If I was lucky enough to have both sets of bits, The Human Freelancer book would undoubtedly be more evenly balanced between male and female perspectives on freelancing. That’s assuming I could keep my hands on the keyboard long enough to write it.
Regrettably though, I’m not blessed with both sides of the genital coin, so I only know what it’s like to freelance as a man. That’s why the book occasionally lists on the side of cock, balls and mild aggression. A couple of female reviewers rightly pointed that out in the first draft, the most memorable feedback reading:
“A fear of being bummed isn’t one I identify with” with reference to the chapter called ‘So what do you want out of this‘. A fair point, and one I took as a fascinating indication of just how continental our attitudes to sexual experimentation have become.
Bum sex aside, I acknowledged the feedback and took pains to improve gender balance in the edited text. Out went many pork-heavy analogies, in came some light bean-salads. And on the whole I’ve tried to share lessons applicable to men and women (yet inevitably framed through my male perspective).
Gary also tweaked the illustrations in the interest of equality, like the girl holding the boat in the chapter about ‘Personal projects’. It’s still obvious that the book was written by a man, but one who’s mindful that he only represents one side of the freelancing story.
I’m positive there’s lots of rich knowledge female freelancers can contribute to the Human Freelancer cause (and I’d love to hear more of it). Yet, as readers of The Human Freelancer book in its present printed form, be reassured that the book’s cause is as mindful about equality as it is about imparting universal and empathetic lessons in freelancing.
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Self-help business books perpetuate the myth that success is relentless growth and more of everything means progress. They preach about bookkeeping and market research: things you might need to do of course. But let’s face it they’re fucking boring.
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