Monday, May 16, 2011

Citizen Girl

By Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Girl (that's the character's name) majored in women's studies and was pleased to get a job working for a feminist nonprofit. But it soon becomes clear that feminists are no different than most and her boss is taking credit for Girl's work and when Girl dares to mention it, she is abruptly fired. When she goes to file for unemployment, she finds out she is ineligible because her boss is claiming Girl quit.
But despite the rough-handling she received working for an avowed feminist, Girl is still committed to the cause and is thrilled to be offered a job at My Company, an online service that is interested in attracting the feminist element to their website and has hired girl as their expert in this demographic. But Girl soon discovers that My Company is not really interested in supporting feminism. No, what they really want is to sell stuff to feminists. And they want Girl to promote products as feminist that really have nothing to do with feminism, like cosmetics and skimpy underwear. Well, the job pays really well and My Company has promised to donate one million dollars to a feminist nonprofit that helps exploited women if Girl succeeds, and so she swallows her misgivings and gives it her best shot. But in the process she manages to really annoy her boss, Guy, while earning raves from Guy's boss. But in the end, nothing can save My Company and a new boss is brought in to run things. Finally, Girl has a boss she can admire, a woman who is organized, intelligent, competent and down-to-earth, everything Guy was not. Now maybe Girl can finally relax and breathe a little. Or not.

This was an OK story. I did think Girl was a little too naive and more than a little gutless. She seemed incapable of getting through to her boss and her fellow employees. She pretty much lets folks run over her, including her boyfriend, who comes off as a jerk and makes one wonder what she sees in him. I can't say I really liked Girl and it is hard to understand why it took her so long to figure out that business is all about making money and that any philanthropic impulse it has is merely a ploy to increase sales.

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