Friday, July 18, 2008

Day One

I left Pittsburgh in a huff. Working with a girl I hire to do graphic design, we designed a business card I was really happy with. The past two times I had cards designed, they were created by designers who were guys. They always came out with blue and green. I decided I wanted purple business cards. The woman I hired to design these ones is the only woman I've been able to hire during the past two years. Perhaps I should look harder, but I just keep coming across guys to hire. I feel bad. Anyways, working together, we came up with some cards that I was really excited about. They were purple with a glassy/glossy, slightly-transparent white lettering. Yay!

I went to Kinko's and when I picked them up the room was rather loud. Quietly, looking at my cards, I said, "They're so cute". The guy looked startled and said, "excuse me?". "The Cards. The cards are cute." "Oh...K." "You thought I was hitting on you, didn't you?" I said to him. "Yeah, I was a little surprised."

No. My business cards are cute, thanks.

Then I met up with my roommates and excitedly showed them to the girls. They loved them. Then, later that night, in a moment of excitement, I sent the pdf of the cards, out to a bunch of guys I work with, "Look at my new business cards, guys!". The response was exactly the opposite of the girls I live with.

"Uh, Honestly? That makes me cringe."

"Well. Uh. It's okay...I guess. I mom and sister would probably like it. It seems like it's probably better for girl-to-girl things, you know?"

Do I know? What does that mean? What did they think I was going to say to that? "Oh. Yeah, I completely know what you mean. I can only give out my purple business cards to women because it's not okay or won't resonate well with men. Great point! I'm glad you pointed that out. Perhaps I should write, "ALPHA" on the back of the card? Would that be better?"

Gawd forbid I have purple cards...I muttered to myself repeatedly for the next 5 hours.

I arrived in San Francisco and it was freezing. That's okay, I'm from Pittsburgh, I can handle it. The hotel is right near the wharfs, right in Union Square, it's a great place for a conference. .

This morning, I went to get breakfast and meander around. It became clear that many of the women are older than me, many mothers. There are many, many groups here who sell products for mothers, babies, and children. Of course, it's not exclusively for that demographic, there was also Nintendo Wii, Symantec, green tech groups, etc. The spending power here is at minimum 5 million dollars. Minimum.

A company had been hired to run the audio stuff, so all I really had to do was have the recorder, teach myself how it works, and hook it up to the company's audio stuff. Now I'm sitting in the first panel that I was assigned to- one that I'm happy was assigned to me. "What We Believe: Top-notch political opinion commentary". Jennifer Pozner from Women in Media & News and Catherine Orenstein from the Op-Ed Project.

An interesting point that Jennifer Pozner spoke about was how women are treated in media debates. There will often be two men who speak to one another about an issue for a couple of minutes and then at the end they ask the woman to weigh in on the question. We're watching a media clip of what happened during an MSNBC debate of how some of the questions were framed and how often she was interrupted in comparison to the other men in the debate.

I'll keep you updated.

-Agent Ska-


  1. wow. i would have never expected that reaction to purple.

  2. I guess ithey think it's too close to pink...[horrors!]

    (FYI: Purple is my favorite color.)