, our country, and maybe even our souls would all be the better for it.

      • J
        J says:

        Oh come now…surely you have noted that Penelope talks about being a high-performer and providing value to your business/employer in addition to the information about being likable. She doesn’t encourage people to work like slaves,so it tends to rub a lot of ‘hard workers’ the wrong way, but she has acknowledged (and in lots of cases emphasized) that you need to be adding value with skills and talents. I find that her advice is geared towards high performers, not the average workers in the middle. And that’s not a dig at anyone, most people, by definition, are in the middle.

      • Anthony
        Anthony says:

        I may write a more detailed reply later, but I will say that if I have mis-characterized Penelope’s position or wrongly impugned her integrity, then I apologize.

      • Deb
        Deb says:

        @Jack and Anthony: Bull’s eye. Looking at it from India (thankfully still not in recession!), that’s exactly the sentiment that touches me. In these difficult times, is that all some people have to discuss about – how to get more fun and more orgasm!

        My ex-colleague now in UK tells me that the problem with that country (once the harbinger of the industrial revolution) is that hardly anything is made there these days other than paper money! Is the US of A also going down the same slope. Just keeping up the pretense and not caring about improving productivity or, in your words, adding real value? Think.

  23. Susan
    Susan says:

    You’re blind or misinformed or shielded if you don’t realize that there is a salary gap.

    And seriously, how many orgasm and blow job posts are you going to write? This has got to be the fifth one I’ve read in the last few months. I guess it’s a good traffic builder.

  24. Astrid
    Astrid says:

    I think the last frontier of feminism is the right for a woman to be a sexual being. When a women can dress as sexily or unsexily as she wants, be as promiscuous or virginal as she wants, she should have the freedom to express her sexuality as she chooses. I believe this is one of the last frontiers of feminism – and it is a hard one as a sexual woman is persecuted by her female counterparts as well as society on this topic.

  25. le
    le says:

    I do believe the gender wage gap difference for same job same skill base comparisions is alive and well in Aust.

    “The wage gap between men and women in Australia has widened by 2 per cent in the past decade, with the finance sector the worst for women seeking equal pay for equal work, a report has found.” report from 2005.

    Depending on how you want to read current stats the gender pay gap sits somewhere between 13% and 35% … go figure … it is still real as real can be – le

  26. GenerationXpert
    GenerationXpert says:

    I think this is a great post and I agree with you. I am speaking at a conference today of higher ed administrators – there are only three guys here – the rest are women. I’m sure 20 years ago, it was the opposite. These are deans, executive directors, VPs, etc.

    Re: little boys not sitting still like little girls: It’s because they have less serotonin, not because they have more fun. There’s some good info on this at http://www.smartboysbadgrades.com. But you’re right about the adults on this one.

    Lastly, I normally cringe when you get on the blow job soap box, but this time I agree with your point. But I do want to encourage you to trend lightly on this topic. You can build a thousand bridges, but you suck one c0ck and you’re a c0ck-sucking bridge builder.

  27. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Much of this post is based around the assumption that a woman will have children at some point and choose to downshift in her career in order to actively parent. According to a study by the National Center for Health Statistics, the percentage of women who define themselves as volutarily childless rose from 2.4% in 1982 to 6.6% in 1995. However while the number of women who are intentionally not having children is rising, managerial perceptions have not changed. Because a hiring manager can’t ask about plans to have children assumptions impact decisions about hiring and promotions. Given two candidates with roughly equal qualifications who are married and in their early 30’s, most bosses will assume that the female candidate will be taking a 12 week maternity leave sometime in the next few years. In some situations that might be enough to tip the balance in favor of the male candidate. To my mind that is a gender gap.

  28. MLH
    MLH says:

    Sure, there is no gap:
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/03/01/business/20090301_WageGap.html

    Are you kidding me??

    And regarding your idiotic “Why is it okay for men to get drunk in order to have an easier time hooking up, but it's not okay for women?” Well, have you thought that perhaps, in this patriarchal system in which we live, if women “loosened up a bit and had fun at work” they would get more harshly penalized? You know about the double standards, right? If a guy does it he is a stud, if she does it, if she does it, she is a whore.

  29. Taylor S.
    Taylor S. says:

    I like your post’s them but not the actual numbered gaps.

    Re #1 Startup Gap: I work in the Silicon Valley with an engineering degree. Startups, as you know, are very high-risk environments and often centered around technology (for now). Women simply don’t study engineering and computer science in sufficient numbersat to command a large number presence at startups. Period. At biotech startups you will see more women. So the startup-gap is possibly a reframing of the engineering & science gap.

    Re #2 Orgasm Gap: This is jejune and naive. Biologically, the purpose of men is to orgasm as easily and frequently as possible, and while an orgasm is helpful for a woman, reproductively it lacks priority. This is true for most sexual reproducing species on earth. Read some books on evolutionary biology, psychology, and anthropology.

    We might do it like animals but need not behave like them.

    Luckily, women can choose their partners and this factor is under their control. Plus, engineering innovations have narrowed this gap for women!

    Re #3: Fun Gap. Of course men get happier as they get older. This is in part explained by the milk / wine adage. Men get wealthier and more powerful, which generally attracts a greater number of females or more quality women. Either makes men happy. As women surpass their 4th decade, their sex drive and appearance declines and so does their ability to attract a suitable mate.

    This is not the 1800s anymore.
    *If anyone wants their girls to play sports, there are plenty of girl’s leagues. If no local chapter exists–make one.
    *Videogames do not have a “no girls allowed” sign.
    *Where I am from, girls and guys know how to handle a firearm properly.

    The “drunk gap” exists is as an extension of promiscuous women as “sluts” but men “studs” (I don’t think this way, personally). Women do NOT need to get drunk to hook up with men. And as any man learns from college, a drunken, stumbling, broken-heeled girlfriend is a ripe target for violence, rape, infidelity, and seduction.

    Frankly, no male wants to date such a liability. A gap thus ensues.

  30. Taylor S.
    Taylor S. says:

    Re #1 Startup Gap: I work in the Silicon Valley with an engineering degree. Startups, as you know, are very high-risk environments and often centered around technology (for now). Women simply don’t study engineering and computer science in sufficient numbersat to command a large number presence at startups. Period. At biotech startups you will see more women. So the startup-gap is possibly a reframing of the engineering & science gap.

    Re #2 Orgasm Gap: This is jejune and naive. Biologically, the purpose of men is to orgasm as easily and frequently as possible, and while an orgasm is helpful for a woman, reproductively it lacks priority. This is true for most sexual reproducing species on earth. Read some books on evolutionary biology, psychology, and anthropology.

    We might do it like animals but need not behave like them.

    Luckily, women can choose their partners and this factor is under their control. Plus, engineering innovations have narrowed this gap for women!

    Re #3: Fun Gap. Of course men get happier as they get older. This is in part explained by the milk / wine adage. Men get wealthier and more powerful, which generally attracts a greater number of females or more quality women. Either makes men happy. As women surpass their 4th decade, their sex drive and appearance declines and so does their ability to attract a suitable mate.

    This is not the 1800s anymore.
    *If anyone wants their girls to play sports, there are plenty of girl’s leagues. If no local chapter exists – €“make one.
    *Videogames do not have a “no girls allowed” sign.
    *Where I am from, girls and guys know how to handle a firearm properly.

    The “drunk gap” exists is as an extension of promiscuous women as “sluts” but men “studs” (I don’t think this way, personally). Women do NOT need to get drunk to hook up with men. And as any man learns from college, a drunken, stumbling, broken-heeled girlfriend is a ripe target for violence, rape, infidelity, and seduction.

    Frankly, no male wants to date such a liability. A gap thus ensues.

    • Liz
      Liz says:

      No man wants to date a woman who is likely to be attacked by other men? I hope you also consider it a huge problem that, apparently according to you, so many men in this country think it’s ok to target a drunk, stumbling, vulnerable woman? Because if a girl is as likely to be attacked as you say for having a good time, then this country has a huge problem.

  31. Stuart Foster
    Stuart Foster says:

    I actually had a long talk with Carla Blumenthal about this subject last night. Frankly, it’s total bull shit that is exists and happens. Growing up I consistently got smoked by women in any academic endeavor. They owned that world and everything in it.

    Here’s the problem though: That world has strict rules and regulations about decorum, individuality and rewards different things then the majority of the business world. Girls have their fiery individuality beaten down in favor of sharing and being nice. Let’s not encourage docile behavior…and we will be way ahead of the game.

  32. Questioning Gender Gap
    Questioning Gender Gap says:

    I think that it is nearly impossible to determine if there is a pay gap between genders. Rarely do two people have exactly the same education, references, work history, etc that would make them precisely equal in a job. I work for a large company, was offered the exact same starting salary and benefits as the men who started with me, and have felt no negative impacts of being a woman. I got promoted before my male counterparts and was not hurt by taking a 4.5 month maternity leave. I’m a relatively high performer and have been compensated as such. If a guy came into our company and had a better education and more experience than me, I would expect that he would be paid more than me. Just the same, if he had less experience, I’d expect that he’d be paid less.

    It’s fairly likely that women are **on average** still paid less than men because there aren’t as many women in “high paying jobs”. Whether it’s good/fair/right or not most of the teachers, nurses and administrative assistants are women and most of the doctors, lawyers and white collars are still men.

  33. UptownPlay
    UptownPlay says:

    Well, whenever I read about the orgasm gap, I get a mental picture of JFK up on a podium calling the nation to arms over some alleged failing in beating the Reds at making our women glow. However, this is a serious issue and for me, it boils down to helping the next generation of boys/men become more good, giving and game (GGG) and excited to give rather than get. I’m not sure I know how best to instill this value in young adults, but it sure doesn’t help that we can barely have a real discussion on high school sexuality in this country.

  34. Alan Furth
    Alan Furth says:

    I’m arriving a bit late to the discussion, but could it be that if there is a fun gap at work at all, this could be the result of other more traditional gender gaps?

    If there’s a social prejudice that sees men as more career-inclined, more suitable in general to bring bread to the family’s table, could it be that this prejudice influences parents towards encouraging their boys more than their girls to discover the line of work they truly love?

    This would naturally result in men naturally enjoying more their work, i.e., being able to achieve a state of flow and find meaning at it than women, which is often what “having fun at work” truly means after all.

    • Spyglass
      Spyglass says:

      Please, Penelope, please read the link that Alan Furth just posted. It enrages me when people assume that their good intentions can somehow magically overcome years of sexist and racist social conditioning. Of course everybody says they believe that women and men are equally qualified for jobs or are entitled to enjoy sex equally or what-have-you. But when faced with an actual woman in a job interview or in a bar, hidden biases bubble to the surface. Without even realizing it, the interviewer silently assumes that a woman’s job performance will be compromised by her desire for children (even if she has no such desire, or even if she can work through it with no drop in the quality of her work, or even if the man that was hired last week is more committed to fatherhood than his job and is actually more of a threat to the company than the woman is). Without even realizing it, the bargoer will assume that a woman in a revealing dress is “easy” or “slutty” (even if the man sitting next to her is in fact much more desperate for a one-night stand).

      Real human beings lose jobs/wages/opportunities because of these kinds of prejudgements, and the study about implicit bias in that link demonstrates that it happens no matter what they SAY they think about equality. Biases are buried much more deeply than that, and they take much more sophisticated analysis than you demonstrate in this post to uncover and discuss.

  35. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    I agree with and got the most out of this post by reading the content of the links from this one sentence – “What actually prepares you for life is athletics, aiming high, breaking rules, playing video games.”

    Also I wholeheartedly agree with your comment to Amber –
    “This is a really interesting comment, Amber. Because on some level, I think that each woman can fix each gap on her own. Personally, I would never wait around for someone else to fix this stuff for me.
    This is a good question for another post: Are gender gaps a social problem or an individual’s problem? ”

    I would say a mixture of both (social and individual). I don’t know how it is possible to separate one from the other. That is to say, the social problem becomes a problem for the individual to overcome. It is possible to overcome but it requires awareness and effort (probably on a continual basis) to do so.

    • mwendekiema
      mwendekiema says:

      You are right Mark. Every woman should learn to fix it! Society charts the general direction but it is really up to each individual to determine how much mileage they cover in that general direction. The biggest challenge with women is the team spirit. It will be fixed the day each member of the team will agree with if. That isn’t likely to happen soon ist it?

  36. Maya Buelow
    Maya Buelow says:

    Interesting, but I find it irritating that for every argument as to how women can become closer equals to men, there is a described path as to how women can BE more like men. What happened to appreciating the differences. If both genders are exactly alike, how boring will that be?

  37. Liz
    Liz says:

    I think you’re basically right, although I dispute that study about the glass ceiling and pay. Sure we make the same money if we don’t have kids, but pop out just one baby and poof goes the career track, at least in law. That illustrates the problem.

    I think you underestimate the ways in which women are expected to be men. Look at the problem of dirty jokes. If I hear one in a group, half the time it’s directed at me, in a test to see if I can “hang” with the boys. This puts me in a double bind. If I laugh, I’m a whore. If I don’t, I’m a scold. The only way to get around it is it to do some sort of, “Oh you boys are so funny but of course I’m not into that kind of humor…” good girl routine. God forbid I ever crack a dirty joke (you’ve seen on your blog what happens when a woman talks about sex – immediate disapproval which extends to every aspect of her judgment).

    This isn’t fun. It really isn’t. I’d love to have more fun, but I’m terrified I will never be able to pay off my student loans if I don’t somehow manage to please the boys. Who, I can’t help but notice, didn’t have to do the work in grade school, paid people to write their papers in college, and then translated all that skill in hanging around the frat house cracking beers into a successful career network that specifically excludes women. Not because they hate women, but because women can’t hang around a frat house cracking jokes without facing serious consequences.

  38. Annie B
    Annie B says:

    Speaking for women of the boomer generation, one reason women are not having more orgasms is because when it was revealed (big surprise) a few years back that oral estrogen was a carcinogen, the huge number of this generation taking oral estrogen went off it – and it turns out that post menopause, women’s vaginal walls get very dry – unless they are on estrogen – and it makes sex very uncomfortable/ even painful. But what really annoys me is that almost none of those women’s doctors seem to have thought or cared about this – and more importantly – bothered to tell all these women that if they started using a topical vaginal estrogen cream, they’d have juicy vaginal walls almost instantly, with very low cancer risk, and – la voila – happy, orgasmic, powerful women. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to spread this word more loudly – thank you, Penlope, for providing it here.

  39. Rhys
    Rhys says:

    Good points. I would add that one more way for women to conquer these gaps would be to study some of the successful women that they would like to emulate. I recently read a book called The Power of Small by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, two gap-leaping women who created a successful advertising agency together. I thought their example was inspiring. Who else is worth studying?

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