Jessica Valenti just reminded me of Jennifer Egan

Sometimes ideas, without being identical, can essentially rhyme.

Jessica Valenti posted this today:

When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave a TED talk in 2010, one of the issues she talked about—and later expounded on in her 2011 commencement speech at Barnard—was likability. “Success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women,” she said. This isn’t news to feminists, so what I can’t figure out is why—despite deep knowledge of this pervasive double standard—so many women still insist on being likable, often to their own detriment.

For me, it was wasting countless hours arguing with people on the Internet—giving equal time to thoughtful and asinine commenters—because I thought somehow it would show me to be fair and open-minded. It pains me to think of what I could have achieved if I had that time back.

Jennifer Egan wrote this in 1997 about her anorexia:

By mistaking my physical self for the world and exerting my power over that, I could experience the sensations of triumph while remaining essentially harmless: preoccupied, physically weak, inhabiting a world more narrowly circumscribed, in these ways, than my mother’s had been. When I think on those years, the waste of time is what I most regret; all that thought and worry, those physical trials. I could have learned Greek or Latin with that time. I could have built a boat and sailed around the world. But these regrets are subsumed, finally, by sheer relief at having been released from that tiny box of thought, subtly, almost without my noticing, somewhere around the time I published a novel. That was my first, tentative brush with the world beyond myself, and it led me to imagine what real power might feel like.

  1. davidquigg posted this