The New Girls' Network

I recently got an e-mail from a former babysitter who is looking for a job in my field in New York City. I wrote a recommendation and sent her resume to various potential contacts. Then I thought for a second about the times I'd helped other babysitters move on to non-childcare fields.

After she graduated from college, my first nanny worked in marketing at my division of Johnson & Johnson. For various other childcare providers (babysitters and daycare center employees) I've written business school recommendations, vouched for them to human resources personnel, filled out questionnaires for City Year and foreign exhange programs. Over the years, I've helped lots of women -- and men -- who had nothing to do with my childcare needs. But "former babysitters" is by far the biggest category of people I've assisted and mentored.

All this got me thinking: Is there a burgeoning "Girls Network" of older professional moms helping younger childcare providers advance in their careers? For years I've seen the the Old Boys Network in action -- in which a lawyer or businessman helps the boy who cuts his lawn or delivers his newspaper or dates his daughter get a job.

So I thought I'd ask: What has your experience been? Have you helped a childcare provider in some significant fashion? Were you helped by a woman whose kids you cared for? Are there unique ways women can help younger women advance their educations and careers?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  December 15, 2006; 6:30 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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Comments

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Of COURSE I've helped former (and current) babysitters. If I trust them to be in my house and watch my kids, then I think well of them. I've solicited favors for them (informational interviews, dropping off a resume, etc.) and I've written recommendations. I don't know about unique ways, but certainly all the standard ways to help.

Posted by: inBoston | December 15, 2006 7:51 AM

Networking is networking.

That is to say (or write), it's gender neutral. It would seem perfectly obvious that as more women enter and stay in the workforce, the more opportunities they have to help others network. Not sure why women or men would limit their help or contact to a particular gender.

This is a baffling topic.

Posted by: eh? | December 15, 2006 7:55 AM

Nope, when I worked I found the women to be terribly unhelpful. The men for whom I worked put a lot more time and effort into my professional development. I think that we women are very unsupportive and unkind to each other across the board. Just my experience.

Posted by: moxiemom | December 15, 2006 8:04 AM

I have to disagree with eh.

It is nice in theory to think of networking as gender neutral, but in practice it is often not that way. It is not pernicious, but people help out those they have a connection to. Historically the result of this was the boys network, and I think Leslie is right about the fact that there is now a corresponding girls network.

The larger problem I see now with advancement through informal connections is more class related than gender related. How frequently are these babysitters friends of friends from upper middle class brackets? The girls network is better than nothing - but how do you help students who don't have these connections. I am hopelessly idealistic to think the world could nudge towards a system that is a little less connections driven?

I would be really interested in hearing from those who have done some hiring!

Posted by: pragmatic | December 15, 2006 8:07 AM

I have no problem helping other "people" get ahead in life. However, I think that in order for me to give my seal of approval to someone, I need to know that they are good at what they are applying for and not what they used to do for me, i.e. babysitting.

For example, I can't very well vouch for my 17 year old babysitter and say that she has good writing skills if I have never seen her writing. I can say that she is a responsible, straight A student who is wonderful with my daughter and pass her resume on to the appropriate people.

I think too many people get ahead because they know someone or they are someone's kid, cousin, aunt, or friend. Sometimes they are great at what they do but sometimes they really suck, if it's the latter, someone else who could have done the job didn't get it because of the "old girls or boys network."

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 8:11 AM

Well, maybe I'm too young (31) to have experienced gender biased networking.

Growing up I got help from both my mom's and stepfather's contacts. I helped my wife's sister get a job. Her dad's intern is the neighbors' daughter.

I just don't see the connection (ha), between the babysitter and the mom as being any more or less important than the babysitter and the dad.

But again, maybe I'm too young and live in the clouds...

Posted by: eh | December 15, 2006 8:13 AM

That was me above.

Posted by: scarry | December 15, 2006 8:14 AM

I worked during high school and college cleaning the homes and watching the kids of the rich white folks. They were very helpful in giving me career advice, references, and job leads.

Posted by: DZ | December 15, 2006 8:14 AM

Of course race always has to come into play. Why can't you just say "rich folk?" If we can't describe people by gender on her then why can we describe them by race?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 8:19 AM

I always had men help me along the way. A friend of the family got me a summer internship with the SBA, another wrote a recommendation for me after college and when I changed jobs. My manager at my last job pushed me and encouraged me and brought out the best in me.

The one woman "mentor" I had in a sales job was the most selfish, obnoxious woman I have even met. She really just wanted someone to worship her - so I quit.

In essence I have to agree with Moxiemom - generally my experience is that women are not as helpful in either giving career advise or promoting the up and coming professionals. Many are jealous and territorial - while men just want to get the job done.

Posted by: cmac | December 15, 2006 8:23 AM

Honestly it's been fairly evenly divided between men and women among the people who have helped me so far. A few people have worked with my dad, I made contacts with the neighbors (who my parents don't much like) and a few of my social clubs, the head of at least one of which is male.

While I still correspond with some of my former charges and their families, they haven't helped me get a job, but then that probably has something to do with the fact that I really don't work in an industry that has a whole lot to do with children; if I did, I would be asking them to write me recs.

And on another note, I would hate to think that childcare would be *the* major way for a young woman to network while growing up. There are other paths to early networking, be you male or female, and some teenaged girls (and guys, for that matter) are not terribly predisposed toward childcare but still make excellent employees in their chosen fields.

Posted by: agreeing with eh | December 15, 2006 8:24 AM

dz, what's with the rich white folks comment? I'm certain that if you had been employed by rich or not rich any color folks, and you had done a good job you would have been similarly recommended.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 8:29 AM

I have had the opposite experience. Right out of school, I had a more difficult time with women in my field. They almost had the attitude of "We had to pave the way, but don't think you are going to get an easy ride." Which of course was never my intention. I always felt that they felt threatened by my youth.

Obviously, this is my experience in one industry (lobbying) and don't want to make generalizations.

Posted by: mfd | December 15, 2006 8:31 AM

The best mentor I had from a personal connections standpoint was my across-the-street neighbor, whose kids I babysat when I was younger. He was an attorney and wrote my law school recommendations. The fact that I was a girl didn't play into it at all. But he's relatively young - was in his late 40s when I was applying to law school - so he might just be young enough that women in business and law didn't come as a surprise to him.

Posted by: Kate | December 15, 2006 8:51 AM

I've had quite a few female mentors in my career in public relations. But I've also returned the favor with former interns and family friends. I think that, regardless of gender, we owe it to others to help as we have been helped.

Posted by: kathycoulnj | December 15, 2006 9:00 AM

This just sounds like more of "it's who you know, not what you know".

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 9:07 AM


I think it depends on the type of caregiver relationship you choose. The mentor relationship doesn't really arise unless the caregiver is your direct employee, and then it's part of your responsibility as employer. Teachers at a daycare or preschool or aftercare wouldn't usually be looking for that kind of guidance; and for preschool and aftercare my experience is that they've been mature and settled in their lives and had more insight and guidance to offer me than vice versa.

For a sitter who's your direct employee --- I think it depends on the model you've chosen. Mine was older than me and had raised 4 kids of her own; this was her chosen job and not a stepping stone to anything else. The things I was occasionally called on to help her with fell strictly within the responsibilities of an employer --- writing letters confirming her salary and employment status to support mortgage applications, recommending her to subsequent parents considering employing her, etc. At the other extreme I know parents who used young foreign au pairs and acted as quasi-parents/big sisters to them --- advising them on college applications, helping them deal with bureaucracy, helping them through homesickness, budgeting, life planning, etc. There are trade-offs involved (a major one I didn't like about the au pair/college student route is the turnover), but if one chooses to hire sitters who are still young and finding their own way in life, becoming their primary employer carries with it an obligation of mentorship/bridging them into the adult world.

Leslie, do you really mean that you write more recommendations growing out of your parenting status than you do as an at-work employer/ supervisor/colleague? That would surprise me . . . But I'm used to writing letters of recommendation being an important part of my job, any time I teach, collaborate with, or supervise students. I even structure my classes (the non-intro ones) to better expose my students' aptitudes not just in doing written homework but in collaborating in group discussion and making clear oral presentations, partially to better teach them, but partially to develop a detailed knowledge of their strengths to draw on when writing letters of recommendation. Gatekeeping and mentoring is part of the package in teaching or employing students.

Posted by: KB | December 15, 2006 9:09 AM

I think our experience with getting mentoring help at work has a lot to do with our age, our generation. The workforce has changed dramatically in the past 40 years.

In the 1980s-1990s men helped me a lot, women less so, but it was because there were fewer women in high positions who could help. But on a percentage basis, I think more women helped me than men. And in more profound ways -- there is nothing like a woman who has gotten ahead to show you how to do it.

Male mentors were great too because they knew so much about how to play the game -- situations that stumped me were easy for them to decipher. And they brought that wonderful, rational, logical male view. (Not to stereotype...but of course I am!)

Posted by: Leslie | December 15, 2006 9:18 AM

There is tremendous value as an employer to receiving candidates from people you know, as it reduces search costs and generally (not always) lowers the risk - this candidates connection to your network at some level indicates that they are "pre-screened".

Situations where someone is hired regardless of qualifications indicates a foolish employer. But networking done right is not evil.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 9:21 AM

I think there is a little confusion here about what the "old boys network" really was (and to some but a more diminished extent still is). The Old Boys Network was really a bunch of networks; networks of men, predominantly white, wealthy, Protestant men, who went to the same prep schools, Ivy League or other exclusive colleges and better still, belonged to fraternities and secret societies such as Yale's Skull & Bones. They would help each other out, giving them jobs, positions of power etc., often not based on "merit" (i.e. ability). This has diminished with the dilution of these schools and societies with the hoi polloi (like me) but there has never been an equivalent for women and minorities. The old boys network is not the same as mentoring and guiding others based on their promise. That's a whole other topic. And I agree with Moxiemom, most women who have achieved to a high level in business, law, etc. do not mentor younger women. They either feel too threatened or are not generous enough because they may have done it "the hard way" and don't see why they should make it any easier for someone else. I am in my forties and for the first time I can say I now have a boss who is sort of acting like a mentor. He is a man. And it's amazing to have someone who cares about my professional development after working as a lawyer or policy professional for 20 years. I have had a few women bosses. And they all were the worst bosses I ever had.

Posted by: SuzieQ | December 15, 2006 9:21 AM

Bonjour!

Yesterday was no good. First you talk about how to raise children and be good model and all that. Then you insult people, knock down blind man for telling his son to protect his family. You know who you are. Acting like your 3yr old.

So please today let's try to be like mature adults, ok? Thank you.


Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 9:36 AM

Hey, good joke about trading husband for wine. Ha! Ha!

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 9:37 AM

I never had in-home daycare, so I can't say that I've had the opportunity to help a former employee along.

I do have a very ambitious cleaning lady. We seem to be the only clients who pay her over the table, so we're often called as a reference. The woman has bought and sold several properties over the course of the past 10 years. She is Central American with a large extended family so these purchases have often pooled incomes from several working parties. I've never been concerned about it because I suspect that have as much off-book income as on.

One of the last requests came from the ladies' Realtor, and it was iffy. She needed us to vouch that she was employed full-time by us -- which isn't true. We had to turn that one down.

I felt bad because she is a wonderful cleaning woman, but I couldn't be party to something that wasn't truthful.

Posted by: RoseG | December 15, 2006 9:37 AM

I have helped younger men and women with career advice, recommendations, and more. I've never had a problem if I needed help either, but in all honesty, the only bosses or mentors in business who have helped me proactively, without my asking them to help, were all women.

I have had the opposite experience of a few here -- many of the men I've worked with (in predominantly male fields) were territorial and petty -- not all of course.

I'm now in an office environment where it's all women for the most part, and I've never had such positive reinforcement in my entire life!

Yet for all of my personal experience, I don't think you can generalize about one gender being more helpful. I think it really depends on the situation.

My husband has had terrible experiences with queen bee women at work, who had no other life. They didn't understand when he wanted to be home at 7 or 7:30 pm to be with his family (after starting at 7:30 am). The men he worked with were much more family oriented and had a lower key attitude, but still got the job done, too.

Posted by: Kate | December 15, 2006 9:40 AM

I have to say I've been helped much more by men in my career. Professors I've had and old bosses who have been helpful to me are all men.

When women stop competing and hating one another it will be infinitely easier on us all. Some women would probably say that I've been helped by men because I'm attractive. I'd like to think it's because I work hard and graduated magna cum laude, but women can be very jealous and spiteful about looks and getting ahead. (Though I did see a study a few weeks ago that found if you're thin, you'll get ahead, so maybe there's some truth to it after all)

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | December 15, 2006 9:51 AM


The cleaning woman post reminded me that I do 'network' on a lesser scale, to support the businesses/ people/ programs who have provided my family great service. I like to pass their names on with hearty recommendation to other parents --- the great day camps, programs, activities, piano teachers, family-friendly restaurants, etc. Often it's because these programs sit on the edge of viability, and I want them to survive and flourish! --- both for my kids and the community at large. I love having made a connection that both sides feel positive about. And I like paying back for all the information and advice I'm always seeking by passing it on.

Posted by: KB | December 15, 2006 10:01 AM

I find myself a little depressed considering recommending a babysitter to be comparable to an Old Boys Network (OBN) actually.

The thing about an OBN is that it's NOT a network based on employment history. We can all, pretty much, get recommendations from past employers if we were good employees and that's pretty much entirely merit based.

The thing about an OBN is that it's not based on one's own personal, merit based, localized network. It's more like "Oh hey, I went to X school and you went to X school so shall we meet up?"

I actually went to a private school that had been boys-only and have accessed an OBN and I can say that in my experience it really is totally different - it's getting in the door not at all based on your actual work, but rather on assumptions made about you because of who else you are perceived to be like. It's not a recommendation so much as a secret handshake.

Posted by: Shandra | December 15, 2006 10:07 AM

I am a lurker, no kids, don't usually respond to posts. However, I feel a need to speak up because I am a young woman currently pursing her MBA. Last week after exams, a bunch of my female classmates ended up talking about how we are our own best friends, we need to support each other now, and we owe it to the next generation of women to look out for them. This is NOT to say that we will not mentor men, or that we will favor women. The point is to get the best candidate, but that is just it - we want to make sure the best candidates come to the table. Doing so includes making sure women know to take the GMAT, know that this is a viable option for them, and know their will be opportunities awaiting them when they get out of grad school. If I meet a qualified person for whom I feel comfortable vouching, male, female, childcare worker or through other networks, I will be sure to recommend them if asked, give them guidance, and tell them how to succeed in their area of interest if I can. However, I did not necessarily receive a lot of encouragement in pursing my MBA and I want to do my part that no one, especially female, faces that particular obstacle.

Posted by: MBA Student | December 15, 2006 10:14 AM

" Doing so includes making sure women know to take the GMAT, know that this is a viable option for them, and know THEIR will be opportunities awaiting them when they get out of grad school"

their = there

Posted by: MBA student again | December 15, 2006 10:16 AM

Lots of men can't get into the OBN too, it's not just women. Only the rich, well-connected, powerful, country-club, men get membership. Try seeing if a middle-income graduate from an average state school is allowed into the OBN.

I really don't care much about the country clubs. I only go to the Mens Club.

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 10:16 AM

By providing recommendations and job leads for non-daycare-related activities to qualified and competent daycare providers, you are contributing directly to the shortage of quality daycare providers that you so often rail about.

Posted by: Think About It | December 15, 2006 10:23 AM

"I actually went to a private school that had been boys-only and have accessed an OBN and I can say that in my experience it really is totally different - it's getting in the door not at all based on your actual work, but rather on assumptions made about you because of who else you are perceived to be like. It's not a recommendation so much as a secret handshake."

This is true. I went to a small liberal-arts college that is closely affiliated with two other small colleges and one Ivy League university; I've gotten two jobs so far because the person hiring me had gone to one of the colleges or the university. And I've networked to get jobs for younger graduates of my own college.

You're an undergraduate for four years; you're an alum the rest of your life. Whenever I talk to kids who are choosing colleges, I emphasize that it's important to take a look at the alumni networks and to make sure they can be useful to you when you graduate.

Posted by: Lizzie | December 15, 2006 10:26 AM

Unfortunately, I have to agree with many of the above posters - the women who have been managers/bosses in my life have been far less helpful than the men.

I will say it could just be that I've had horrendously bad luck with my employers - some of my friends have fabulously supportive female bosses. But that has rarely been the case with me - I've been told by other sources that I usually threatened these women, which I always found amazing. How could an entry-level drone threaten someone 7 or 8 notches up the organizational chart?

So my professional recommendations fall into two categories: male bosses and female colleagues (i.e. - women who came up through the ranks with me). Despite doing everything that was asked of me and having the sterling employee reviews to prove it [ALWAYS get copies before you leave any job ;) ], I'm simply not sure that they wouldn't damn me with faint praise, as I saw them do to other people they felt threatened by - male or female - in the past.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | December 15, 2006 10:27 AM

I'm sorry. I'm such a TROLL.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Posted by: Think About It | December 15, 2006 10:27 AM

"By providing recommendations and job leads for non-daycare-related activities to qualified and competent daycare providers, you are contributing directly to the shortage of quality daycare providers that you so often rail about."

Ha! Ha! good point!
Perhaps high schools should have a required course in childcare101. Should they require boys to take it too? After all, it is soooo sexist here to say only girls can be childcare providers, right? Heaven forbid we even hint that girls can be more nurturing.

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 10:28 AM

"...women are not as helpful in either giving career advise or promoting the up and coming professionals. Many are jealous and territorial - while men just want to get the job done."

So, cmac, guess you won't be doing any mentoring of young women, eh?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 10:29 AM

Thierry you are quite right. Regardless of your political leanings below is exhibit A. Check these "resumes":

As a child of a WOHM and, for a time single mother (because my father died when she was pregnant with me), I went to public schools, Georgetown University. with scholarship aid, and Yale Law School. Rose through political ranks as a state Atty. General, then became Governor of my home state, before I successfully ran for President. Who am I? Answer: President Bill Clinton

I went to Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts, Yale College, "Bonesman!" (member of Skull & Bones), Harvard Business School. Bummed around, drank, partied, friends of my father gave me jobs on corporate boards, gave me business opportunities in oil business (which failed). I quit drinking and they helped bankroll my foray into a MLB team in my homestate, and from there they helped get elected directly to Governor of my home state. Who am I? Answer: President George W. Bush (OBN beneficiary par excellence)

Posted by: SuzieQ | December 15, 2006 10:29 AM

MBA Student,

My company is thick with guys and girls from my b-school. Alums are the easiest/best way to go when it comes to advice and help (regardless of gender). Seeing your school at the top of the resume is a nice in.

To those who would lament this kind of OBNing, I would say that I know I'm good, and I know that people from my school likely are as good. I wouldn't exclude candidates from other great schools (we hire them too), but knowing you went to my school reduces my risk and search cost.

Posted by: eh | December 15, 2006 10:30 AM

Have you ever seen a male "nanny" or childcare provider?

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 10:31 AM

Have you ever seen a lady plumber?

I would love to see "plumber's crack" on that one!

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 10:35 AM

"Yesterday was no good. First you talk about how to raise children and be good model and all that. Then you insult people, knock down blind man for telling his son to protect his family. You know who you are. Acting like your 3yr old.

"So please today let's try to be like mature adults, ok? Thank you."

Thierry,

Stuff a sock in it.

If you want to be a laughable jacka**, fine. But couldn't you find a blog more suited to your adolescent and sophomoric brand of humor?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 10:39 AM

I am wearing socks today.

OK, so looks like today will be like yesterday, with all the personal insults? I hope not. I am not doing any personal insult. Let's have fun instead, ok?

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 10:45 AM

Yes, Thierry, I have absolutely seen a male nanny...one of my best friends is a single mom with a young son and as he's gotten older (I think he's about 11 now), it's become more important to her that he have a stable male caregiver in his life (Dad is not a candidate for that, seeing as how he's not stable and provides virtually no care!). It took her a while, but she found a great male nanny who adds a lot to her household and provides that male perspective that she can't offer. It's a wonderful situation for everyone involved - not the ideal, 2-parent nuclear family, but definitely better than his father or out-of-home daycare.

Posted by: Absolutely | December 15, 2006 10:46 AM

To Absolutely: wow! Thank you. See I learn something today - there is male nanny.
this is the first time I heard of one.

My concern - would you allow a male nanny to take care of your daughter? i would never be a male nanny because i can be so easily (wrongly) accused of sex crime. it's the child's word against mine, and no witnesses. the courts will most often side with the child.

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 10:52 AM

No, Thierry, not ok.

You think you're not personally insulting women when you make jokes like the "plumber's crack"?

Your idea of "fun" is juvenile. It's right up there with all the other little boy classics: snapping girls' bras, making armpit fart noises, and peeing on your big sister's slumber party.

And you're telling US to be mature adults?

Why not take your potty jokes and "8-in up" and find a blog that appreciates you? Should be a lot of interest on MySpace.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 10:52 AM

Thierry is a troll.
He's got this oversexed-French-chauvinist-male persona that he fully knows will irritate a vast number of women on this blog. And clearly he is only here to irritate women--a guy who spends his evenings at the Men's Club has no balance issues.
Ignore him.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 10:56 AM

I always love these naive, Quixote like threads where the ways of the world are lamented and hands are wrung at the unfairness of life and how business is done by both women and men. YAWWWWWWWWNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

Posted by: pATRICK | December 15, 2006 10:57 AM

"Have you ever seen a male "nanny" or childcare provider?"

Yes, we've hired several male childcare providers and find that 16 - 20 year old boys/men like money, and are as responsible andreliable, as 16 - 20 year old girls/women.

We're not in the "nanny" class, so other than recalling that Brittney Spears had a "manny" for some period of time, I can't comment on the prevalence of male nannies.

You need to get out more, Thierry, but perhaps you're spending too much time harrassing everyone on this blog to get a life.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 10:59 AM

I have to agree with many of the posters above who had men help their careers more than women. My career life has been helped far more by men than by women. Actually, male professors were far more supportive and encouraging than the female professors. They also gave wonderful positive criticism...if there is such a thing. I could count on the female professors for back stabbing and horrible advice. In the professional world, it has been the same.

Posted by: alex. mom | December 15, 2006 11:00 AM

Thierry,

Yes boys should take child care 101 - after all they are going to be fathers.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | December 15, 2006 11:03 AM

Strangely enough, the responses by women here mirror my experiences.

As a guy, my career was always helped along by older female professionals -- some of who went far out of their way for me. Older men always were condescending or patronizing. In two instances, older men went out of their way to sabotage my career.

Maybe older folks of either gender are threatened by their younger counterparts.

Posted by: Dennis B | December 15, 2006 11:05 AM

"Perhaps high schools should have a required course in childcare101."

God I hope not. I've got better things to do (and did better things) with my HS education, like preparing for college and saving lots in tuition by entering as a sophomore.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 11:07 AM

ok, sorry folks. very sensitive people here. i joke like that with my buddies all the time. i just think there is too much tension here, women fighting against women, fighting against men.

you can spank me... oooh! i love it!...

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 11:07 AM

So what parenting textbook should the high schoold use for childcare 101? :) smiley

Posted by: Mr.Honda | December 15, 2006 11:08 AM

So Lizzie...was it Bryn Mawr, Haverford, or Swat? :)

Posted by: pastryqueen | December 15, 2006 11:09 AM

oops, sorry F04, I ended my last post in a smiley

Posted by: pastryqueen | December 15, 2006 11:10 AM

Hmmm, thinking, thinking, thinking.....can't remember ever using non-work-related networking to get ahead professionally. No family friends, no people I used to babysit for, no alums from the same schools I went to ever helped or offered to help advance my career. Pretty much from the time I started working back when I was 16, I've relied on my own education and skills to get jobs, then used recommendations from those jobs to get new ones, and so on.

Now, within those jobs people absolutely helped me develop skills and knowledge, offered career advice, etc. And it was pretty equally divided between male and female coworkers and supervisors, although the females probably edge out the males largely because my field (non-profit administration) is dominated by women.

Same thing on the flip side. I've helped people professionally, but only people I've gotten to know professionally, and I don't care if they are women or men as long as they are competent and intelligent. And our child care providers have all been older than me and firmly settled into their careers as childcare providers, so they certainly didn't need any assistance from me.

Posted by: Sarah | December 15, 2006 11:10 AM

Not a chance in hell I would hire a male to watch my kids. Too much sexual abuse out there, why take the chance.

Posted by: pATRICK | December 15, 2006 11:11 AM

"So Lizzie...was it Bryn Mawr, Haverford, or Swat? :)"

Damn, you're good.

Bryn Mawr!

Posted by: Lizzie | December 15, 2006 11:14 AM

my experience has been mostly help from men, mostly since i'm in the engineering field. the only older woman engineer i ever met was my mom!

anyway they were all very helpful in getting me into engineering school and my first internships, and then it grew from there.

sadly i've tried some mentoring programs to see if i can help younger girls get into engineering (it's a very work-balance-friendly field!!) but every program i've gotten into has been all younger boys.

anyway i think most people are helpful regardless of gender, but as more women move upward (and outward to other fields) it will make those opportunities less scary for the next set of girls.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 11:20 AM

Women can abuse children too or have their boyfriend come over when you are not there!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 11:21 AM

Would I let a male caregiver take care of a female child? Yes, with a thorough background check, references, etc. - the same process I'd use with a female caregiver. As the child got older and issues of puberty, sexuality, etc. became more influential, I might rethink that or ask her what she'd prefer...but with a younger child, I think it's more about who connects with your child the best and who fits your family's structure and needs the best. It's difficult to find quality childcare no matter what your income level or the sex of your kids - sterotyping the caregivers by gender (i.e. any male who wants to be a nanny to girls must be a pedophile) isn't going to help you find good care.

Posted by: Absolutely | December 15, 2006 11:21 AM

I've had great mentors who were male and female - probably more men, but I think that's due to the larger proportion of men in the upper ranks. I've also had some women be very cold - I got the, "I had to do this the hard way, so do you" kind of vibe off them. And I've had some men be obviously threatened and petty. More than sex, I think it comes a lot more to what the individual's experience was - if someone was helped along the way, they're more likely to want to help someone else. If someone had to struggle, they may be less inclined (though of course some great people also decide to do better by others than was done to them, and that's fantastic).

I also think Lizzie's advice is dead on for kids choosing colleges and graduate schools. It's easy to help people who come from your alma matter, so going to a school that has a good alumni office and a network in the field/geographic area where you want to work can make a huge difference.

Posted by: Megan | December 15, 2006 11:29 AM

"When women stop competing and hating one another it will be infinitely easier on us all. Some women would probably say that I've been helped by men because I'm attractive. I'd like to think it's because I work hard and graduated magna cum laude, but women can be very jealous and spiteful about looks and getting ahead. (Though I did see a study a few weeks ago that found if you're thin, you'll get ahead, so maybe there's some truth to it after all)"


Ewwwww. SAHMbacktowork, you're not only sexist, you're amazingly arrogant and immature. How old do you have to be before you will cease touting your undergraduate class rank as one of your top four qualifications (presumably your beauty and thinness constitute the other two qualifications after your stunning work ethic)? I am trying to determine why you think most women are jealous of an academic achievement satisfied by approximately 30% of the universe of graduates with a bachelor's degree.

Good luck with that magna credential. In my workplace, we are fortunate that the top performers are hard workers who understand teamwork and collegiality, and are not prone to judging colleagues on perceived or assumed emotions.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 11:34 AM

"...women are not as helpful in either giving career advise or promoting the up and coming professionals. Many are jealous and territorial - while men just want to get the job done."

So, cmac, guess you won't be doing any mentoring of young women, eh?

Hi obnoxious anonymous poster. Well, considering I am not on a career track I won't be mentoring anyone in the near future. The "mentor" system does not appeal to many people, including myself, as it can get very personal. I know many mentoring relationships that have ended badly because the participants blur the lines between professional and personal. Sorry - but I think it is a trait women in particular struggle with.

BTW - What do people think of Life Coaches?

Posted by: cmac | December 15, 2006 11:35 AM

"Ewwwww. SAHMbacktowork, you're not only sexist, you're amazingly arrogant and immature. How old do you have to be before you will cease touting your undergraduate class rank as one of your top four qualifications (presumably your beauty and thinness constitute the other two qualifications after your stunning work ethic)? I am trying to determine why you think most women are jealous of an academic achievement satisfied by approximately 30%......."

You just proved her point!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 11:39 AM

I was a nanny in undergrad, and both of my families were incredibly helpful and supportive of my ambitions. My first family let me use their car to attend undergrad classes while their kid was in school. And by chance, in my next job, the husband was an alum of the law school I most wanted to attend. Though they never gave me any direct help, both of the parents in that family were invaluable in giving me advice of how to get into that school, what professors to look for, etc.

As far as help from women versus help from men, I've never seen a significant difference between the genders when it comes to career advancement. I've worked for wonderful female bosses and bad female bosses, and the same for men.

I did, however, find a great support network in the women I worked with (as opposed to for). At my firm, I knew and hung out with most of the young female associates, and we kind of helped each other out. Now that I'm a SAHM, I've found a similar network of other young moms who are incredibly supportive. As we all start going back to work, I imagine that we'll have (and use) plenty of opportunities to help each other out.

Posted by: NewSAHM | December 15, 2006 11:39 AM

There was a nugget in one of Thierry's posts that piqued my interest.

These days the pendulum has swung a wee bit too far re: men and sex crimes. For example, 16yr old boy having consensual sex w 14yr old girl. The boy is arrested for rape under state law and tagged a sex offender. The scarlet letter stays with him for years, and it's hard for him to get a job or get into college. His mugshot is on the internet and parents distribute fliers at school warning about him.

I'm a cub scout leader and the first training is on child protection (ie sexual harassment). Every handbook has 5 pages worth of how to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Basically, never 1-on-1.
At church, all the sunday school teachers submit to background checks and are trained to never be 1-on-1 with a child. Also don't ever help them in the bathroom unless the team leader is with you.

All these precautions are good because they keep me insulated from any possibility of such accusations (I hope!). But sometimes I lament the loss of innocence and simplicity in this world.

That's why I am very surprised to hear that males of any age want to be nannies or childcare providers. All my precautionary training tells me - never be alone with someone else's child! It is more for my own protection than the child's.

Posted by: Mr.Honda | December 15, 2006 11:46 AM

NewSAHM,

My workplace experience has been the same as yours. I've had mentors of both genders. Because my client contacts are overwhelmingly male, my professional contacts outside my employer tend to be males, but that's the nature of the business.

I am quite glad as I read this blog today, though, that the women I work with aren't walking around bashing each other and accusing each other of jealousy, however. It's a much more productive, and supportive, environment since we're all on the same page.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 11:49 AM

Lizzie~

I was a Mawrter for two years, then jumped ship. Couldn't have been any other small liberal arts college affiliated with two other small colleges and an Ivy :) smiley

Posted by: pastryqueen | December 15, 2006 11:52 AM

I'm really confused about Father of 4-

He doesn't expect to live long; yet he has no will.

He hangs labels on his kids and reacts when they live up to or down to the labels.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 11:53 AM

Mr. Honda,

Just as a point of interest, 50 years ago when my mother lived in California and was applying for teaching jobs, the State of California required all teaching applicants to be fingerprinted -- and their prints were kept on file.

The good old days were a little more innocent, I guess, but maybe not so much as we'd like to think.

Posted by: pittypat | December 15, 2006 11:54 AM

"For example, 16yr old boy having consensual sex w 14yr old girl. The boy is arrested for rape under state law and tagged a sex offender."

Actually, many states have Romeo & Juliet laws to deal with precisely this type of situation. The Kansas Romeo & Juliet law, for example, doesn't recognize consensual sex for anyone under 14, but anyone who is 14-16 years old can have sex with someone younger than 19 and less than 4 years older and be recognized as legally capable of giving consent; the older party therefore doesn't have to register as a sex offender.

Posted by: Lizzie | December 15, 2006 11:55 AM

I'm really confused about Father of 4-

He doesn't expect to live long; yet he has no will.

He hangs labels on his kids and reacts when they live up to or down to the labels.

I really confused as to why this has anything to do with the topic? I also wonder why people pick at and on father of 4 so much.

Posted by: scarry | December 15, 2006 11:56 AM

Hi NCLawyer,
I've actually been meaning to say hello to you for a while, since I'm a recentish transplant to NC (I'm near Raleigh). It's nice to "meet" another lawyer here.

I do marvel at how often women are portrayed in the comments to this blog as petty, jealous and hard on other women in the workplace. I find it so hard to believe that anyone (male or female) would try to make the workplace more difficult for themselves and others, when it's so much nicer to work in a collegial environment.

Posted by: NewSAHM | December 15, 2006 11:56 AM

My female boss, who has no children,
has been great about my few legimiate
emergenices. I treat her well and work
hard and she looks for opportunites to make
my job interesting and gives me opportunities to network.

I highly recommend my day care lady to
people who ask me. She is great teacher
and can do many things I can't take care of animals, gardens, and is good at arts and crafts.

I do more theatre and music programs for my child only because of a lack at the day care and I have had classical violin training.

I am trying to teach my five year old that everyone needs to be good to everyone. I hope she finds good mentors regardless of sex and good friends and family to nuture her possibilities.

Posted by: shdd | December 15, 2006 11:58 AM

Pastryqueen, I don't suppose you transferred to Pomona, did you?

Posted by: Lizzie | December 15, 2006 11:59 AM

"I find it so hard to believe that anyone (male or female) would try to make the workplace more difficult for themselves and others,"

NewSAHM, you have not been working long enough.

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 12:02 PM

Nope, Rice.

Posted by: pastryqueen | December 15, 2006 12:03 PM

Mr.Honda, all I can say is that there are bad people of both genders, and I'd no more suspect my male babysitter of improprieties with my daughter than a female babysitter of improprieties with my son. You hire people you know and trust. We've hired as babysitters lifeguards from our pool, and children of colleagues and fellow church members. We keep our eyes open for teenagers and college students who genuinely enjoy kids the ages of our children. The teenagers and college students keep their eyes open for parents who pay well and kids that are fun, will obey directives that mirror the parents' instructions, and non-whiney. Both of our kids are of an age and mindset to tell us if anything makes them uncomfortable, and we make sure our sitters are comfortable telling us anything about our kids that makes the sitters uncomfortable, LOL.

My sense is that your concerns might be a bigger issue for men working with mixed-gender youth groups, but I could be wrong.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 12:03 PM

"I'm really confused about Father of 4-

He doesn't expect to live long; yet he has no will.

He hangs labels on his kids and reacts when they live up to or down to the labels.

I really confused as to why this has anything to do with the topic? I also wonder why people pick at and on father of 4 so much."

Father of 4 is a mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in BS. And scarry, he asks for it, so quit defending him.

Posted by: paul | December 15, 2006 12:05 PM

More Clinton stuff:

Sent to live with his maternal grandparents while his mother attened nursing school for 2 years.

Grandmother taught him to read before he was 3 years old.

President of sophomore class in high school.

Stepfather a raging alcoholic who abused his mother.

Graduated 4th in his high school class of
363 students at Hot Springs High School

President of freshman and and sophomore classes at Georgetown.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:06 PM

to anon at 12:06, but why more Clinton stuff and what the heck does it have to do with any of the threads today?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:09 PM

Mr. Honda, I really understand where you are coming from when you lament that loss of innocence. I also wonder though whether it is a loss of innocence or ignorance - was there really less abuse 40 years ago or was it just reported and addressed less often? Sort of like when there's a big jump in the rate of a certain illness, and you don't know if the occurence has really increased or if we've just gotten better at diagnosing it. Given the extent of the church sex scandals, it seems like there was a lot of abuse in the past that was not reported or dealt with, and if that's true I would imagine that this is true in contexts other than churches.

I don't really know the answer to these questions, and I'm not sure that all of the rules you have outlined are the best responses, but I think it's important to consider that when we think about how we compare across different eras.

Posted by: Megan | December 15, 2006 12:10 PM

Working parents - work from home, flexible hours, leave early or come in late due to children, schools, etc.

Childfree workers - work excessive hours, pick up the slack for parents.


Who has time to mentor?

Posted by: anonfornow | December 15, 2006 12:10 PM

RE: Bill Clinton - clearly someone who respects women - especially his wife who should have left him!

Posted by: moxiemom | December 15, 2006 12:11 PM

Ok, so I believe that there are people who do make their lives and the lives of everyone around them harder, I just don't understand why. What, seriously, is to be gained by making the workplace unpleasant?

And FWIW, I've been in the workforce for half of my life. Maybe I've just been exceptionally lucky not to have encountered many miserable people of either gender.

Posted by: NewSAHM | December 15, 2006 12:11 PM

Bill Clinton has great respect for women - just ask Monica when she was under his desk!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:14 PM

My wife's observations on men and women in the workplace.

Men will stick together and stick up for each other. Women will stab each other in the back every time.

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 12:15 PM

"Lament" Count: 4

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:16 PM

"Men will stick together and stick up for each other. Women will stab each other in the back every time."

Wasn't there a male poster who got screwed by another guy when he took off a couple of days for Christmas?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:24 PM

Actually, Fred. I find that men, at least in this industry, are much more competitive with each other, while the women look out for each other every time. Maybe the difference is that in industries where men represent 80% of the workers, the women have to stick together and men can afford to pi*s each other off without serious repurcussions. Presumably your wife's experiences are based on personal observation in an industry other than lactation consultantcy?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:30 PM

"Wasn't there a male poster who got screwed by another guy when he took off a couple of days for Christmas?"

This is a general observation not a 100% rule. Some indviduals of either sex will do anything and cross anybody to get ahead.

Posted by: to dec 15 | December 15, 2006 12:32 PM

"RE: Bill Clinton - clearly someone who respects women - especially his wife who should have left him!"

Wow, Moxie, that's pretty arrogant.

Just because you didn't like what he did doesn't mean his wife should leave him to satisfy your view of justice, comeuppance, or revenge.

Clearly, they have a relationship that transcends a WHOLE lot of things. It's their relationship to manage as they wish.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:32 PM

>I also wonder why people pick at and on >father of 4 so much."

Fo4 won't go anywhere. There's no place else where he can relive being the bad boy, play the innocent victim and be defended by people whose dysfunctionality mirrors his own.

He really jumped the shark on last night's post. He's still trying to have it all ways, complaining when an online survey is inaccessible to the blind, but indignant that anyone would question the skills of a blind person. Personally, I think that's where the labels come from. He was labelled as a child, and now he has the power to dish them out himself and claim they're all in fun.

George, Emily, Pitty, etc., you got it right.

Posted by: 12:31 | December 15, 2006 12:32 PM

Fred

Don't you have any opinions other than those of your wife?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 12:34 PM

Wife's occupations:

1. School teacher

2. Health dept worker

3. Lactation Consultant

Competition is one thing, pettyness, brownnosing and backstabbing are yet others.

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 12:35 PM

'and be defended by people whose dysfunctionality mirrors his own.'

You obviously don't agree with Fo4's philosophy of marriage, children, family and life. It is your right to have a different philosophy.

But saying that he is dysfunctional is way over the top.

Live and let live.

Posted by: another | December 15, 2006 12:37 PM

Nice to call me arrogant anon! Easy to call names when you are nameless. Glad that you see a relationship where the woman is consistantly disrespected and publicly humiliated to be transcendent - I happen to think that a woman who allows herself to be treated that way is not a role model and not a good example to their daughter. She's not a private citizen, she's a public figure on whom people will comment. I think that Nancy Pelosi is much more of a class act. My opinion, arrogant as it may be.

Posted by: moxiemom | December 15, 2006 12:38 PM

"Competition is one thing, pettyness, brownnosing and backstabbing are yet others."

I'm not the original poster, but when I identify colleagues as "competitive", I mean "petty", "brown-nosing" and "back-stabbing". They exhibit a form of competition that is designed to elevate themselves by unfairly eliminating those who might challenge them, or by sucking up to the boss. In my workplace, those few who exhibit this kind of behavior customarily are men under 30. The women and the guys over 50 don't have time for this sort of crap, or they appreciate that it is a small world and you never now when that person you just marginalized is going to hold the key to your future. Sure there are competitive guys who are straight-up and performance oriented, god bless them, and they don't typically get hung with the "competitive" label, at least around these parts. Your mileage may, and obviously does, differ.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 12:50 PM

We had a nanny for the summer of 2005 who now works at my law firm as a paralegal. I knew from the short time she worked with us that she was a star, but when I submitted her resume I only vouched for what I could: her professionalism, energy, and drive. She's still with us, meaning both my firm and my family (as a family friend).

Posted by: law firm | December 15, 2006 12:54 PM

Justifying the type of personal attacks that are launched on Father of 4 by saying he brings it on himself is a poor excuse. I've never seen Father of 4 attack or criticize and individual on this board in the way people attack him. Yes, he likes to stir the pot and his opinions sometimes seem outlandish - that doesn't mean everyone is then justified in making such cruel personal attacks. People can say and do whatever they want on the internet, and yes, this is a blog, but it's still mean and crappy. And yes, I know I'm a hypocrite as I have occasionally lashed out rudely at people too, but I still think it's a rotten way to treat people even if I know I am sometimes guilty of it myself.

Posted by: Megan | December 15, 2006 12:58 PM

Hear, hear, Megan! The guy hasn't even posted today and someone's got nothing better to do than anonymously bash him in absentia. It's rather odd and . . . passive-aggressive.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 1:01 PM

"You obviously don't agree with Fo4's philosophy of marriage, children, family and life. It is your right to have a different philosophy.

But saying that he is dysfunctional is way over the top."

Have you read all of Fo4's posts? His life is a real mess and he won't do anything to make it better. Examples: He hangs labels on his kids; this is a form of emotional abuse and bullying. He hits the kid he can't handle, who obviously needs professional help. He won't do anything to help his 2 kids who are having trouble in school. His wife seems to go long with all of this. How much worse does it have to be?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 1:04 PM

No, Moxie, I see it differently.

I see a relationship in which both spouses are very dynamic, independent people -- mega-intellingent, politically savvy, well-educated, ambitious, and driven. It's marriage as partnership -- in every sense of the word, including the career sense. These are two people who can do a great deal for each other's careers, as has been demonstrated over the past 14 years.

I see a husband who loves his wife and daughter and who also has a very big personal failing -- he womanizes. I see a wife who loves her husband and daughter and chooses to forgive him his trespasses.

I see a multi-layered marriage that is far too complex for outsiders to unravel but is also apparently pretty much the way they want it.

Finally, I see a daughter who also has risen above family partisanship and who exhibits the fairness and affection she's clearly been taught by her parents. If ever there was an advertisement for loving, thoughtful, considerate parenting, Chelsea is it.

I find it laudable that Hillary Clinton made the decision to stay with her flawed husband. It shows tremendous strength of character and capacity to love.

She may be a public figure, but that doesn't require her to be a domestic role model who makes her personal, private decisions on the basis of public opinion.

I daresay that few of us could acquit ourselves on the public stage with the grace and equanimity she has shown.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 1:04 PM

I've helped people who cared for my children with references, letters, networking contacts...it's a no-brainer. If you trust them with your children, you are generally willing to trust them in the field they want to pursue. My only problem with this topic is the gender basis -- because I'm a dad, and I'm usually the one writing the reference letter or making the calls for former sitters. That's probably true becuase I write professionally, so dashing off a letter takes me less time than it would my wife. But does that make me part of the "new girls network"? One of those childcare providers who I endorsed for a job at a publication I had worked with was male...what do you make of that one? I think it's common to help your former sitters' careers out, but I think seeing it through a gender lens is narrow-mided.

Posted by: sct | December 15, 2006 1:05 PM

Hmm ... I am in agreement with the posters who have said "I hope not" in regards to whether a girl's network is growing - but mostly because I also agree with the posters who've said that networks aren't the same as mentoring relationships. As someone who grew up in an area where nobody was "important" or had any meaningful "connections", I also have a lot of resentment for the it's-not-what-you-know-it's-who-you-know reality; and I find it discouraging that people in management positions really do think elite colleges are "better" than state schools (or any school for that matter). Yes, I suppose it is important to save time and minimize risk in the hiring process, but I find it depressing nonetheless.

I am too early into my career to have had the opportunity to mentor many young women, but I look forward to the opportunity to one day do so - because I do think it's important for women to gain greater equality in the workplace, though my personal description of feminism might not (definitely doesn't) match everyone's here.

Posted by: TakomaMom | December 15, 2006 1:05 PM

to Posted by: | December 15, 2006 01:04 PM

Have you considered getting professional help?

Posted by: another | December 15, 2006 1:10 PM

I didn't make the "he asks for it" defense (just sayin'). But I seem to remember Megan defending Scarry the same way in the past. "It's not her fault--they deserved it."

Fo4 has attacked people in the past. Not as many as others, but it has occurred. NC Lawyer, your use of "passive aggressive" is wrong. That would be saying nothing to his face, and attacking him behind his back (simplistic definition, I know). An example of passive-aggression would be Fo4's story about calling his wife after she "stuck" him at home with a baby and putting the crying baby on the phone, causing her to leak breast milk through her blouse while she was at the store.

My guess is the initial poster mentioned it today because this blog doesn't appear to attract last-night readers/commenters as much as other blogs do.

Posted by: 12:31 | December 15, 2006 1:16 PM

"It's rather odd and...passive-aggressive."

Actually, NC lawyer, it's not passive-aggressive behavior at all. It's outright aggressive behavior.

Passive-aggressive behavior is something entirely different.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 1:16 PM

Hey, I drove by the club during lunch and they are having James Bond night this weekend! The Bond girls:

Honey Rider
Sylvia Trench
Pussy Galore (ooh -la-la!)
Fiona Volpe
Kissy Suzuki
Plenty O'Toole
Mary Goodnight
Holly Goodhead (Clinton fave)
Bibi
Octopussy (can handle 8 men)
Fatima Blush
and of course...
MoneyPenny (she hot!!)

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 1:17 PM

moxiemom, a lot of us believe that divorce is for life. It is not the solution to a troubled marriage, even if the "trouble" is infidelity. You may disagree, but to state that Hilary Clinton should have divorced her husband in order to be a better role model for her daughter reflects a different set of moral values than the ones to which I subscribe. Please understand, I intend no personal attack, but we have a fundamental disagreement on the importance of the permanence of marriage and what behavior is most important to model for your children.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 1:20 PM

Just to clarify: You don't know that the posters disparaging him today aren't the same people who disparage him when he's here. If it were solely behind his back, that might qualify.

Posted by: 12:31 | December 15, 2006 1:20 PM

TakomaMom,

Depressing or not, the stark reality is that some schools really ARE better than others. As much as I hate rankings (since my school seems to fare worse than I feel it should), they eventually become self-fulfilling, as the better students self-select into choosing amongst the top schools. "Elite" means just that, the selected best.

Posted by: eh | December 15, 2006 1:20 PM

"But I seem to remember Megan defending Scarry the same way in the past. "It's not her fault--they deserved it.""

I don't actually remember saying this, although it's possible in my irritation I did in some of the times I have defended Scarry. Although it wouldn't really be inconsistent with my point - people attack Fo4 when he has not attacked them (whereas in the case of Scarry, someone (possibly me) was saying that she was responding to an attack on her). I don't really have an opinion about whether everyone should be expected to turn the other cheek in this forum, but I do think it's crappy for people to constantly attack Fo4 when he hasn't said anything about them. And I really don't remember ever seeing him attack anyone on a personal level, although you claim he has; but even so, most of his attackers are anonymous so it's pretty hard to say he attacked them first.

Posted by: Megan | December 15, 2006 1:25 PM

No, you intimated that what someone blogged was so stupid that OF COURSE she'd have to respond. It wasn't always in response to someone saying something directly to her, although you defended that too.

Posted by: 12:31 | December 15, 2006 1:28 PM

well, anon at 1:16, I disagree, but in the thirty seconds I had to find the definition I like, I encountered the following and figured it works just as well:

"Sometimes it's best just to call a jerk a jerk." So, jerks, target the folks that are on. It's not as though you don't have enough fodder.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 1:30 PM

1 + 1 = 3

You cannot disparage me.
I won't listen to anything you say.

Posted by: DZ | December 15, 2006 1:35 PM

"Elite" means just that, the selected best.

How do you explain the legacy students? Are they the selected best as well?

Posted by: to eh | December 15, 2006 1:35 PM

12:31, I really don't remember saying that someone desevered to be attacked by Scarry or anyone else because they said something really stupid, though I don't have time to search the archives. But I'll say today that would be a poor excuse as well, even if I was the one who made it.

Posted by: Megan | December 15, 2006 1:36 PM

Look, getting folks from my school and other elite b-schools in the front door is a FIRST step. That they've entered and graduated rigorous programs says something about them, legacy (rare at b-school) or not. They still must interview. Same for undergrad.

Posted by: eh | December 15, 2006 1:47 PM

"you jerk"
"no... you're the jerk!"
"you said it first."
"no, you did, jerk!"

conversation heard between parents on OnBalance.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 1:54 PM

Fo4 attacked someone??? I don't believe it! How? When? Where? Search the archives, dig up the dirt. I gotta se this.

Posted by: hard to believe | December 15, 2006 1:57 PM

Jokester, you are in rare form today! Truly gave me the giggles!

Posted by: Chausti | December 15, 2006 1:57 PM

Oh come on, it's not what school you went to. It's who you know. Did we all just agree it's the OBN and OGN?

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 1:58 PM

To Dec 15 at whatever time.

Yes, I have plenty of opinions. The topic was about the new girls network. I am not a part of the girls network. But since you ask. I work in a male majority industry. My experience with females is that they do alot more towards tearing each other down than helping each other. In a way, they act like they are still in high school and this is sad.

To NC Lawyer, I do not equate competition with pettyness, backstabbing and brown nosing but I do appreciate your take on this. Having been stabbed in the back by both men and women, I can say that both equally suck.

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 2:01 PM

elite: those chosen out of a group. "Election" is related. ex (from, out of) + legere (choose, gather).
I make no representation about legacies--just about what the word originally means.

Posted by: Etymology buff | December 15, 2006 2:03 PM

Search 'em yourself.

Posted by: to hard to believe | December 15, 2006 2:08 PM

Y'all have to bring up "elite" schools again. I am still in pain that I went to a crappy state school!

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 2:08 PM

Fred--you probably saved oodles of money!

Posted by: aging mom | December 15, 2006 2:11 PM

"Y'all have to bring up "elite" schools again. I am still in pain that I went to a crappy state school!"

Well, Fred, this blog does have more than its share of snobs.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 2:13 PM

Ah, Fred, a few cases of Budweiser will make us feel all better about our crappy state school educations. That and thinking about who we might have met and married had we attended one of the fine networking institutions ranked #1 - #10 by US News and World Report.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 2:13 PM

Well, I made up for it by sending my daughter to an elite private school that I could never afford!

Posted by: fred | December 15, 2006 2:13 PM

Fred: "Having been stabbed in the back by both men and women, I can say that both equally suck."

Amen to that! It's interesting about your experience with the women in a male dominated industry. I mentioned earlier that I have had some women be cold to me and take the "I had to fight, so do you" approach, and that was also in a male-dominated work environment. I wonder if there's a connection between how much flak a person has to deal with when they are in the minority and how much they're willing to help out another person in the minority.

Although, in thinking about it, I also worked in one place where I was one of two females, and we were the first females ever hired, and the men we worked with were the most gossipy, back-stabbing crew I have ever worked with. They were extremely funny, but man, I've never seen such a rat's nest for that type of behavior. So who knows.

Posted by: Megan | December 15, 2006 2:13 PM

Anna Quindlin writes in one of her books about how when she was in college, she went to the job office and looked through the list of people who were seeking babysitters for someone who worked at the NY Times.

Posted by: Elizabeth | December 15, 2006 2:15 PM

Gee, but Fredia went to a private school. So I guess that I married up! :)

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 2:16 PM

NC Lawyer,

I drank too many Buds in Nam but a good Sam Adams will do!

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 2:18 PM

Fred, I am guessing that you'd have thought you married up regardless of Fredia's academic pedigree. You respect for her is apparent. I married up, as well.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 2:18 PM

Non-elite does not equal "crappy". It just equals "not as good".

Posted by: ends in "ale" | December 15, 2006 2:20 PM

NC Lawyer,

My sainted momma always said that Fredia was too good for me!

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 2:20 PM

ooooooh. you have to speak a little louder and slower so the rest of us from "not as good" schools can understand the distinction in tone ..

Posted by: to ends in "ale" | December 15, 2006 2:22 PM

We had a comment from a elite college grad a few weeks back on this blog who called state schools crappy. Let me see if I can find the quote. I am off this afternoon anyway!

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 2:22 PM

From the blog in November titled "Do Men Want Moms to Quit?"

The author is "Cream of the Crop" and she wrote "...They will shape policy and the future of the world--they, and not the vast majority of crappy undergrad graduates average women employees. I don't think any of the intellectuals that truly think about this stuff give a hoot whether these average women stay home."

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 2:29 PM

"My sense is that your concerns might be a bigger issue for men working with mixed-gender youth groups, but I could be wrong."

These are not just concerns for men as leaders. I work with a volunteer group that takes boys and girls out. The leaders are of both genders. Every leader (male and female) goes through a background check. Our rules for all leaders (male and female) are that one adult should not be alone with the kids. Every leader(male and female) goes through training as to what is appropriate behavior. It's my understanding that the Girl Scouts follow similar rules. As leaders, we all need to be conscious of this.

As someone with a family member who was sexually abused in the good old days, and did not know to tell his parents as sexual abuse was never mentioned back then I applaud all of this attention and caution we have now. Sexual abuse is horrible - it is very destructive to the person.

This being said I would consider both men and women as leaders for children or caretakers. It is important to screen them and to talk to your children about always communicating with their parents. Tell your kids not to believe anyone who tells you that "mommy and daddy will be mad if you tell them what I did".

Posted by: dai | December 15, 2006 2:33 PM

oh ya, i remember cream of the crap's mental diarhea

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 2:33 PM

Hey, some state schools are crappy. Doesn't mean they are filled with crappy people. Some great people go to crappy schools. Some crappy people go to great schools. A few state schools are terrific.

The fact remains, some schools really are better than others (better students, better professors, better facilities, better opportunities).

Posted by: slow enough for you? | December 15, 2006 2:35 PM

to slow enough for you?

Yes, there is a difference in the quality of education achievable within the range of state schools and private schools. These ranges also overlap. What aggravates a lot of us is the condescending attitude some of the private school grad have. I have a cousin who received his PhD from Harvard and one who received his PhD from MIT. They certainly are not as arrogant or snotty as some who have expressed opinions here.

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 2:51 PM

Kinda second Mr.Honda's post -
Did you hear about the 4yr old in Texas who got suspended from school for sexual harassment? He hugged his teacher's aide and "rubbed his face in her chest". Sad but true. what is society coming to?

Sometimes I see kindergartener boys touching each other's butt, doing frontal thrusts in a vulgar manner. I tell them to stop because that's not appropriate. I wonder what would happen today if kids were playing doctor-patient. 6 yr olds would be accused of sexual harassment and sent to counseling. major overreaction.

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 2:51 PM

I'm sorry - I didn't mean for this to devolve into another elite vs. non-elite discussion - my initial concern with Leslie's idea of the "new girls' network" is that it just rubs me the wrong way to think that Leslie's former nanny got a great job w/ big bucks by virtue of who she had worked for, as opposed to maybe the cab driver's babysitter ...
I think it's wonderful that Leslie has helped out her former employees and supported them in their higher endeavors - I guess I just don't like the idea of a network where the successful bestow their graces on those who were lucky enough to know them personally.
It's not wrong, and I think we should all try to mentor those who could use it, I am just bothered by the "connections" aspect of it, and I also recognize it is a personal issue - as eh pointed out to me earlier - yeah, it's depressing, but too bad ...

Posted by: TakomaMom | December 15, 2006 2:56 PM

Fred, I hear ya, and I agree. I just mean to correct the notion that all schools are equal, or that there is no such thing as an elite institution, or that it doesn't matter in hiring.

I am not under the illusion that my attending a better school makes me better. It's the school that's better.

Posted by: Not Harvard | December 15, 2006 3:00 PM

Love the Anna Quindlen/NYT babysitter story!

Also love the "who has time to mentor?" so true. you have to squeeze it in when you're getting a drink of water from the cooler...true "mentoring" is pretty rare today.

Posted by: Leslie | December 15, 2006 3:03 PM

Dear still anon and NC Lawyer, hey I believe marriage should be for life, but that does not mean that women should tolerate abuse - physical or mental. I think that Hillary Clinton is a power hungry woman who only stayed with her husband because it suited her politically (so she's riding on male coattails there) a strong woman would have said that she deserved better and left (this was not one mistake,he'd been doing it for years) and made a life on her own. That Chelsea "seems" normal may be testament to their parenting or it may simply be luck. Just because Chelsea doesn't act like Paris Hilton does not mean she isn't totally whacked out. I guess I just expect more of my husband and marriage than you do.

Posted by: moxiemom | December 15, 2006 3:05 PM

TakomaMom, we all just need to know how to brown nose a little better. Those who can do it get ahead quicker.

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 3:10 PM

Chelsea's is engaged to a man whose father is in prison for engaging in Nigerian money scams. the fruit does not fall far from the tree.

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 3:12 PM

No man is responsible for what his father has done.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 3:15 PM

oh great, now THIS makes a lot of sense. I have no idea whether the Nigerian scam story is true, but even if it is, what on earth does the young man have to do with his father's crimes--and what on earth does Chelsea Clinton have to do with her fiance's father's crimes?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 3:17 PM

"what on earth does Chelsea Clinton have to do with her fiance's father's crimes"

oh... i guess nothing.....
except that he'll be wearing his chains and striped suit to the wedding! :) smiley

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 3:20 PM

ShowMeYourRod, this is absurd. You can attack Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton as much as you want--they are in public life. Chelsea Clinton has chosen, so far, to stay out of politics and live her life privately. It is totally unfair and gratuitous to take out on her whatever criticisms you may have of her parents.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 3:23 PM

"hey I believe marriage should be for life, but that does not mean that women should tolerate abuse - physical or mental. . . I guess I just expect more of my husband and marriage than you do."

No, you don't expect more from your marriage than I do, and evidently you don't believe it should be for life, particularly if you feel the need to characterize infidelity as "abuse" in order to support your views. With respect to Chelsea, your earlier comment was that if Hillary's been a good mom, she'd have divorced Chelsea's dad for Chelsea's sake. I strongly doubt Chelsea'd agree that dealing with divorce in one's teen years is superior to dealing with two parents working through their problems.

Posted by: NC lawyer | December 15, 2006 3:24 PM

I do believe that chronic infidelity is abuse - it certainly isn't caring. I think that showing your daughter that all women deserve to be treated respectfully, that means their mother AND the 20 year old crouching under their father's desk is pretty important. Chelsea deserves a better husband than her father was. As for what's worse in your teen years, I'm pretty sure that your dad getting blow jobs at work being national news is nearly as bad as it gets.

Posted by: moxiemom | December 15, 2006 3:29 PM

sorry this is a day late, but I wanted to say thanks to those who responded to my question about yelling yesterday, it was helpful and obviously it's something I need to take care of.

Posted by: anon from yesterday | December 15, 2006 3:44 PM

Actually, I can't imagine what Chelsea's fiance must think.... having Hillary for a mother in law!

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 3:52 PM

Hey TakomaMom --

I share your concerns about the whole connections thing. I know I grew up outside of that whole world, so I really resented the idea that other people got accepted into school because of who their daddy was, got plush internships because their next door neighbor was CEO at a company (while I couldn't even afford to look at the unpaid internships that might have been available because I needed the money I earned at the deli), etc.

But I do think there are gradations. I don't have much patience at all for the whole OBN as it was described above, where who you know (or who your daddy is) is the only thing that counts. But I've also seen a more reasonable side. For ex., my husband has gotten every job since I've known him based on his "connections." Not to the rich and powerful, but first to the professors he impressed in school, then to the bosses he impressed at work and the friends he made there. So for ex. when his company shut down, the first thing he did was e-mail all his old friends to see if they knew of any available openings; they were happy to pass on his resume, which got his foot in the door, but he then got the job based on his own merit.

I find this less offensive than the old-fashioned OBN described earlier, because he is way smart and hardworking and good at his job and so has earned everything he got -- he never would have been able to build that strong network of supporters if he wasn't really good at what he does. But at the same time, it still isn't fair that he got those opportunities when equally smart and hardworking people of other races/genders/socioeconomic classes/[insert distinction here] didn't. He was smart, yes, but he was also lucky to have his grad school professor take him under his wing and help him find that first job.

If you're interested in the subject, there was a great column by Ben Stein in this past Sunday's NY Times -- if you go to the business section on-line, then click the "Your Money" tab, then go down to "Everybody's Business" (but hurry, as it will disappear after this Sunday's business section comes out -- you do have to register, but you don't have to pay).

Posted by: Laura | December 15, 2006 3:53 PM

I am a 40-yr old professional woman, not a mother, who's worked mostly in Washington DC and here in Maine. I am always eager to give someone (of either gender) a boost if I think they do good work and, besides, it's just plain fun to make connections.I haven't really thought about whether they have kids or not.
I will say I am encouraged by how cooperative most women - and many younger men - tend to be in the workplace. I beleive that the proliferation of women in the workplace may be the cause of a new business paradigm of cooperation. (Although not all women are cooperative, certainly!) Competition tends towards waste - it uses up extraordinary amounts of time and energy in the care and feeding of egos. On the other hand, cooperation is about people who are more interested in results than ego - things get done and everyone benefits. I think older men might recognize this but have been formed by the competiton paradigm. They find it harder to trust or to go outside their well-worn group. Younger people are more free to make many connections, quickly. An older (60+) man once advised me "Never ask a question you don't know the answer to", to which I replied "That's silly. My whole life I've asked questions I don't know the answers to. The only way I've gotten this far is to keep asking questions no one else will ask." Perhaps women are less afraid of looking foolish and this benefits them tremendously.

Posted by: Jennifer in Maine | December 15, 2006 3:54 PM

You better send your kids to the elite schools otherwise they will be, as Kerry says, Stuk In Irak!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 3:58 PM

"dysfunctionality mirrors his own"

Ha, everyone is dysfunctional in their own way! Megan has stuck up for me before as I have for her and other people. I think the main reason that people stick up for other people on this blog is that it is odd to single someone out from blog to blog and criticize every thing they say.

I am not saying that everything father of 4 does is perfect! I don't like the label annoying son and I don't like that he says he has favorites. That being said, I still want to know why some people find it "fun" to pick on him. This blog is a small snapshot of how people really think and how they really act. Calling someone dysfunctional on a blog is kind of funny actually because you don't know the person. As much as I like Megan, father of 4, and Texas dad of 2, I don't really know them, just like none of you know me.

But call me dysfunctionalall you want, I was raised in NE Ohio, it's a given that I will be that way in some way or the other!


Posted by: scarry | December 15, 2006 3:58 PM

Yea, but Kerry got stuk in Nam!

Posted by: rejoinder | December 15, 2006 4:02 PM

Check out this picture for the legacy Clinton left in DC.
Don't worry - work safe.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y232/texdawg/Clinton6yearsafter.jpg

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 4:06 PM

Funny showmeyourrod!

Posted by: moxiemom | December 15, 2006 4:07 PM

HaHaHaHaHaHa! That was one funny picture, ShowMeYourRod. He sure was plenty busy with under-the-table business!

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 4:13 PM

Season's Greetings from Hillary:
(work safe)
http://www.all4humor.com/images/files/Scary%20Hillary%20Clinton.jpg

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 4:28 PM

Kudos to all the dems on the blog who have been biting their tongues and avoided responding to the random Clinton-bashing with Bushisms or pictures of Georgie under the "Mission Accomplished" banner. (Cackle away, Clinton-haters, then go to Arlington and count the graves of those senselessly lost in Iraq.)
Now can we please move on?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 4:33 PM

Waahahaha! That is one scary cow.

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 4:35 PM

"Now can we please move on?"

Ok, since all other threads seemed to have died down, here's a random, totally off-topic question -

What do people on here do about holiday gifts for co-workers? There are a few people who have been extremely helpful to me since I started this job, I'd like to get them something, but don't know them well enough to have any specific ideas. One of them has already given me a bottle of wine. Anybody have any office gift exchange ideas or stories they feel like sharing?

I know it's kind of a lame topic, but hey, it's friday afternoon!

Posted by: Megan | December 15, 2006 4:40 PM

"Did you hear about the 4yr old in Texas who got suspended from school for sexual harassment? He hugged his teacher's aide and "rubbed his face in her chest". Sad but true. what is society coming to?"

Maybe he's one of those kids whose mommy is still breastfeeding him.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 4:43 PM

Wine (again).
Shawls (for women).
Spa vouchers (for women--and only if no sexual interest could possibly be suspected!)
Small things for the house: candles, cookie cutters...
Wall calendars reflecting coworkers' hobbies/tastes.
Desk calendars--ditto (Dilbert is a good one)

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 4:44 PM

I second anon's gift ideas, and would add accessories (World Market has a great an inexpensive collection) and body lotion/spa items (I'm think more on the lines of Bath & Body Works)

Posted by: montgomery village | December 15, 2006 4:48 PM

Additional small gifts
food/candy (take diets & allergies into consideration)
Small gift cards (starbucks comes to mind)

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | December 15, 2006 4:50 PM

CHOCOLATE !!!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 4:50 PM

Megan:

1) Parenting book - good doorstop
2) Leslie's book - brown nose points
3) Archive of your posts from OnBalance - may get you fired

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 4:51 PM

Dog bites killer whale.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p238/racingjunk/image001.jpg

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 4:52 PM

cat vs. eagle. who will win?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p238/racingjunk/image008.jpg

Posted by: ShowMeYourRod | December 15, 2006 4:53 PM

"I'm pretty sure that your dad getting blow jobs at work being national news is nearly as bad as it gets."

Probably not as bad as having your father's phone conversation with his mistress, in which he says he wants to be her tampon, broadcast for national consumption. Especially when said father is the next King of England. But they all seem to be doing pretty well.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 4:56 PM

Megan - if you don't know them well I'd stay away from spa stuff. Board games are always fun - like the new Trivial Pursuit 80's edition or something like that. People like to take them out to play, but hate to drop $20 to buy it. Good luck

Posted by: moxiemom | December 15, 2006 4:58 PM

Have a good, safe weekend everybody!

Bond girls are waiting for me !!

Posted by: Thierry | December 15, 2006 5:01 PM

Let's all just be thankful Mark Foley had no children.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 5:09 PM

I also like the "good luck bamboo." It's pretty hard to kill, even in an office environment.

And talking about bamboo, if your coworker is into the panda cub at the Washington Zoo, they have a great calendar there (in addition to many other souvenirs).

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 5:16 PM

3) Archive of your posts from OnBalance - may get you fired

???

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 5:17 PM

"oh ya, i remember cream of the crap's mental diarhea"

Cream of the Crop here--I felt compelled to submit again as I'm being insulted here--although I generally don't have as much time to post as you RamRod, or whatever your name is. But please spell "diarrhea" correctly if you're going to insult my mental state.

And to those that pretend there is no distinction between "elite" and non-elite schools, keep yourself in that wonderful state of denial. Generally, elite schools get better students, which is generally why they get better jobs, etc etc. Not all students from crappy schools are stupid and not all students from top 10 schools are smart, but if I have to take my chances, I'm going to pick the latter. It's shocking to me the refusal to recognize this on this board. PS. There's a reason US News & World Report College Rankings & Law School Rankings & Business & Med School and so on rankings are so incredibly popular.

And also, for all the bashing my viewpoint has gotten (given the few posts I've ever submitted) my original point has been taken so far out of context it's ridiculous.

Posted by: Cream of the Crop | December 15, 2006 5:29 PM

Thanks for the ideas, everyone, they're very helpful!

And anon at 4:51, egads, you didn't really go searching through them did you? I would think the sheer volume would have been prohibitive and may on its own be enough to get me into trouble ;)

Posted by: Megan | December 15, 2006 5:39 PM

cream of the crop--
those who can, do; those who can't, complain that those who can are arrogant. (nothing is more common and reassuring for people who are less successful at something than implying their limitations are actually a sign of coolness--see the dynamics of bad high schools.)
I thought your initial point was totally unobjectionable.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 5:41 PM

"But please spell "diarrhea" correctly if you're going to insult my mental state.

sorry, i went to state skool.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 5:47 PM

Q.E.D.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 5:51 PM

Cream of the crop - lesson it doesn't appear you learned in your elite school. People will listen to you better if you don't insult them. ie if you had just said non-top-ten schools as opposed to crappy people might be more willing to pay attention to your points.

Posted by: Divorced mom of 1 | December 15, 2006 6:00 PM

ok, cream you win. i just cannot compete with your intellect.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 6:05 PM

For pete's sake, I throw my hands up and am walking away from this battle. My original post before Thanksgiving had nothing to do with the battle between elite and non-elite schools in general or which students did better.

My original post was based on the notion that because the future women leaders of our society are well-educated, highly successful women from top graduate schools as a general rule, in the battle between "to stay at home versus not to stay at home" women, these are the women we should be pushing NOT to stay at home. How this morphed into the idea that I must be the snobbiest, most arrogant person on earth who hates everyone not from a Top-Ten school, I'm not sure. But that's how it goes on this blog.

And if that's the way I'm perceived, so be it. At the end of the day, as Anonymous noted at 5:41 (thank you!) I guess I'll have to be content to live in my well-educated peer group bubble and those who deride me and my opinions can all continue to believe that education level, elite schools and women's position in society are not at all correlated.

Posted by: Cream of the Crop | December 15, 2006 6:19 PM

Most of us (almost all of us) haven't had "child care providers". DOES NOT APPLY

Posted by: Will | December 15, 2006 6:19 PM

"I guess I'll have to be content to live in my well-educated peer group bubble and those who deride me and my opinions can all continue to believe that education level, elite schools and women's position in society are not at all correlated."

Cream of the Crop, My "well-educated peer group bubble" extends as "low" as women who graduated in the top 5% of their classes at gasp -- top 50 schools. Leaders come from the top of the class regardless of institution. Followers and MRS. degrees often are found in the bottom 10% of the class, regardless of institution. Are you impressed by the leadership qualities and drive of an applicant whose achievement is limited to her presence in the bottom 10% at Yale Divinity school? Well, maybe you are. The message you inadvertently communicated was that the only women you deem "educated" and whose presence in the work force is significant are alumnae of "elite" graduate programs. Your larger point, that we should note the negative impact on society and business, at large, when large numbers of women with a high capacity for leadership and/or stellar performance in academia are leaving the workforce in droves, is well taken; however, the statistics do not support your assertion that such women exclusively, or even primarily, matriculated from "elite" graduate programs. If you ceased considering "elite" graduate programs as a proxy for leadership and talent, and by extension, matriculation from "non-elite" programs as a proxy for bare-foot and ignorant, you wouldn't be viewed as "snobby" and/or intellectually arrogant.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 7:05 PM

huh??? dude, all this is over the top of my head. i'm gonna puke and have diarhea...

Posted by: Anonymous | December 15, 2006 9:06 PM

To Dec 15 @ 7:05 pm.

Well Said! We po' people who went to crappy state schools just did not have big enough of a dictionary to say what you said! (Even tho I matriculated in the top 3% of my class!)

Posted by: Fred | December 15, 2006 9:34 PM

Maybe the country needs more women who are willing to stay at home with their children. Who are selfless enough to put someone else ahead of their ambitions. We already have enough lawyers in this country.

Posted by: Graduated from a crappy state school | December 17, 2006 11:51 AM

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