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Kathryn Minshew

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A Movement: The Daily Muse

Posted: 08/01/11 08:58 AM ET

There's a movement coming. You can't find it in Cosmopolitan or the latest issue of US Weekly. You may not notice it in GQ or Esquire. But look a little closer to home -- at your sister, your girlfriends, or your colleagues -- and you'll see a massive cultural shift underway: the rise of the smart, confident young professional woman.

The movement has its trailblazers -- Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, Oprah and Diane Von Furstenberg among others. But its strength, increasingly, is coming from the masses: from thousands upon thousands of ambitious women entering the workforce and finding that, as a culture, we haven't quite caught up.

In the past, media aimed at women hasn't fared so well. Much-derided chick lit, chick flicks, and chick magazines have left ambitious women in a bind. Why is it that I, a young woman, can read GQ, enjoy Fight Club, and subscribe to Thrillist, while the idea of a guy doing the same with Glamour, 27 Dresses and Daily Candy is nearly unheard of?

Don't you think that's odd?

I do -- and I think we can do better. Starting today, we're launching The Daily Muse, a publication (in beta) for smart young professional women. And I want a lot of smart men to read it, too. And why not? Nearly 60% of men negotiate their first salary out of college -- while only 7% of women do -- but that doesn't mean sharp negotiation advice will go to waste on Y chromosomes.

There's a further angle here as well. Men who read our last publication, a similarly-themed "smart content for smart women" resource, often commented that the articles raised issues they'd never considered before: that asking for a raise can be perceived differently based on the gender of the asker; that mentorship relationships are more difficult when nearly all the potential mentors are older men; that assertive women are often labeled a "b--ch" while similarly aggressive men escape notice. "I never even realized that was an issue," they'd write. And I would smile.

Because if we're talking about these issues, I'm doing my job. As Rachel Sklar, founder of Change the Ratio has noted, "The network effects of women helping women are huge."

The world is changing, and the women's movement is changing with it. As a culture, we've left behind the antagonistic, us-versus-them mentality of the 70s and 80s, but we've found the modern refrain that "men and women should be indistinct in the workplace" rings hollow, too. Call it nature or nuture, there are differences in how men and women approach professional conduct, and facing these issues head-on will make us all more equipped to succeed.

That's why we talk about Working with a Boss of a Different Gender or How to Avoid Crying in the Workplace. As a culture, we are still trying to create and define the practical version of our mothers' feminism, turning their chorus of "Yes We Can" into tangible increases in women holding leadership positions and the realization that success is no longer a zero sum game.

So -- welcome to post-feminism. Welcome to a movement and a space that will define what it means to be a young, intelligent woman in the 21st century. Welcome to the movement, Huffington Post Women. And welcome to The Daily Muse.

The Daily Muse went live this morning in beta, so please forgive any imperfections. Sign up for our insider list here and stay tuned for our press launch August 15.


 

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