"The typical typist was a liberated woman … She was a high flier in her day. She had achieved first class honours in philosophy from Oxford and was a skilled linguist.”
—BBC Magazine, on how the typewriter brought women into the workplace
In which Rachel Simmons and I take on the Watergate of modern email etiquette: the workplace XO.
XO has surfaced in the digital correspondence of everyone from Arianna Huffington to Nora Ephron. Wendy Williams, the talk-show host, says she wishes she could stop using it, but just can’t. Anne-Marie Slaughter—foreign-policy wonk, Princeton professor, and she who still can’t have it all—doesn’t xo, but knows several professional women who do. In Diane Sawyer’s newsroom, staffers say, the anchor uses xo so frequently that its omission can spark a major panic.
“I feel like xo has taken on its own kind of life,” says Karli Kasonik, a Washington consultant.
“I do it, most women I know do it,” says Asie Mohtarez, a writer and social-media editor.
“In my field, you almost have to use it,” says Kristin Esposito, a yoga instructor in New York.
I used to have a very elaborate inside joke with a few other women in media. It was called The Island, and the narrative went like this: All of the editors we know to be sexual harassers or professional bullies are on a plane together, probably heading to some sort of “ideas festival,” when the…
PICTURE ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THESE LASERS. THIS IS ME TRYING TO GET ANY WORK DONE AT THE TUMBLR OFFICE.
Ping pong balls flying to my right, flashing lights to my left, drag queen to my front, loud-talking boys to my back, conference call on speaker phone, kegerator, photo shoot… AAH!