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January 17, 2012

Bullish: Are You Thinking Too Small?
by Liz McKeon - 0

By Contributor Jen Dziura

This article originally appeared on TheGrindstone.

Ever since I first figured out how a screwdriver works (you don’t necessarily need to drill holes first — you can screw stuff straight into drywall!), it has occurred to me that there are plenty of really easy things that men are “better” at for absolutely no good reason. Aside from basic tool use, these may include parallel parking, map reading, and catching a gently tossed baseball or football. While it’s possible that men and women have cognitive differences at least in part caused by biology, I’m talking about really basic skills, here; however much either gender lags behind in such skills is clearly cultural. And I’d like to talk about a specific part of that cultural divide: the power of embarrassment.

Why are most American men pretty good at parallel parking, map reading, and catching things? Because if you are a man, it’s humiliating to be bad at these things. However, it is not terribly embarrassing to be bad at these things if you are a woman. Since the natural human condition is laziness, men have more motivation to gain these skills.

I think there is a very similar “embarrassment gap” between men and women about money and business. I think many women think too small because they’re not embarrassed by it, whereas men are forced to think bigger — in part for the obvious reasons (money, glory), but in part just to avoid shame.

Read the rest at TheGrindstone.

Jennifer Dziura ( writes career and life coaching advice for young women at TheGrindstone and TheGloss. She believes you can make money without being a douchebag. She believes in working harder and smarter now so you can have "balance" when you're wrinkly and covered in diamonds. She believes in starting businesses on zero dollars, selling expensive things to rich people, and laughing very hard at people who try to "manifest their dreams" without learning any real skills or shaping the fuck up. She likes to help. Jennifer also performs (sort of) educational one-woman shows about philosophy and punctuation. Her "The History of Women in 30 Minutes" is appearing in the Women in Comedy Festival.

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