I don’t normally write general posts referring to other blogs, but for a while I’ve wanted to give a shout out to Penelope Trunk over at her Brazen Careerist blog.
Anyone who’s familiar with her writing is likely aware of how strongly people react to her posts (mostly negative, it seems, especially at her former Yahoo! Finance column, from which she was recently fired). She definitely brings out the vocal worst in certain (mainly conservative) readers, which is a shame. She appears to be wildly (un?)popular, because no matter how many people deride her posts, they’ll continue to read her.
I believe it’s because, despite what they say, she is hitting a chord of truth with them — even though they publicly claim to completely disagree with her. I think a lot of people are afraid to admit that they often agree with her, but it’s the “popular” opinion to disagree with her. Some of the comments are so downright mean, it’s almost as if they’re in complete denial of their true feelings. You’ll see a good sample of such comments from that recently fired article.
This may be the most controversial post I’ve written to date, simply because I’m here to publicly state that I do agree with most of what she writes. Not everything, but enough to make it worth my while to read all of her posts. There are some things she writes about or refers to that make me completely blush, but it’s part of what makes her so refreshing.
She has a hell of a lot of guts to put herself out there on a limb and state exactly what she believes about any topic, and she doesn’t seem to give a damn what people think. In a way, I live vicariously through her.
I often wonder how much of her attitude stems from her traumatic personal 9/11 experience, but I’m willing to bet it put her over the top for her “critics be damned” attitude. Many of us have some sort of connection to that day (I worked in those buildings for a couple of years in the 80’s, so I related to it at that level, although I knew no victims personally). But her experience was extremely intense.
I’m currently reading her book, also named Brazen Careerist, which of course, like the rest of her writing, is totally brazen. I definitely recommend it, despite the mixed (unsurprisingly) reviews it’s received. Overall, though, it’s averaged 4 stars.
If you want a good sample of a post that may outrage you (and make you think), check out her article about workplace practices that should be eliminated.