On Vulnerability

I have a complicated relationship with vulnerability. In my heart, I wish that we were all more willing to share our vulnerability. Vulnerability is authentic and real and when we express it, we connect with each other.

So when I write from a vulnerable place, I get a lot of interaction. And it’s not just me. The #metoo movement was evidence of how being vulnerable helps us connect. There’s something touching about it. But there’s also something troubling about it.

Because when I write about other topics like technology, something that I’m passionate and knowledgeable about, I don’t get nearly as much interaction as when I write about vulnerability. And when I look around for technology books by women, I don’t find many and I wonder why that is.

There’s career advice out there that says, “The work you chose should be at the intersection of what you love, what you are good at, and what customers will pay for.” And the customer is always right, right? Their decisions, and the values that inform them, shape markets. They get to say, “I’ll pay this person to express her vulnerability but I won’t pay her to talk about technology.”

Maybe the sweet spot is in a mix: writing about technology in a personal way.


related: My colleague Dr. Andrea Hickerson wrote this thoughtful piece a few weeks back. It asks the question, ‘Are women taken seriously when they speak out on topics other than the violation of their own bodies?’

The Rise of the Female Whistle Blowers