Darling You Can’t Do Both [Book Thoughts]

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I flipped through Darling You Can’t Do Both by Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk — the two creative geniuses behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty. I call this post [Book Thoughts] and not [Book Review] because for the first time in a very long time I read the titles of the chapters and chose which parts I thought would be relevant to me.

I am not a busy married woman working my way to the top, in fact, I have yet to find somewhere to start working (at the bottom or otherwise), so I couldn’t exactly relate to some of the stories. However, I think many young and older women can. What I found most interesting was their advice on facing gender biases at work and how business is still a man’s world. I liked the way they approached the issue and discussed how to combat it, I liked their advice on how to juggle everything, I loved how they harped on the idea that you don’t have to be a workhorse (working 7 am to midnight) to succeed in the office.

I took to heart when they ask the reader to figure out what they want — to write a list of everything they want their life to include and to remember that list when they’re in the workforce. MY LIST: fitness, books, travel, writing, dinners with my family, playtime with my niece, coffee nights with my best friends, and date nights with my boyfriend.

I loved reading about their personal experiences, their trials, and how long it took to get things right. I admire and feel inspired by their BREAK THE RULES ATTITUDE. One of my favourite chapters is entitled Rule to be Broken: Nice girls don’t get in your face. In this chapter they tell the reader that she needs to speak up in order to get what she wants at work and in life. This is something I have always struggled with, no matter who I’ve worked for it seems like when I need to say something important or ask for time off or anything that might be a little bit uncomfortable, I freeze. I know, I know MY PEN IS MY VOICE and all that. I’ve mastered finding my voice on the page, it’s going from page to mouth that’s proven a little difficult.

‘My advice to any woman who feels like she’s been judged for talking too much is to keep talking, and to encourage her female colleagues to do so as well – it’s the only way that things are going to change.’

 — Jean Hannah Edelstein (The Daily Mail)

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo