I’ve never said that any of this was simple or easy. I’ve simply tried to lay it out as understandably as possible to begin because most people have never thought much about any of this and it takes time to wrap your head around a new concept.

In situations where people’s lives are on the line, the ability to do the job properly and meeting a required level of competence makes sense. I have no beef with that at all, but for 90% of situations, that isn’t the case. (Edit: competence is always relevant — I’m talking about physical ability to do the job here.)

My beef with patriarchy is that it is not competence-based. It’s power-based. The nepotism-laced good-ole-boys network is the opposite of being founded in merit. It was a consolidation of historical power and alliance specifically meant to keep other people from even having the opportunity to show what they’ve got. Law firms wouldn’t even interview women until well into the 60s and I don’t know when it was for blacks at the bigger more elite firms, but even though it was illegal not to, they found ways around that and didn’t for a long time. Columbia University didn’t allow women until the early 1980s.

I don’t know if you read that article that Lorelei wrote about lawyers, but it talks about how having such an ultra-competitive androcentric atmosphere not only leads to a high rate of depression, suicide, and substance abuse but also leads to shorting themselves on talent. It benefits the bottom line and the strength of an organization when everyone has the chance to really show what they can do.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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