thoughtwisps One commit at a time

a bold type of catnip

Binge-watching only became a thing when I was finishing high school and getting ready to enter college, so I never really got into it. I liked my TV old-school, one episode per week, with sweet and bitter cliffhangers tiding me over from one week to another. As I’ve grown older, the need to be completely enveloped in a fictional world has increased and, as it turns out, there is nothing better than binge-watching session on your favourite streaming service to procrastinate on dealing with the fact that my penchant for avocado toast and Starbucks lattes is tanking my generation’s economic prospects.

I don’t have a wide array of binge-watching material. Instead, I get obsessively fixated on a series and then go through all of the episodes and all the seasons several times. I have now watched all of the seven seasons of the Good Wife three or four times and am onto my 4th re-watch of the entire series of the Bold Type, which brings us to the subject of this post: my current obsession with, as New Yorker writer Jia Tolentino put it, woke fantasy, the Bold Type. The series depicts the lives of three young 20-somethings, Kat, Sutton and Jane, working in the New York office of Scarlet magazine, a forward thinking, Cosmopolitan-like publication. Jane is a junior writer, Kat heads the social media department and Sutton starts out working as an assistant to editor Lauren Park and then, as the show progresses, accepts a dream role as an assistant in the fashion department. Though the publishing company’s board is older and whiter than presidential portrait gallery, the writers headed by Jacqueline Carlyle, the magazine’s cult editor-in-chief, manage to push through to deliver progressive, politically-engaged content. The show follows Kat, Sutton and Jane as they navigate their careers and private lives.

What struct me when I was reading Jia Tolentino’s review of the TV series was her chracterisation of the TV show as catnip for young women working in the media industry. A sort of wish fulfillment come true. The TV show has become catnip for me too, as a sort-of ‘what-if’, what my own career in tech could be like if only I didn’t need to spend half my time apologising for my gender.

This might turn dark, but I’ve now spent five years in the technology industry and I feel like the words ‘wasted’ and ‘exhaust’. Tired and worn thin, warily staring at the very long horizon of Same Shit, Diffeent Day. True to the tech-idustry ethos of changing workplaces as frequently as we change socks, I’ve worked across a wide variety of sectors and technologies. The work has been interesting and challenging, but the work environment, has, most of the time, been anything but. Most disappointing of all, has been the elephant-in-the-room of gender. From overt really unacceptable stuff that was routine at my first workplace to the more mundane ‘why are you wearing lipstick’ kind of comments, it has been anything but a joy to work in and I keep longing for a workplace, like the (fantasy) one depicted in the Bold Type.

Maybe one day.