I really like Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski. I liked her book, All Things at Once, though it was criticized for a woe-is-me-pretty-blonde-girl slant. The writing was uninspired, but I found her to be frank, honest and solidly grounded despite her worldly upbringing (her father was former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski).
I liked her when, on Morning Joe, she burned, then shredded, the Paris Hilton “news item” that kept reappearing on her script.
I like her even more after watching this clip of Brzezinki talking about women, finance and negotiations. She reveals that at one point, she made fourteen times less than cohost Joe Scarborough.
I once got in an argument with mother when she kept asking me how much money my newly-graduated peers were making at their entry level jobs. I was satisfied with my paycheck, and I found her dumping all over my first-job parade unnecessary and insulting.
My mother is a supremely capable, business-savvy, highly-educated woman who’s been working in the professional world for decades. I sent her the clip and she wrote back: “Keep this in your brain forever!” Then she spent a paragraph hectoring me again to demand what I’m worth and added: “Now that I’m lecturing you, I need to lecture myself because I have always made less than I deserve to make… as Mika says, I want to be liked, I don’t like ruffled feathers.” Does it get easier? Apparently not.
Related Post: More wisdom from my mom on how to deflect pushy hairstylists.
Related Post: When is the act of “asking” an empowering thing, and when does it become pushy and entitled? A guest post I wrote on Smart Girls, Stupid Things.