The Edition: No. 47

Aug 28, 2018

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” — Mother Teresa

Forced Silence. How society controls how women talk, and subtly tells them to shut-up.

Scalloped. Loving the pretty trim on this Banana Republic sheath dress.

The Cold Open. Tips for sending a must-open cold e-mail.

Give ‘Em the Boot. These Mercer Edit boots come up higher so you can wear them under jeans (they come in five awesome fall colors).  Also, these adorable, basic Dolce Vita boots are <$60.

Enough is Enough? From self-deprecation to appearance, why do we feel the need to “look good” to others?

Fighting the Grey. Does anyone have a review on this Phyto Anti-Grey serum to help prevent grey hair?

Martyrdom. The difference between sacrificing for work and just suffering for it.

Sale Priced. Target is having 30%-off furniture for Labor Day.  Love this mid-century coffee table.

Recipe for Disaster. This is basically why I stopped reading food blogs.

Fall Workouts. Grabbed these awesome Nike hoodie and fleece joggers for fall hiking.

Unrelated. Should you stay friends with an Ex?

On Saturday, Kyle and I were leaving our anniversary dinner when he put his hand on mine and said, “Honey, he’s gone.  I’m sorry.”

I was born into a family of Blue Dog, working-class Democrats.  So I was a Democrat.  It never occurred to me to be anything else until I saw Senator John McCain speak.  I watched his announcement speech in 1999, as a 17-year-old high school senior and thought, “That, that’s what I believe.  That’s who I want to be.”  And just like that, I went from moderate Democrat to moderate Republican.

McCain, more than anyone, was the party leader who made it okay to be independent-minded, to break with party.  He made room for those of us who didn’t fit into the Tea Party mold, the Religious Right, or (now) #TeamTrump in a Republican party that some days loved us and some days hated us.  The days that I worked on his 2008 campaign were some of the proudest of my working life.  And even though he lost, I will never consider that campaign a failure, because while other members of the party railed against Obama and spread hate, he pushed for civility and respect.

I feel genuinely unmoored right now.  I have long said that I won’t allow hate and discord to push me from the Republican party, and I feel even more strongly about that today.  I just hope there are enough of us willing to stand up for Senator McCain’s legacy.

Workday Reading

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  1. MOnica T says:

    Just saw Malala speak at a tech conference and I feel like hate cannot prevail as long as there are good people standing against it. Reading about John McCain in recent days gives me hope that there are people with core beliefs and principals that will light the way through the current darkness. And we can all be one of them.

  2. Abby says:

    The world needs more moderates. On both sides.

  3. B says:

    I feel much the same as you. Living in a far-left city, I despise the judgements of many of my friends and their condemnation of all Republicans, who turn and say, “oh, but you’re not like all the other Republicans, you’re a good Republican”. I’m not “a good Republican”. I’m a socially progressive moderate who identifies, supports and votes for the party who’s fiscal policy I nearly always agree with. I try to understand the experience of the tea party, of the religious right, of the people in the corners of rural America I grew up in. I stay active because I feel it’s my duty to be the change I wish to see in the party, but I feel the party slipping away from my grasp, and I’m not always sure I can stick with it.

    • K says:

      For me “you’re not like all the other [x]” is the most awkward not-really-a-compliment. And while I don’t consider myself a Republican, I really respect the women (and men) who are standing up and trying to change the party from within. I spent most of last year trying to get my medium-sized company to change on a number of fronts. I pretty much hit brick walls and then got pushed out of the company. For me, I need a break from trying to change the world. But in the meantime, I will whole-heartedly cheer on and support people who are doing the work.

  4. Katherine says:

    We don’t agree on politics but I value integrity in public office and McCain in so many ways exemplified that quality. That said, I can’t say I see the wisdom in remaining part of a party that has gone so far off the rails as to be unrecognizable. Today, I think what we need most as voters – on both sides – is a better set of options. My ideal is both parties split into their moderate and immoderate factions so voters have a real choice.

    • Belle says:

      I’ve been hearing that third party was imminent since 2/3 of my 5th grade class said they supported Perot for president in 1992. The system isn’t built for it. The only way it happens is if the middle suddenly acts against type and becomes aggressively political, which is not really likely. I’m happier as a moderate Republican than I was as a moderate Democrat for a few reasons, but I’ve never voted a straight party ticket.

      As for real choices, the way to change that part of politics is to increase turnout in the primaries to reflect the same electorate that comes to the general. This idea that these “party nominating contests” are essential is laughable. Washington has a jungle primary, and I prefer it. I can vote for the candidates who best reflect my values to make the ballot regardless of party. If there was higher turnout in those contests, you could see the benefits of incumbency and party weakened in a positive way.

  5. Catherine says:

    McCain Republican here too. I knew I’d be sad when he passed, but didn’t realize how much of a gaping political hole he would leave behind. I also feel like I’m holding down the fort in the hopes that my party recovers, partly because I refuse to let the crazy and corrupt run me out of Lincoln’s and Teddy’s legacies. So I vote as my conscience dictates and advocate for the return of a sane, viable Republican Party.

    • Lauren says:

      But how do you see this happening? The party controls the White House and both the houses of Congress. That means the party ‘s current brand of politics is viable, if not “sane.” Trump’s rhetoric, style and policies are being emulated rather than abandoned by candidates down the ballot.With the exception of senator McCain, congressional republicans fail to criticize him, let alone hold him accountable. I sympathize with McCain Republicans but I wonder how long they can stand by a party that seems to have abandoned them when it took up with Trump.

  6. BigBossLady says:

    I’m genuinely interested in what policy proposals that McCain had that you liked. I know the ones he had that I didn’t like and most of the hagiography surrounding his death has been about temperament as opposed to policy. I certainly think what he went through in Vietnam as a POW was horrific and his conduct was honorable.

    • Belle says:

      I thought McCain-Feingold was an excellent start to eliminating the stain of dark money, not perfect, but a bold move. I thought his work to help Senator Feinstein prevent torture as part of detainee treatment was important. I didn’t agree with the specifics of his Climate Stewardship bills, but I thought it was brave to try to do something on environmental protection. He repeatedly sponsored legislation to try to provide veterans in rural areas more access to care, which was really important in my state.

      And the one that I thought was really an unaddressed issue, and I wish someone would take it up now that he’s gone, was overmedicating Veterans for injuries and PTSD. So you have seriously ill people being pumped full of painkillers and anxiety drugs, which is a bandaid for giving them good rehabilitative and therapeutic care. And it’s gotta stop, or we’re never going to actually help them, because it’s too easy to just write them scrips.

      Those are the ones I can think of now. I’m sure there are more.

      • BigBossLady says:

        Those are all good ones, thanks for the reply. I guess I don’t understand how policies on campaign finance, anti-torture provisions, protecting the environment, and better care for veterans would move you farther to the right, though.

        • Kellie Marie Beargie says:

          I agree, they were brave moves. We seem to be stuck in a cycle of not doing anything for fear of alienating a base, whose values are changing so rapidly as the Millennials clash with the Boomers (and I hate to use such a broad brush to paint either group, as there will always be factions and outliers, but this is a comment and not my personal essay so I will err on the side of brevity for scope). Trying and failing is worse than not trying anything at all.

        • Belle says:

          It was because he was the first Republican who I heard saying things that I agreed with. So it led me to look at his other, more conservative values on the economy, taxes, trade, and realize that I agreed with those too.

          Plus, he was the first person to make me feel like you could be in a party and not agree with them on everything. The older Dems I knew were always trying to tell me that I’d come around on free trade, and entitlement spending, etc. when I “learned how the world worked.” Here was a Republican saying, you don’t have to come around, you can agree with the majority of the beliefs and have major disagreements on others.

  7. CL says:

    Off topic maybe to this post but here’s a blog topic that may be interesting to cover…The one way video interview (in this case HireVue software for a position with one of the big 4). I was subjected to this and after I submitted the vid I instantly regretted it. It honestly felt humiliating and dehumanizing. For those not familiar with this there’s plenty of info out there what this entails and it seems to be an increasingly common practice. Do you or any readers have experience with this and if so what’s your opinion?

    • Jessica says:

      This is a question better suited for our Facebook group “The Work Edit Community”

      • CL says:

        It’s not anonymous and that group is getting big with lots of DC peeps (where I live) which is why I posted it here.

        • Belle says:

          I’ve never used this before. If you want I could post the question in the Facebook group so then it would be anonymous. Just PM me on Facebook if you want.

  8. Kellie Marie Beargie says:

    I’m a staunch liberal, but I’ve been seemingly drifting a bit in the wake of his passing, and then you use the word that perfectly describes the way I feel. Unmoored. I really came to appreciate him in later years as a voice for moderates at a time when things seem to be pushing even further to the fringes. He was a true patriot.

  9. mallory says:

    Very interesting article on the way young women speak as it is timely to a discussion I recently had with my teen boys. We were talking about homecoming and who my older son would ask. He mentioned there was a girl that he wanted to ask, nt because he like her romantically but because he “respected” her. Of course at that I blew up about how important it is to respect all women, etc. My sons felt bad and aid its not like they don’t RESPECT women, they just don’t respect them. They went on to say that so many girls their age, who they know to be extremely intelligent, dumb themselves down on purpose. My boys don’t understand this at all. They also told me about how they speak and act completely over the top-IRL and on social. Not long after, a group of girls sat down behind us at lunch and oh boy-I knew exactly what they meant! They were extremely hard to listen to. Every other word was “like” along with serious uptalk and vocal fry, And they were extremely vapid. Honestly, they sounded ridiculous. When the girls left both of my boys said at the same time “that’s what we are talking about!!”
    At the end of the day, the way that you speak IS important, no matter how “unfair”that may seem.

    • Belle says:

      I think you missed part of the point of the article. No one was arguing that using “like” sounds as intelligent as not using it. The author is arguing that society, and men in particular, have used old-school elocution rules to find a new way to tell women to shut up. They’re essentially saying, I don’t want to talk to you unless you talk in a way that pleases me, and if you can’t do that then nothing you say is as meaningful as what I say.

      Like many women raised in the 90s and beyond, I say like. I also say y’all a lot. I occasionally curse. Are any of these perfect English? No. Have I been told, usually by older men, that my conversation is not good enough because of these things, yes.

      • mallory says:

        I completely disagree-I don’t think its a sexist thing at all. I am a woman and cannot stand to hear other “women” (girls?)talk like that.I bet if you took a poll you would find that most intelligent grownups dislike that kind of talk.
        And y’all is fine-WAY WAY different than LIKE. When I was hiring, the frequent use of “like” was a deal breaker no matter how good the resume.

        • Belle says:

          It isn’t whether you like women using the word “like” in a workplace setting. It’s whether anyone, especially an older, male work colleague, should be allowed to tell you that if you don’t stop using the word “like” he doesn’t have to listen to you.

      • Kate says:

        A major point of the article is that poor speaking habits are distracting. The ones discussed in this article seem to be more commonly used and/or noticed among women. The assertion that these vocal tics are becoming prominent because more women are entering leadership roles in the workforce and have turned to manipulating their voices as a way to show their authority doesn’t hold a lot of water for me. I’m surprised that in discussing this as a generational issue, the topic of reality TV was not mentioned. I think our celebrity-obsessed culture influences basic behavior, such as speech patterns, simply because these people are thrown in front of us every time we turn on the TV or scroll through our news apps. Our society has made it possible for people who are incapable of stringing together coherent, intelligent thoughts to express their disjointed and ill-crafted ideas on very public platforms. Many people end up subconsciously absorbing these habits from the peripheral exposure. What you say and how you say it are, indeed, two different things, but presentation will always be important. I’d be interested to know if the author makes a concerted effort to say “like” any less after her colleague said what he did. I think the overall message is not to stop talking, but to stop talking like a Kardashian. If men started talking like they’re auditioning for Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, what would we attribute that to, and would we ask people to tolerate it?

        • JD says:

          Maybe I’m missing the point of the article, but what bothers me is the idea that I have to be mindful or change my pattern of speech, word choice, and tone of my voice, meanwhile my male colleagues don’t give half the amount of thought or preparation when they speak up. The company I work for was acquired within the last year and we’re experiencing a lot of changes. More and more I find myself to be the only female in the meeting room or on conference calls. I’ve been told by my male colleagues that when I speak and make a contribution, I am often “too polite” and I’m not “aggressive enough” during these conversations and it’s not taken seriously. I’ve been encouraged to “challenge” them, especially when they interrupt or speak over me. Why should I have to change my behavior? Maybe they should stop being so rude. You know what’s more annoying than hearing “like” or “um” over and over? Not being able to say anything at all because you’re all yelling over each other.

        • Sally says:

          Did you read the article? It mentioned that ALL of those vocal tics, with the exception of the word “like”, are used at the same rate or even more often by men. But somehow no one is rolling their eyes and complaining when men use the very same vocal mannerisms that women are harshly denigrated for. It’s one thing to advise women to speak in a certain way to gain authority, it’s another thing to completely disregard their substantive contributions because of the way their voices sound.

    • Kelly says:

      I eavesdrop all the time. But listening in to conversations isn’t necessarily an indication of how someone would talk in another, probably more formal, setting. Example: I’m co-presenting at an event tomorrow. There’s a 99.9% chance that I’m going to talk WAY differently during that presentation than when I catch up with my co-presenters before the event. A big part of communicating effectively is knowing your audience, and altering your communication styles as necessary. I’ve heard plenty of men use vocal fry and unnecessary “like”s, but I’ve never heard a story where a man has been called on it (or even really negatively judged for it). That’s the problem.

  10. Libbi Vynalek says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience working for Senator McCain. I love that both Obama and GWB will be speaking at his service, such a perfect representation of what he believed. I feel like he was one of the only level-headed “adults” left in DC, someone who was reasonable. Praying so very hard that others step up to continue his legacy, it is so desperately needed in our current political climate.

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