Jobseeker woes: The Ghosting

How many times has this happened to you?

You find a job that looks great, craft your cover letter until it’s perfect and begin filling out the application. Nervously, finger hovering on your mouse pad, you hit send. You wait a few days, maybe a week, until you receive an email asking you to come in for an interview! All of your hard work seems to be paying off! All of those internships you took on, paid or unpaid (the former should be illegal but that’s another blog post) and the hours you spent filling out similar job applications to no avail, finally you’ve got a lead!

This moment is great, but is often short lived. Right away, because you’re a PP (prompt professional), you email them back with a list of availabilities and polite banter. (How exciting!) Then you wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

I thought relationship ghosting (the seemingly millennial inspired phenomenon wherein you go on 1-2 dates with somebody and then stop responding to their texts/FB messages/smoke signals) was bad enough, but truly nothing feels worse than being ghosted by a job application.

Sometimes, when the above scenario happens to me I wait a week or two before hearing back from the company that they’ve filled the position already. Sometimes I wait for months and months and never hear from them again. I have double emailed before, always politely and with a sensible excuse (“Oh, my availability for that interview changed!”) but oftentimes I just let it go. There’s no use in crying over ghosting; whether its from someone you had an excellent first date with, or the company behind your “dream job.”

If I was being haunted by a real ghost I would probably cry a lot. But job applications, and dating partners, are truly a dime a dozen. As my current internship boss told me “It’s a numbers game.” The more applications you send out into the void, the more likely you are to get interviews with companies that won’t blow you off.

No one ever apologizes for getting my hopes up, but that’s OK because I’ve developed a thick skin, which is something older generations like to make fun of millennials for. I’m not being sensitive, I’m being a reasonable human being. The jobseeking process and dating are actually very similar, and I believe that in participating in either we (both jobseekers and businesses) should strive to treat each other with compassion and respect.

I’ve had a lot of wonderful recruiters (okay, more like four) be upfront and honest with me at every stage of the interview process. I appreciate honesty, whether the interview went poorly or very well, because time is one of the most valuable resources we have as working humans.

I’ve also experienced a lot of ghosting. I think the worst was when a communications firm blatantly lied to me about the interview process, saying they’d be in touch with next steps “later this week” when they had posted to social media about their new hire three days prior. You would think a communications based company would be more professional in their communication but alas. I’m not angry, I’m grateful for the experience and the additional layer it’s provided to my already thick skin.

tl;dr: The company behind a job application might ask you to do an interview and then blow you off. That says a lot more about the company than it does about you.

 

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Grand Theft Auto V’s Consistent Sexism

The Grand Theft Auto franchise isn’t positively known for its female representation. When the newest version, GTA V, was released in 2013 it created controversy within its female fanbase. Five games have been created in the GTA franchise, all with slightly differing lead characters to play as, but there has never been a playable female character.

I have played three of the five different GTA games (3, 4, and 5) and have always noticed the consistent sexism within the game, as far as how women are depicted. Throughout gameplay, the only female characters that the user can interact with are prostitutes, hookers, or a relative of one of the main character’s. There are zero strong, independent women in these games.

In GTA V, one of the only female NPC’s you an interact with are strippers.

Misogynistic critics have claimed that this is because there are “no high profile female criminals,” and that “male gamers won’t want to play as female characters.” Both of these viewpoints are sexist and overtly dismissive of the real world. On average, women own more gaming consoles than men. In fact, the Guardian has argued in the past that there are more female gamers than men. This makes sense to me, since there are more women in the world. Popular contemporary media, such as Orange is the New Black and The Queen of the South/La Reina Del Sur, have popularized the female gangster, and these dynamic characters have resonated with fans. Why do popular videogames, such as the GTA franchise, lag so far behind in the representation game?

Pictured above is the (in)famous “Queen of the Pacific,” an extremely high profile female drug trafficker, Sandra Avila Beltran. Her notoriety has inspired both a telenovela and an American drama detailing her criminality. Like her male colleagues, she was responsible for trafficking drugs and murdering people to ruthlessly advance her criminal agenda. But there are no female criminals, right?

My favorite voices are female.. part 2

I have a hard time watching movies or tv shows with other people. Any time I have someone over, and they suggest I pick something out on Netflix I freeze. Like many other people, I could spend an hour on Netflix just searching for something to watch, but combine that with my female-directed/written/starring mentality and you have a whole other bucket of worms to sift through. Until recently, I was in a long term relationship with another woman (decidedly not a feminist,) which was an experience by itself. Picking movies to watch with her was one of the hardest parts of our relationship, because her tastes primarily led us to watch big budget mainstream Hollywood movies and tv shows starring and written by men.

To both cope with my post-breakup feelings and organize my feminist media viewings into yet another list, this post is dedicated to my five favorite Indie or indie comedies starring, directed, and written by women.

Obvious Child – this is a modern day, much-needed narrative about a normal, twenty-something woman who goes through an abortion to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy. Jenny Slate is a hilarious heroine, and provides poignant, realistic humor about her experiences navigating the “murky waters of adulthood.” Her abortion is not portrayed as something horrible, but rather a normal medical procedure sought out for a specific, personal reason. The main character, Donna, develops a relationship with the man who knocks her up, but there is no pressure or tension from the unplanned pregnancy. It is simply accepted and put to bed.

Juno – Ellen Page’s role as Juno introduced me to the sarcastic, witty Indie-babe trope you can view in almost any independent film made in the last ten years. Juno is a snarky, deadpanned comedienne making the most of her high school experience, but makes a poor life choice when she has unprotected sex with her friend Paulie. This movie is an oldie but a goodie, and Page’s portrayal of a teenage girl going through an unplanned pregnancy is equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking.

Lost in Translation – Unlike the previous two films, this one is not funny. It has comedic moments of awkward silences and strange situations, but the story it tells is one of a failed and failing relationship, and the friendship that develops as one woman searches for something to fix her own loneliness in a foreign country. Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray are the ultimate BFF’s in loneliness – as Murray’s character travels for work and Johansson’s slowly separates from her new husband, they find solace (platonically) with each other.

An Education – this film reinforces an age-old lesson many women are told once they begin dating interpersonally; be careful with your heart. Lone Scherfig’s story of a high-school girl preparing for the future, caught in the decision of whether or not she should pursue a higher education or marry the handsome adult man that is courting her. The film portrays 1950s England with the hip décor and music you would expect from an independent romantic drama, but Carey Mulligan’s role as Jenny is so down to earth she feels just like a friend.

Persepolis – this movie is arguably the best on the list, in my opinion, but is different from the previous four in that it is a foreign adaptation of a graphic novel. Persepolis tells the story of a young girl growing up during the Iranian Revolution while falling in love with American punk rock music. As she comes of age she is forced to hide her passions as well as her body from her country, while dodging political follies and the government regime. The film deals with topics of familial separation, love, heartbreak, drugs, depression, and grief as you see the heroine develop into her newfound adulthood.

I tend to enjoy independent movies more than big budget Hollywood features, because they feel more grounded. I’m able to see myself in these characters and relate to their personal experiences because of the way they are written and directed. The movies I like the best are often directed by women, because they tell the kind of stories I care about and want to hear. Does this make me sexist? Some of my friends, and certainly my ex, like to tell me that when we try to watch a movie together, or discuss film, but I disagree. Men have always been overrepresented in our media, since the first silent films of the early twentieth century. As a woman, I care most about the experience of other women. I like the stories they tell, because it feels more like they are about myself.

 

 

 

 

My voice is not “sexy,” I am not a “radio babe”

I host a DJ show with a friend of mine at the college radio station where we both work. It’s called the “no dudes power hour,” so we only play songs performed by non-male fronted bands. When I talk about it on the radio, I like to clarify that it’s not just an all girl power hour because we play a lot of songs by transgender and non-binary artists. I like to keep my music inclusive, but I think the “white boy indie rocker” is way overrepresented in the college music scene ‘nowadays.

There’s a phone in the DJ studio, and we’ll get calls sometimes from people who are really vibing with what we’re playing, or to call in their own suggestions. Other times, we’ll do ticket-giveaways for local shows that include reading the station hotlines aloud over the air. Today, a man called and talked extensively about how cool our show was, how much he liked our music, and that we sounded like “hot radio babes.” Um.

The most ironic part of the experience was that he had called in and initially started raving about the last song we had played “Tacocat – Hey Girl,” a song by Seattle-based indie punk group Tacocat; a song about catcalling women, and offering them unsolicited comments about their appearances. Had we been listening to the same song? Maybe the song’s lyrics were a little too sarcastic; Hey man I like your style, tell a girl that she should smile But even then, why did he feel like it was ok to call us and tell us how hot he thought we sounded? What does that have to do with having the same taste in music?

Here’s a quick list of Other Things You Can Say To Girls Without Commenting On Their Appearances And Being A Misogynistic Jerk, my first post geared entirely towards GUYs. Hey guys!

Do you have trouble approaching women you don’t know and talking to them? That doesn’t surprise me, because that’s kind of a weird thing to do. Do you have a reason to talk to her, like you noticed she was being followed by a ninja assassin ready to strike her down and you need to let her know so she can call the police or someone for help? No? Ask yourself, will it change her life for the better if you talk to her right now? Are you sure? Ok go ahead, but use some social grace:

 

Things to say to women you don’t know that aren’t creepy:

 

  1. I love your shoes [or similar article of clothing/accessory.] Regardless of gender – who doesn’t love a compliment?

Warning: ‘shoes’ or an article of clothing cannot be substituted with anything naturally attached to her.

  1. Have you seen the latest episode of Broad City[or similar media outlet    written by and starring women]? If she says no, or gives you a strange look for talking to her, allow the awkwardness of the moment to sink into your pores. Think long and hard about your choice to approach this perfect stranger and talk to her. Think of her response, or lack thereof, and what it implies about how she feels about this interaction. Think of this long and hard.

 

Don’t talk to strangers.

My favorite voices are female…

I want to start an all-girl revolution in mainstream media and social media that places emphasis on minority voices. What I mean, explicitly, by ‘all-girl revolution’ is a complete upheaval of the media, especially in news and social media, that switches the focus from cisgendered (meaning you identify as the gender whose sexual parts you were born with) white men to just about anyone and everyone else. When I seek out media, I look for Black voices, Hispanic voices, Queer voices, Transgender voices, Afro Latina voices, and Female voices, to name a few. This can be hard sometimes, because white men are overrepresented in our media. According to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, only 23% of films feature female main-characters, and more than 70% of filmmakers are male.

This blog post is the beginning of my own, personal all-girl revolution. Each entry I make into the Feminist Latte blog will serve to inspire others and myself with the rad power of females, by highlighting female excellence in current media. If you are reading this, I hope my suggestions will help you expand your horizons to include females and minority groups in your media viewing. I believe that representation of all kinds of people in media is a good thing, because when we see ourselves represented in the media we feel like we belong. In addition, I would like this blog to explore different issues relating to representation and discrimination within and outside of the feminist movement, with examples highlighted in media.

I know I am not alone in feeling this kind of media bias, because during this most recent awards season, #OscarsSoWhite went viral. Personally, I haven’t seen any of the movies that were nominated for Oscars because they don’t represent the kind of media I enjoy. For your viewing pleasure, here is a list of alternative films to watch if you’re searching for more female representation in your media:

Suffragette; a historical movie about the founders of the Suffragette movement in England, and the risks they had to undertake to fight for their cause. Directed by Sarah Govron, and starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep.

Girlhood; a French film about an all black girl gang in the projects of Paris, who empower each other to follow their dreams.

The Babadook; a creepy horror movie about one mother who must fight off a horrifying creature, the Babadook, that threatens her only son.

The Mustang aka the only Oscar-nominated film with a female director (Denize Gamze Erguven.) A politically charged story about a group of girls in Turkey fighting against the patriarchy.