Because I am preparing for my part in Abu Dhabi’s Great Expat Exodus and have a gazillion things to do and butterflies in my stomach and a brain that can’t think straight, I am
sticking my fingers in my ears and going wahwahwahwahwah reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants. I want to write more on it at some stage, but for now I desperately have to quote a piece I just this very moment read. She is talking about a time during her work as head writer at Saturday Night Live, when she was trying to convince the other writers and producers to produce a script called Kotex Classic.
I kept bringing it up in meetings only to be told that it would be “too difficult to produce.” Paula and I weren’t sure what that meant, so we kept pressing. Finally, Steve Higgins and Jim Signorelli sat down with us and asked us to explain. “How would we see it? Is it a thing that comes up the front? Would we have to zoom in on it? Wouldn’t the girls have to take their pants off? Would we see blood?”
And this was what Oprah would call an Aha Moment for me. (Trademark Opray Winfrey; please send a check for eighty-nine cents to Harpo Industries having read that.) They didn’t know what a maxi pad belt was. It was the moment I realized that there was no “institutionalized sexism” at that place. Sometimes they just literally didn’t know what we were talking about.
And that is why I am one hundred percent up for quotas, and why I don’t really care about ‘reeks of tokenism’ or blah blah blah blah merit. Until the people who aren’t there are there, then the other people just won’t get it. It really is that simple.