Tag Archives: women

ModCon Reviews: The Front Runner (film)

The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman as former Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO), is designed to make us question the media’s role in creating scandal, and in how much private character affects public service.

After the Miami Herald shames Sen. Hart into giving up his presidential race after catching him nearly red-handed having an extramarital affair, Hart eulogizes the death of privacy. Unfortunately, he is not the right person at the right time to persuade us of this casualty.

Today, the Miami Herald seems to have no regrets with its role in the 1987 scandal or its aftermath.

This affair was supposedly the watershed moment in which judgement of character got put into the hands of voters, rather than letting the political party act as sole judge. LIR strongly supports the democratic discussion of character that has increased since #metoo. Indeed, the film’s strongest asset is actually just in giving us a place to reflect and project on how times have changed, and whether that has been for the better or not.  Decision: better.



Social Network Salespeople

There is a unique type of betrayal that seems to hit females* like myself in their 20s.  Friends join a multilevel marketing company, where they often get nominal payment for direct sales, sales by recruits, and simple outreach, and suddenly I am no longer seen and valued for my friendship or internet wit, but for the hard-earned money I will potentially give to them. Social media becomes awash in advertisement — not from a corporation, but from a friend I already follow out of interest for her life.  The exploition of my friendly attention for its sale potential is the betrayal.

I think I am being invited to hang out and have dinner, but really you have your regional director conveniently call mid-meal, and they want to know if I want to make more money. Luckily, I have yet to fall for the wine night party where the men have been sent to a ball game and you have turned your living room into a store floor.

Some of the most common groups I have come across:
Rodan + Fields (skincare)
It Works! (weight loss)
Perfectly Posh (skincare)
Juice Plus (nutritional supplements)
Genesis PURE (nutritional supplements)
CAbi (clothing)
Avon (skincare)
Premier (jewelry)
Younique (makeup)
Stella & Dot (jewelry)

While I have mad respect for a female’s right to hustle, I am given pause by the aboutface on our preeixisting friendship.

Aside from the fact that some of these organizations are barely on this side of the law of pyramid schemes, if something seems too good to be true it probably is.  And yet, these types of organizations have been around for years now, so the model obviously works for some people, both sellers and buyers.

So my advice for anyone reading this and wondering if they should start or continue working with a direct sales company: you should be truly both interested and cut out for a career in sales.  Also, continue to expand beyond your acquaintance network, and especially beyond your close friend network.  When someone I know starts hitting me up about their products, the message I cannot help receiving is, “You are not my close friend, and I am fine ensuring you never will be, since I am willing to put my sales numbers ahead of your feelings.”  Whether that is fair or not, that is how the move is perceived by those of us who do not like mixing money and friendship.

So, best of luck with your business venture, but take it as a compliment that I do not want to do business with you.

Direct sales party
Photo cred: New York Times

*If there are male parallels out there, please comment below or email the blog!

Midterm Elections: Cocktail Party Tidbits

By now you’ve likely heard the basic takeaways from Tuesday’s election: Republicans gained a majority in the Senate, as well as picked up more House seats.

Gains are common for a minority party in a president’s second term; but below are four lesser-known facts from the 2014 contest.  Feel free to use them as conversation-starters at your next cocktail party:

1. Only one governor of each party lost incumbency.

2. Women had a great day: Elise Stefanik, age 30, of New York’s 21st will become the youngest woman to ever serve in Congress, Joni Ernst of Iowa will be the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate, and Mia Love (UT-4) will be the first black woman from the GOP to serve in the House.  Please note, all these women are Republicans.

3. Men supported the legalization of marijuana more strongly than women–but only slightly more.

4. The new GOP House majority has not been this wide since WWII.  246 GOP seats were last held in 1947 when Pres. Truman was in office.  Republicans had a peak of 270 seats in 1929 under Pres. Herbert Hoover.

Do you think the next Congress will be better or worse than our current one? 

Women Fashion Power

This exhibit at the Design Museum in London gets powerful women, especially those in international politics, to “stand up and say, for the record and posterity, that clothes matter and require (and deserve) thought.”  The article’s author calls this stance unprecedented, and sadly she is right, at least on any scale as official as a  museum’s.

The fact that women can and do use appearance more than men to sway public opinion has been the elephant in the room for a long time, both in America and abroad.

Yet rather than rue the judgement that all women leaders are subject to, we ought to embrace and manipulate this tool  as a competitive advantage, because from shoes to hair to bags to makeup to jewelry, we women have vastly more socially acceptable means of expression than men, and it is worth the tradeoff of waking up earlier than men to get ready.

So, what do you want to tell the world tomorrow?  You don’t even have to say anything…

Women and Large Political Donations

Women are severely lagging behind their wealth when it comes to giving political contributions, according to Politico.


This gap between wealthy women their wealthy male counterparts is attributed to a lack of candidates addressing problems for women beyond “women’s issues” like abortion or wage disparity or health research of common female diseases–problems like economic performance or climate change that many women, wealthy or not, are concerned with too. Also, women do not want to be held in a separate sphere from other large donors, or to attend smaller events like women’s teas.

Lastly, women have different values from men when it comes to deciding who to contribute to. “Women often appreciate a relationship. They appreciate knowing where their money is going, where it is going to be used, so they can feel good about their investment,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

This concept of tailor messaging  is obviously not unheard of in politics, but it needs to become more developed and widespread for women to rise to the fore of donorship. The politicians who grasp this will succeed in the money game, which is so very correlated with the election game. As women become more common in business leadership and entrepreneurship, it’s a worthy endeavor for almost any candidate.

Excuse Me, But…

A woman working in the tech world recently conducted a personal study on interrupters in the workplace, and then chronicled her findings on Slate.

In summary:

  • The more people in the conversation, the more interruptions there were.
  • The higher someone was up the food chain, the more likely they were to interrupt.

Things got a bit more interesting looking at males vs. females, but were not surprising:

  • Men interrupted twice as frequently as women.
  • Men were three times more likely to interrupt a woman than a man who was previously speaking.  Conversely, women were more likely to interrupt another woman, and almost never interrupt a man.

The kicker:

  • The biggest interrupters of all were women–the ones in the most senior positions.
  • These senior women interrupted without regard for the gender or position of the interruptee–they interrupted almost everyone.
  • All senior women in the study scored very high on the interrupter scale.  Literally, “There are no senior women who aren’t interrupting their male colleagues.”

While the study was obviously a single and limited measure, Lady In Red can confirm the findings across industries based on her own anecdotal evidence and experience over the years.

What if you are a female not in a senior position, but who aspires to be?  Do female interrupters get promoted, or is it only once promoted that one can interrupt with impunity?  Further study is needed, but intuition leans things toward the former.  It seems likely women do not advance without knowing how to interrupt, and how to interrupt well.