On Women & Confidence

I asked for a raise today.

Totally out of the blue, I was solicited by another department on campus to fill their soon-to-be-vacant admin position. I would rather stay where I am–I am both fond of and very comfortable in my routine at the press- but the other position would involve a substantial pay increase. I told my boss about the offer and that I would welcome any incentive to stay. He’s retiring this summer after thirty years as director. I’ve been there for almost eight, and my presence would definitely help preserve the institutional memory, and we both know that.

I know negotiating like this is the smart thing to do. But somehow I feel…guilty. As though I’m being demanding or troublesome.

And I started wondering about why that is. What’s wrong with knowing my own worth? What’s wrong with asking for what I want? 

I was talking with my friend Laura about it on Gchat this afternoon. About how it feels taboo somehow, similar to expressing any confidence in my writing. I LOVE my new WIP. And not only do I love it, I am proud of it. I think it’s the best thing I’ve written. I think it’s good.

…but now I’m tempted to counter that with but of course it could be better. But I still have tons of room to learn and grow as a writer!  And duh. Of course I do! Of course there are things to fix–it’s a first draft. Why do I feel that compulsion to soften, to mitigate? To employ all kinds of modifiers? It might be sort of good?

I’m not sure men feel this way. This need to apologize. That urge to play small. That fear of taking up too much space, being too loud or assertive. Being a BITCH. 


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