In the late sixties, a young women working in media was nothing more than a pin cushion for the hands of seedy old executives, but I knew what I had to do if I was going to get where I needed to go.

There I was. A single 23-year-old working in a city that I barely knew. Restricted by the married men above me, chastised by the married women in the front offices. It was only then that I knew I had to break the mould.

Either put myself out there, or live a horrible life as an unmarried childless spinster with a dead end career. I chose to walk in both worlds.

For any young women reading this, I imagine you will reach this same crossroads. It is a daunting time in your life, but also an exciting one… Only if you acknowledge what you have to do:

Fuck. The. Patriarchy.

I decided that this was my stance, my only option, and I haven’t looked back. Here is my advice for young women in the workforce.  Five tips for breaking through that glass ceiling.

5 Ways To Fuck The Patriarchy

Remember: The King and The Pawn Go Back In The Same Box
Remember: The King and the Pawn go back in the same box

1. The Headhunter

This is the most common way to fuck the patriarchy. It can feel really intense, but it’s also the quickest to flame out. Go straight for the top. The CFO, the Chairman, the silent partner. He’s chasing a liberating and compelling feeling from this kind of arrangement, though, he can mask hidden emotional conflicts. Remember that you’re in charge. He is the one putting everything on the line. Not you.

Keep your head straight and keep your lips shut. Don’t catch feelings. To the outsiders, this will look like nothing more than a mentorship. No one will be the wiser when its you being flown to Singapore for the sales conference instead of his son. This is you showing promise.

2. Damaged Goods.

You’ll be working directly beneath him when he begins realising the depth of his anger and resentment towards an unhappy marriage. He feels un-affirmed, ignored, and disregarded. His adamant refusal to go to couples therapy means he’s going to start acting up. This is a volatile play for you, but he’s already broken. Like all damaged goods, there’s no harm in giving them a few more kicks across the tarmac. After a few months he will realise that he couldn’t create a solution, nor figure out how to deal with his desire for revenge – and he’ll begin to worry. This can only mean you are moving up. He cannot live with what he’s done unless he knows it was for some form of good. It’s a promotion.

3. Headfuck.

Your hands will be clean at the end of this one, but psychologically it is very draining. You need to play on a level of intimacy and intensity that results in an affair of the mind. On the outside, it’s completely platonic, but in his head it’s more than just a friendship. He wants to move you onto one of his projects because you give him something that’s lacking in his relationship with his wife. Aside from the challenge of remaining on the chaste side of the sexual borderline, his wife will begin to notice that he’s not there. Give him nothing to lie about other than his own twisted thoughts.

4. The Tease.

He’s a client, so to begin with your job is to let him create illusions for himself anyway. In this affair one party is available but the other isn’t. The available partner believes that the other one would really run away with them, given enough time and patience. A healthy relationship takes two equally available and committed people – this is not a healthy relationship. By the time you are having dinner at his bosses house, he will have finally realised that you had no intention in taking part in his dream of skipping town and starting again.

5. Young and Stupid.

Find your most promising equal and use his head as a stepping stone.

This could very easily blow up in your face, because if anyone finds out, you will both look stupid and in love. He finds this so powerful because it feels so complete – emotionally, sexually, intellectually. He will say things like “I would say that we were together in a former life” or “I’ve never felt this way.” Let him believe what he wants to believe until you are getting invited alongside him into the boardroom, because he thinks you would be good to have on this project as well. Once this is completed, go to number two.


Professor Ingrid Doulton earned her PhD in women’s issues from the University of Sydney in 2012. She completed her undergraduate studies at La Trobe University in regional Victoria soon after second marriage. She then began her Masters at The University of Canberra with her dissertation in women’s sport. She is chairwomen of the Women’s Literacy Foundation and a brand ambassador for Rexona. Prof. Doulton lives in Sydney’s upper north shore with her dog, Peter. 

If you would like to contact Ingrid Doulton to discuss any of the things you have read here, you can contact her via email.



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