Hey! What are you doing right now? Nothing? Everything? Writing an email? Running your tongue over your teeth and wondering if your gums are receding? You should probably call a dentist! But remember the last time you were at the dentist? When they just said you'd have to return to the dentist? Shit! Maybe you should call your mother! She certainly thinks that should be more of a priority! And she's right! But maybe you should finish that post you were just writing first! Maybe you should finish writing that email you were writing on your Blackberry, only on your laptop this time? Maybe you should call your bank and see about getting those overdraft fees waived, and call a doctor about the weird patch of burst blood vessels on your thigh — did the laptop do that? Should you buy your dad a Father's Day present, or oh shit that wedding present, but WHY does your little IM icon keep bouncing I WONDER WHO IT IS (NOT)... And you volunteered to see about movie times, even though movies are just an excuse to aimlessly click through old emails in a cool, quiet place.. but wait a second here's another article on multitasking, and how women are sooooo good at it, and how they think it's SUCH an asset in their ability to handle the demanding modern workplace, and to that we would just like to say, excuse me but NO IT IS NOT!!! "Multitasking" is actually more like being called "curvy."
Sometimes it's a statement of fact, but more often these days it's a euphemism for "what you do when you possess the attention span of a five-year-old." The patina of tech-savvy well-roundedness only makes it seem more like another way The Man is trying to force you into mindless fembotry.
Here's a quote from the story. Did we read it? Let's just say we skimmed it thoughtfully, because that's how the author meant for us to read it when he was writing it while checking his email and bidding on those Bose speakers and listening to Stern. It's about a survey of women as to what they feel their competitive advantages over men in the workplace might be.
The first query was: What intrinsic qualities do women have that give them a competitive edge over men?
By an overwhelming margin, the trait they touted most was their multitasking expertise."I challenge any man to talk on the phone, send a fax, reply to an e-mail, change a diaper, get a toddler a snack, monitor what your school-age children are watching on TV and add to the grocery list — all at the same time," wrote Heather Lawrence.
Yeah, and we challenge Heather to perform two of any but the most thoughtless and repetitive of those tasks at the same time with any sort of proficiency. Multi-tasking should be a point of pride for computer operating systems, but for women, it's a necessary evil that should be minimized at all costs, precisely because men don't have to do nearly as much of it and are thus better-equipped to focus on individual complex problems long enough to occasionally solve them. (Or let greed and testosterone fuck them up royally while we're making the trains run on time and handling the damage control.)
Study after study has proven what you should know intuitively anyway about this, about how doing "everything at once," as Bonnie Fuller advocates in that book we're not going to do her the service of linking here, actually accomplishes nothing at all, except maybe to send people clicking on paparazzi photos, so yeah thanks for the traffic, but go read a book when you're done and tell us what's in it. We don't have the attention span to do it for ourselves.