But I do want to know: ladies, what do you want? Do you want conferences where only women are present? Are you only interested in recognition from the A list males?
Do the majority of women really not want to be seen? That?s not a bad option?but this changes the dynamic of the argument.
I want to be seen. Okay, maybe not *today*, when I’m floating halfway between awake and asleep, and a little dizzy at that. (oh, beloved sinuses) But in general, yes.
What does it mean to be seen? That’s the $64,000 question. I think it means different things to different people.
I want to see myself (in all of my various forms) reflected in those who I look to for expertise and counsel. And so in that case, I don’t want to be seen so much as for others to be seen. The person who is seen is not only an expert, but also is acknowledged by others and makes her expertise available in one way or another. This is where the A list recognition comes in, just “A” but the body of expert peers. That’s why linking is important in all this, because I find the models that I look up to by connecting through other models. I’m thinking very specifically of the CSS/web standards universe here, because that’s a place of professional interest for me.
So I think I know what it means to see. What does it mean to be seen? –for me, not anybody else?
Ideally, to have a unified network of [whatever]* that is evenly male and female that is engaged in a conversation about [whatever].
I don’t know where I’m going now, so I’m going to use an example.
I’m going to an all-day seminar held by the community college state board on student services and the web. I found out about it because the vp’s assistant saw the announcement and thought I’d be interested. And *then* the organizer said she (?) wanted someone from our college to be on a panel, and listed off a few suggestions to the VP and her assistant…both of whom recommended me.
Yipes. Followed by, hell yeah!
Which means — I’m terrified of public speaking. I’m nervous about having my ideas and experiences challenged. But I feel strongly about what we’ve done with our redesigns, and I think I have something meaningful to say. Plus, the opportunities I’ve had to be seen have repaid me in spades: going out to dinner with the higher-ed people in Seattle, meeting folks in Rochester, heck, just doing this whole blog thing. I get more than I give, once I get over the nerves.
Sometimes it’s good to have a safe environment, whether that means all-women, all-higher-ed, etc., etc. Sometimes it’s good to stretch. This panel will be a stretch, for several reasons, but I’m looking forward to it anyway.
My brain just faded out again, so I don’t know what I was going to say next. I think it might be time for a nap or a bite to eat.
Maybe more later, maybe not.
* where [whatever] equals CSS, weblogging, home remodeling, politics, photography, etc., etc.