gaga.jpg“Welcome monsters,” says Lady Gaga to a room full of anxious corporate women who all feel their vaginas restrict them from climbing the ladder of success.

“I want your ugly. I want your disease,” she continues. “Work it. Move that bitch crazy.”

This is how I envision a talk by Lady Gaga would go if she were a featured speaker at the endless women’s conferences that go on in this country. She’d shake everyone up, and you know, we need to be. Even at these women’s conferences, which are filled with women and the main item on the agenda is empowerment, we gals don’t feel empowered enough to stand when we ask questions during Q&As.

Lady Gaga would make you get your butt up.

She’s the media flavor of the moment folks and do you know why? She’s saying “F”-you to the male-dominated business world. This doesn’t happen often. Strong women, like she seems to be, are rare, but when they show up it gets everyone’s shorts in a knot.

The Wall Street Journal has a whole spread on her Gaga-ness today. Here’s the headline:

The Lessons of Lady Gaga: With digital dominance, business savvy, a niche-busting sound and 1,001 wardrobe changes, she is a new model for success

Oh yes, a new model for success, for a women that is. She’s actually got business savvy. Didn’t know you could be successful in business without that.

Gaga may turn out to be yet another fleeting pop novelty, but many other industry veterans see her as the real deal, and her ambitions and skill at navigating the turbulent industry may make her a durable star, the WSJ author goes on to write.

What’s great about Lady Gaga is she’s doing her own thing and not apologizing for it. People thought she was insane when she first started getting exposure, but clearly she brushed aside the naysayers, the morons, the mean guys.

Yes, the mean guys. Like the ones that commented on my blog posts this week on the stupidly named iPad. I did a post here and a similar one for the Huffington Post, and I got some not-so-nice responses.

* Engineers don’t name products; marketing teams do. Maybe girls just don’t understand this high-level stuff.

* your article proves why there are not very many women in IT.
They are too fucking stupid.
Got it?

We women tend to take this kind of dissing pretty badly.

One woman emailed me after her comment defending me somehow didn’t make it onto Huffington Post:

I am a writer myself and I know that it can be discouraging to read these comments, especially when the original article was actually much tamer on the subject than I may have been.

I admit, the comments did get to me a bit. And her email and support did indeed make me feel better. But this is such a gal thing, no?

Boo, hoo. The big bad guy slammed my blog post. Poor Eve.

Women often don’t get what they want in their careers because they don’t want to be slammed. They don’t want to be rejected. They don’t want to be told “no.”

Many of the women I’ve interviewed in my career, both rank-and-file workers and executives, have told me this was an issue for them.

I did a package a while back for MSNBC.com on working women and money, and it wasn’t just discrimination that was the reason we still make less than men. Many of us also don’t ask for more.

This insight from an executive woman I interviewed for this series:

“It started to surprise me that many males on my team would stop by and have a conversation with me about their financial needs and expectations. Throughout my career I only had one woman actually come and talk about her financial needs during raise time. When people came, it was the men,” says Archambeau, who is now CEO of software company MetricStream Inc.

Could it be that women are partly to blame for the persistent pay gap between males and females in the work force? Are many of us lame negotiators, afraid to toot our own horns and bring up the taboo subject of money?

Archambeau thinks so.

“I don’t believe there’s a conspiracy out there with a group of male executives saying, ‘We’re going to pay women less in this company,’” she explains. She believes the squeaky wheels at pay raise time, which are often the men, get a few percentage points more than women who don’t ask for more.

We all need to sign up for the Lady Gaga Institute for Women’s Empowerment. I know, we really don’t know if she cries alone at night when people diss her. But let’s just focus on her public persona.

Give me your ugly and give me your disease! I can take it! Can you take it?


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