Archive for the ‘Gender’ Category


August 1, 2007

This post has been languishing in the “Drafts” section for a while, so I figured it was time to dust it off and give it a go. Oh, how very British of me. “Give it a go, ol’ chap. You must be thirsty after that furious go you just had. Fancy a pint?”

A few months back, INSEAD released it’s 2006 Career Report which potential students and new admits eagerly peruse like crones over tea leaves, for indications of how much gold, frankincense, myrrh they can expect to have tithed to them upon graduation.

My issue isn’t with the content (though I have some issue with the potentially misleading numbers, but that’s fodder for another post) but rather with the cover, which I’ve attached below.

Career Report Cover

Analysis of 2006 Career Report cover

Cover: It’s sunny! There are pretty green trees! Hey, look at all the glass and steel around. This must be a modern building, full of high-tech wizardry and gadgetry, just like our school! It’s shiny, and we know how you all love shiny things. That’s why you’re getting an MBA after all, so you can score that €144K EUR salary and buy all the pretty, shiny things your black, black capitalist heart desires.

Reality: Though I have not seen the Fonty campus, current and past students say that it is constantly under (re)construction, and that any dose of modernity lost its relevance in the ’60s. INSEAD literature explicitly states that Macs are not supported, and that there is no WiFi in the amphitheaters. As Hallonman, NYFrog and other recent student bloggers can attest to, it’s not always sunny in France. Even in late May. Or June, for that matter.

Cover: Look at our crazily diverse student body!  Look at how representative of the world we are!  There are about 19.5 billion Asians on the earth, and growing, and the balance is made up of whites!  Let me present you with our Benetton Ad, Lite:

1) Shorter Asian woman, young-ish, in sandals and casual clothes smiling up at big white man.

2) Big, animated white man in shirt, slacks, dress shoes, explaining something to the younger, diminutive, (dare I say subservient?) Asian woman.

Reality: OK, what the hell. Why not just put her in a cheong sam, throw a pair of chopsticks in her hair and post a thought bubble with something to the effect of “Five dowah, ruv you rong time” and complete the picture?

If INSEAD is going to play the diversity angle to sell the school, at least put a few non-Caucasians on the cover. Would it be so hard to portray up an Indian female or for that matter, a mid-30s Indian male IT professional with 12+ years of post-IIT graduate experience who wants to change careers and be an I-banker or management consultant?  Te he.  INDIANSEAD jokes will never get old.

Maybe a black male? Oh, wait, J08 has all of n blacks, where n is less than or equal to .00314159

To add insult to injury, the big white man is probably a frog too, since the French still make up a disproportionate 10% of the class.

So much for diversity.



June 17, 2007

I ask friends of both genders to read the following article, if for nothing other than a good laugh. If you find yourself giggling uncomfortably, or cringing slightly, even better.


Shamelessly lifted from 5th Ape’s Blog.


June 15, 2007

Res I(p)sa owes me a beer, assuming <gender neutral pronoun> can find me in Fonty.

PW and Res have both told me that I sound like an “internet geek,” or something to that effect. Come on, now. Just because I mentioned Star Trek TNG? In reality, I’m either a ravishing 5’10” fiery-haired Amazonian priestess-cum-Derivatives Trader, or a 6’4″ tower of rippling muscle Ultimate Fighter-cum-Corporate Attorney.

Statistically speaking though, at a 95% confidence interval, I’m probably a mid-thirties, Indian male IT professional with 10 years of experience, multiple degrees from IIT, and a love for serial commas.


Hombres y Mujeres

June 15, 2007

According to data available on NetVestibule as of today:

  • The INSEAD Class of July 2008 consists of 495 students, 362 of which are male and 133 of which are female for a 73.13% v 26.87% split
  • 333 will start in Fontainebleau, and 162 in Singapore
  • 63 nationalities represented (including dual-citizenship holders)
  • Top 3 nations represented
    • 57: USA
    • 54: France
    • 52: India

At first glance, this seems to be a boon for the INSEAD women, and to bode ill for the INSEAD men. I wonder how it’ll play out? Hard to say right now, but here’s hoping that most of us will be the mature adults that our profiles paint us to be. The devil that sits on both of my shoulder keeps whispering something about “The Real World: INSEAD,” but I want to pretend that it won’t dip to that level. On second thought, that might make all the accounting courses a tad more interesting. I’m currently taking side bets as to the number of marriages that result from this year. And for us cynics, the number of broken hearts.

The country representation amuses me. Without even looking up population metrics, the French contingent carries a disproportionate weight in our headcount. China (18 students) only shows up in the top 5 if we include Hong Kong (3) and Taiwan (14). That latter bit might win me a pair of cement boots in the Strait of Formosa next year, so I’ll qualify it with, “Your Aegis cruisers are bigger than mine. More power to you and your nascent independence movement.”


May 18, 2007

Through some back-of-the-napkin analysis done with the data available on NetVestibule (INSEAD’s student intranet, or as Byoost calls it, INSEAD’s Hot or Not), it seems that there are going to be quite a few students who are bringing “partners.”

I love the word choice. A supposedly “freer” school, not constrained by overbearing “American political-correctness,” uses the term partner instead of husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, donkey, etc. Why not just call them Domestic Co-Habitants? Living Tax Breaks?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for partnership and admire those who are bringing significant others, let alone kids. Perhaps I’m just jealous and lonely, deep down in the black empty void known as my soul, but I think that the upcoming year will be quite the test for couples.


Cast – Male Student, Female Partner

<The sound of fumbling keys mashing in to a lock can be heard off stage>

Enter Stage Right, Male Student

FP: Where have you been?! It’s four in the morning! Why didn’t you pick up your phone?!

MS: Oh, my head…

FP: Have you been drinking again?

MS: Well, that <insert disagreeable group member here> showed up late to the PIM group meeting again and we couldn’t agree on a framework for our paper, so the hour meeting became a three hour meeting and I had told <insert wonderful, well-rounded, super fun, knock-out gorgeous McKinsey consultant here> that I’d swing by her chateau party after the meeting and…

FP: Wait a minute. You went over to her chateau?!

MS: Look, I came to INSEAD to network, not to get nagged at!

Distant thunder can be heard as lightning appears in FP’s eyes

<Cue Mortal Kombat music>


Cast – Female Student, Male Partner

<Giggling, and the sound of fumbling keys mashing in to a lock can be heard off stage>

Enter Stage Right, Female Student

MP: Where have you been?! It’s four in the morning! Why didn’t you pick up your phone?!

FS: Oh, my head…

MP: Have you been drinking again?

FS: <Giggle> A little champagne never hurt anyone. Well, that <insert disagreeable group member here> showed up late to the PIM group meeting again and we couldn’t agree on a framework for our paper, so the hour meeting became a three hour meeting and I had told <insert Top Gun pilot turned McDreamy Medecins Sans Frontieres physician here> that I’d drop by the get together at his apartment after my meeting and…

MP: Wait a minute. You went over to his apartment?!

FS: Look, I came to INSEAD to network, not to get nagged at!

Tears begin to stream from MP’s eyes as, shoulders slumped, he trudges to the couch and buries his head in a pillow, lamenting his choice to tag along as a Male Partner

Edit: <Cue Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart”>


Yeah, I went out for a night with three of the girls yesterday. Le sigh. I’ve known them for 19, 16 and 14 years, respectively. One is married, one will likely be married soon and the last, bless her soul, is marriage averse as she’s on the career track. Talk inevitably turned to what I was doing with my life, to which I gave the stock reply, “Running away, again.”

I did not intend to look for Mr/Mrs Right during my time at INSEAD, but perhaps I should. I’m not getting any younger, after all.


May 15, 2007

I posed this question to a friend, yesterday. “Can one discern a writer’s gender through reading their prose?” Actually, it was more along the lines of the following exchange, but let’s not be picky, eh?

DTLF: Hi 🙂

Professional Writer: what’s crackin’ {I love how eloquent those who are paid to write can be}

DTLF: So, uh, does my writing make me sound like a man? Or a woman? Or both? Or an androgen?

Professional Writer is off line and will not receive your messages.

So, since Professional Writer left me high and dry, the ball’s in your court, dear reader(s). I don’t feel comfortable dropping those parentheses yet, as I’m convinced the only traffic I’m getting is from (a) friend(s) who is/are bleeding purple tears of boredom at work, or Necromonger , whose site I linked and who has been the only one to leave a comment. Pardon the parenthetical push.

Really though, is it possible to plop on the deerstalker cap, dangle a drop-stem pipe from the lips and deduce the gender of a writer based solely on the content of said writer’s writing? If so, how?

What if said writer were set on intentionally masking her/his gender by solely penning stereotypical testosterone laden posts on why the R32 GT-R can beat the living hoo-hahs out of a Hemi ‘Cuda on a quarter mile strip, or topics pregnant with estrogen about why frilly lacy bits from La Senza always seem to fit better than frilly lacy bits from La Perla?

Yes, yes, I’m fishing for comments, but I really am curious. Plus, my little Visitantes map looks oh so lonely. I want it to look like Zanat0s’ – plagued with chicken pox.