GM has a female CEO; world’s brain falls out.

When General Motors announced that Mary Barra would be the first female CEO of a Big Three automaker this week, there was much excitement. But wait. No, there’s nothing to be excited about, right? We’re supposed to be not so excited, because boys and girls are the exact same so what’s the big deal? No big deal.

Yes, men and women should be entirely interchangeable in the halls of power in global corporations, but right now (and at no point in human history preceding it) that has not been the case. Despite the fact that companies with greater female representation on their executive leadership teams have quantifiably higher ROI, the percentage of female CEO is only 14% globally (up from 9%!). Reminder, women make up more than 50% of all humans, so that’s pretty abysmal.

Women in power means more diversity corporations, which means less groupthink and more sanity. It’s important for young girls to have these role models, and it’s important for a world that is controlled by an only slightly less homogenous class of rule makers and gatekeepers than it was a century ago.

As a woman, I appreciate that urge to pretend like it’s not a big deal that Mary Barra is a woman. I know it comes from a place of political correctness and the desire to be living in a genderless power utopia. But we’re not there yet. And until we are, Mary Barra’s new job is exciting. Marissa Mayer is exciting. Sheryl Sandberg is exciting. And come 2016, I think we all know who else is going to be exciting. So go ahead. Express some celebratory interjections. Count this as the progress that it is. And get used to it, because as we have every right to keep it going until all things are truly equal, it looks like this party is going to be raging awhile.

Read more

White Kids Rioting

As an MSU alum, I’m always irritated to hear about the student body’s unending affinity for rioting after sports. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m getting older and my perspective has changed, or if the fact that this trend that started when I was in high school is still going on despite the fact that I’m old enough to use the phrase “I’m getting older and my perspective has changed,” but whereas I used to be all, “Meh, some dummies rioted,” I am teetering on outrage about this last one.

Read more

Swedish Lessons on Michigan Radio!

Today, two of my lifelong dreams were realized. First, I was interviewed on NPR about my new book. Second, in that interview, they had to beep out a swear word. It wasn’t even my fault! Cynthia Canty, the host of my very favorite Michigan Radio show, Stateside, handed me my book, mid-interview, with a highlighted section for me to read. It had the word “shit” in it. So I read it. And it made me so happy.

Read more

On hating hills and writing better

So there’s this hill, right before I get to my gym, that is a total nightmare to ride up on my bike. I strain and groan and stand up on my pedels and almost fall over, and by the time I get to the top, my heart is thumping wildly and I can hardly breathe. Sometimes I just get off my bike and walk it. Every time, I get mad at the hill for even existing. Stupid hill.

Read more

On fall, life cycles, and being weirdly excited about getting a flu shot

Here I am, eight days out from writing a post about clichés, and all I feel like writing area mediative thoughts on the changing of the seasons. Sorry! I can’t help it. For the very first time that I can recall, I am super excited for fall. I walked into a Walgreens today, saw a sign for flu shots, and my reflexive thought was, “Awesome! I want one!”

Read more

Do Good Now

I was pretty impressed with myself upon learning my marriage resulted in me becoming a distant relative of Pat Sajak. I mean, it’s not that my husband knows Cousin Patty, but he did once hear his voice on his great aunt’s answering machine.
What I should have been more impressed with, however*, was the fact that I married into the family of David Plawecki.

Read more