Well, lookie here! Pixar has come out with a new short film. And guess what it’s about, y’all? Not about toys or sweet clouds or animals. Nah. It’s about toxic masculinity, of course. It’s about the “hostile bro culture” of work.
Because of course. It’s HOSTILE out there, dontchaknow.
I’m fairly certain that they’ll play this right before the next overpriced movie I take my 9-year old to see, so that she’ll ask me all sorts of ridiculous questions about what in the cornbread-hell toxic masculinity is. There’s just nothing I love more than having conversations about social justice bullsh*t with my baby girl, when she could be having an awesome, carefree childhood. You know. Liberals have made parenting super fun for folks like me, so hat tip to all you constantly-triggered-by-nothing freaks out there.
(Uh oh. Someone’s been victimized by words again.)
Anywho, Pixar made this short called Purl. And it’s based on “real life experience” of the creators, including Kristen Lester, who said this:
“My first job, I was like the only woman in the room, and so in order to do the thing that I loved, I sort of became one of the guys. And then I came to Pixar and I started to work on teams with women for the first time, and that actually made me realize how much of the female aspect of myself I had sort of buried and left behind.”
How exactly is “burying the female aspect of herself” the fault of the dudes? Did they say to her, “Hey you with the ladyparts, you gotta give up your femininity and act like a dude to fit in here!” Nope. They didn’t. It was HER decision to react in that way. We all make choices in life, and any chick who buries her femininity based on how a dude makes her feeeeeel?
(Again, triggering to all the trigger-worthy out there, but just keeping it real.)
Because I’ve worked in corporate America in some pretty dude-dense environments and I’ve never given up my femininity. Or felt like I needed to. I’ve worked in very strict corporate America (pharmaceutical, manufacturing, IT, academic) before becoming a full-time Chick on the radio and in an entrepreneurial capacity. Hell, Mock and I work with ALL DUDES now, and those guys can swing it around (if you know what I mean), and I can tell you with 100% assurance that I never ONCE have given up my femininity or “conformed to the norm.” I have NEVER felt like I had to play some sort of different role, and I never felt like I had to lose myself to gain acceptance or get ahead in a job. I have always just been me.
And I just did good work. You woman up and do the job.
The only explanation for the crazy here is that the people who work at Pixar have not set foot in Actual Corporate America in the past 15-20 years, perhaps? I mean, we’re not living in Melanie-Griffith-in-Working-Girl-80s anymore. It’s not Jane-Fonda-in-Nine-To-Five. It’s just not. Perhaps they feel as though it still is, what with all the stereotypical, white-dudes-in-the-same-suits-walking-around-going-drinking-in-bars-after-work-and-throwing-up thing?
But never mind that, the toxic masculinity narrative is super trendy right now:
(Sorry I wasted eight minutes of your life. And the yarn was a nice hat tip to the pussy-hat girls. Not lost on us at all.)
For the record, while I was in corporate America, I had an equal amount of both men and women bosses, and a nice variety of both male and female coworkers. And my coworkers didn’t all look the same, either – they were all different shapes, sizes, and colors, and they definitely wore clothes other than suits.
Here’s a thought: How about we teach our girls what the world ACTUALLY looks like, and then subsequently teach them to be strong in their sense of selves and their abilities? That way, they’ll never feel the need to BURY who they are as women to please anyone – coworker or otherwise?
I’ll be over here doing that with my girl like my Mom did with me.