Thinking About Duality


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I promise to not turn this post into some sort of socio-political debate. I just keep noticing these bizarre ultimatums that are given to women (and men!) by other women and men who believe that a person can only be one or two things. The reality is that we are all many different things which all add to up to one complex person. I’m thinking of those charts you see on Tumblr: the Venn diagram or triangle which lists three traits (Beautiful, Intelligent, Mentally-Stable) and says that you can only pick two. Or people who think that, in order to be an intellectual, you must always be somber and show insolence towards anyone who asks a silly question or prefers Sophie Kinsella to James Joyce.

I can say with confidence that the people I have met are living proof that these Venn diagrams and social assumptions are completely false. I know a woman who is better dressed than 90% of the people you see on The Sartorialist, yet she is a college professor, business professional, and part of the MMA world. I have a friend who wears polka dots and Kate Spade and loves to bake, but who is also a strong leader and could very well go on to become the next Marissa Mayer or Sheryl Sandberg. I, myself, am an example of this enigmatic spirit. As you can see from my blog, I clearly enjoy shopping and cute illustrations and everything pink, but what you don’t see is that my favorite class this semester is Intermediate Macroeconomics or that I genuinely enjoy reading Tolstoy and that I am obsessed with English Premier League football to the point where I become a raging lunatic when someone scores a goal against my team.

No one is just one thing. How can someone think that to be true when there are so many women to prove them wrong? Audrey Hepburn, Jenna Lyons, Brit Marling, Natalie Portman, Cornelia Guest, Charlotte Rampling, Kirsten Gillibrand, and so many more.

You can be optimistic and intelligent. You can be a cheerful intellectual. You can be a successful woman in business and enjoy watching “Say Yes to the Dress”. You can wear a Lilly Pultizer dress with Jack Rogers and a cute little Kate Spade bracelet while reading Finnegan’s Wake. Trust me, it’s okay.

Remember Jess Day’s rant?

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