For Cereal, Yahoo?
A periodic feature in which we highlight some of the more ableist posts and comments in the blogosphere – the things that made us throw up our hands and ask “FOR CEREAL???”
Today’s edition of “FOR CEREAL???” comes to us courtesy of the lovely folks at Yahoo, who published this handy guide from, I kid thee not, “GALTime.com”: “Save Your Sanity While Working at Home.” As some FWD readers may be aware, I am one of those folks who works at home, so I can review this guide both from an ableism standpoint (hello, TITLE!) and a realism standpoint.
Uhm, for cereal? No. Really. FOR CEREAL?
This is an article which is supposed to be humorous, but, really, it reads like a pile of misogynistic claptrap of the worst order, because it’s misogynistic claptrap from fellow women, presented in a giggly, tee hee, aren’t we all conspiratorial kind of way which makes me want to gag violently. Because, it’s not about fun stuff. It’s about “women need a stern talking to or they get hysterical” and “women are so helpless they can’t figure things out for themselves” with a healthy dose of “not all careers are right for women” piled on top. This is a style I don’t really like, whether it’s in magazines or on websites or what have you, and pretty much regardless of the content2. It pisses me off, as a general rule, and it really makes me wonder about the women who write this kind of copy. Don’t they feel a bit…debased at some point?
There are a lot of tips which folks who work from home could really use, especially when they are getting started. Do I see any of those tips in this article? No, I do not. Instead, I see the writers telling people to wear trousers at home, not sweatpants. Because sweatpants are icky and gross! And you shouldn’t be comfortable just because you are working from home! Kiss my candystriped-cotton-weave-clad ass, GALTime.com.
And the article is rife with little “tips” which seem to be primarily sending the “if you work at home, you will get FAT” message. Like “don’t eat at your desk” and “get outside.” Everyone knows that it would, of course, be unbearable to become fat, and really, that’s the most important concern when it comes to working from home. Don’t worry about building up a client base, maintaining professional relationships, getting your bills paid, just worry about your pant size, ladies!
Finally, the article concludes with advice I find totally bizarre:
DO NOT tell anyone, including your husband and kids, that you are working from home! It’s none of their business, and how are you ever supposed to get any work done if people know where you are?
Uhm, for cereal? I think this is supposed to be a tongue in cheek way of saying “you need to set boundaries for people when you work from home because otherwise lines can start blurring,” but, FOR CEREAL?!?! You’re telling people they should lie to their families? This is cute? And funny?
No. Just. No.
Want some actual advice on working from home? I’ll tell you what works for me (although your mileage may vary, because every human experience is different!): Setting a clear schedule and sticking to it, structuring breaks into my schedule, setting clear boundaries with friends and clients about when/how to contact me, wearing comfortable clothing, and eating at my desk.
In fact, GUESS WHAT I AM GOING RIGHT NOW.
- Evidently, all people who work from home are verging on the brink of “insanity” and can only be brought back with a stern, yet cutesy, talking-to. ↩
- Everything from articles giving women “permission” to eat chocolate to articles about how “exercise is fun, really, you just need to try harder” regularly stimulates a stark rage in my living room. ↩