By Jenna Gershman
This past Thursday, acclaimed author and journalist Jessica Bennett came to Trinity to discuss feminism in the workplace and strategies to deal with those who struggle with sex-based challenges in such a setting. Her recently released book, “Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace” humorously addresses these issues and offers new insights into the 21st century work world.
As a writer for many popular outlets such as Newsweek, Tumblr, Time Magazine, The New York Times, and as a contributor for Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.Org, Bennett has faced various feminist issues that exist within the larger workplace today, and has even reported on some of them, including a breakthrough story about a gender discrimination lawsuit that was filed in 1970 against Newsweek.
She initially recalled the start of her own “Fight Club,” and described the rules that her and the other members enforced to ensure its success, such as “what was said in the group stayed in the group.”
Throughout her presentation, Bennett utilized clear examples of feminism with her own twist, such as the stereotypical ‘office mom’ who takes on many tasks at work, but also takes on the majority of household tasks, the ‘manturrpter’ who constantly speaks over women in meetings and ‘sorroricide,’ which occurs when women treat other women at work as enemies, and do not try to help each other. She recognized her own ability to deflect from her achievements, and noted that instead of minimizing or justifying her work, she learned to accept a compliment and force herself to say ‘thank you.’
She also highlighted the importance of recognizing accomplishments, rather than the flaws they have, and how she still struggles to accept compliments for her accolades.
Bennett’s book tour lasts through the end of December, and will conclude in Seattle.
By Jenna Gershman