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Could Manspreading Be Good for Women?

This Orthopedic Surgeon Is Making the Case For Women to Sit More Like Men

There are plenty of examples of women being told to do things more like men in order to succeed in a male-dominated world — just consider the number of times you've heard women be told to be more confident, be less shrill, or apologize less. Why is it we never hear folks telling men that they should apologize more or perhaps be less confident?


It's normally women who are expected to change their behaviors to better align with the male default and status quo. So when I read the headline "Why Women Should Sit Like Men," in the Washington Post earlier this week, my initial reaction was to roll my eyes. Surely this would be the latest of several examples of well-intentioned authors telling women that if they'd just assert themselves a bit more, all their problems would be solved (with no mention of the societal norms that make it so hard for women to assert themselves in the first place).

Once I finally clicked the article and read the piece itself, I realized that my initial assumptions were wrong. The case for women sitting like men isn't about power poses — it's about joint health.

As the article explains:

  • Barbara Bergin, an orthopedic surgeon, started S.L.A.M (Sit Like a Man) after she started experiencing hip pain and realized her seated stance might be to blame
  • "Sit Like a Man is a call to action for women to change their sitting behavior to prevent pain."

As Bergin explains on her website, "Sitting with knees and legs together and/or ankles and legs crossed is a modern learned behavior... In the early 1900s, when skirt lengths crept up above the ankle it was considered more lady-like to have the ankles crossed. As skirt lengths rose, the practice turned into leg crossing."

So why does this learned behavior pose a threat to women's health? "Sitting with the legs on the floor and slightly apart," Bergin says, "takes the tension off of the iliotibial band, the longest tendon in the body, and the greater trochanter, the tendon that stretches across the big bone at the side of the hip." Sitting cross legged puts more tension on these tendons, which can contribute to hip and kneecap pain later in life.

And to be clear, Bergin's not actually advocating that women start "manspreading," just that women place their feet flat on the floor, with their legs at 11 and 1 in order to reduce tension.

So what do you think?

  • How do you like to sit? If you tend to cross your legs, will you give sitting "like a man" a try?
  • Are there other potentially harmful gendered social norms/learned behaviors that you think we should do away with? (High heels, anyone?)
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How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

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5 Things All Product Managers Should Do for Their Engineers (And Vice Versa)

Tips from SeatGeek's Anuja Chavan

When Anuja Chaven turns on a fan in her house in Jersey City, she can't help but think about how every piece of it works.

"There are an extensive amount of things that have to go perfectly at the same time," says the former engineer (and current product manager at live event ticketing platform SeatGeek).

It was that interest in understanding how things actually worked that drove Anuja to study engineering—first electrical, during her undergrad in India, and then computer science, during her master's program in the U.S.

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Pluralsight

The Secrets to Balancing Work and Family Life

3 Pieces of Advice from Working Moms at Pluralsight

Being fully committed to work and family is a challenge that many working parents have to take on. It can be exhausting and thankless pursuing a fulfilling full-time career, while taking an active role as a parent. Achieving a healthy balance can help keep you motivated and productive at work, while allowing you to be fully present when you're home.

We recently chatted with working moms at technology skills platform, Pluralsight, about their best advice for striking that elusive work-life balance. Here were their key points:

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Plex

How to Make the Most of Being on a Growing Team: 3 Tips from Plex’s Adriana Bosinceanu

When the startup Adriana Bosinceanu was working for got acquired, things changed fast.

She went from being one of eight engineers on a small team building a streaming service to joining a company that was five times larger and had a much bigger scope.

That company was Plex, where Adriana has been working remotely as a software engineer for the last four and a half years.

As her team grew from two people to ten, Adriana decided to lean into the opportunity to grow; along the way, she found herself deepening her technical skills, her self-confidence, and her relationships. We sat down with Adriana to learn exactly how she did that, and to hear the tips she has for other engineers experiencing growth opportunities on their team.

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What These Companies Are Doing to Celebrate Juneteenth 2021

*Updated on June 17th, 2021 to reflect Juneteenth officially being named a Federal Holiday in the U.S.*

Juneteenth has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s, but in recent years (particularly in response to global protests over police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans), there has been a surge in interest in the day that celebrates freedom.

Before it became an official federal holiday, many businesses shifted toward marking June 19th as an annual company holiday, creating different initiatives around the holiday and offering employees opportunities to learn, reflect, and take action toward racial equality.

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