If one woman does something either remarkable or disgraceful, it is seen as a reflection on all women. If one man does something remarkable or disgraceful, it is considered only a mark against him.
What will we be, after all, if men don’t chase us and whistle at us and tell us we’re pretty? What will we be if they don’t need us to cook and clean and raise their children? What will we be if they don’t call us or ask us to dance?
No one cares if an ugly man grabs at power. Men are allowed to yell and shake their fists and get angry and make demands. Women are expected to say “please” and “thank you” and to keep their voices down.
When a man brags about his talent, people cheer. But women? Women are expected to show some humility, even when they’ve earned the right to crow. And it makes sense, I guess, because if we start letting women act like men on the field, they might want to be treated like men off the field.
I’m sick to death of hearing people pontificate about how maybe we aren’t ready for another female at the top of the ticket, about how it would be safer to go with the status quo and pick a candidate who looks like almost every other candidate we’ve ever nominated. We are ready. I promise you, we are.
Anyone who believes women have attained equality should be aware that this sort of thing happens all the time in less dramatic ways in offices across America and throughout the world. Women do the work, but rarely get the credit. Every woman I know can cite at least a dozen times when one of her ideas was co-opted by some man. This is not a dig at men, in particular, but at the way we assume that any big accomplishment ought to be attributed to the nearest white male.
I don’t know how we ever came to the conclusion that women are more emotional than men. I suspect it was a convenient way for men to keep women out of the halls and boardrooms of leadership. Or maybe men didn’t have much reason to cry when they were able to rape and assault and lie with impunity.
When my husband travels, I often dive into a new series to pass the time in the evenings. He’s taken two extended trips this year, which was just enough for me to get through both seasons of Happy Valley on Netflix. If you haven’t seen Happy Valley, you should watch it. In Happy Valley, middle-aged women are portrayed by actual middle-aged women. This should not be remarkable, but it is. Of course, it’s British; American television would never stand for so…
Why aren’t these women doing anything about it? Poor Theresa May. Apparently Donald Trump told her how to do Brexit, but she didn’t listen. If only she’d taken his advice England would be peeling away from the European Union like a week-old sunburn. No fuss. No muss. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel keeps agitating Trump by running her country without consulting him. She’s all pro-immigration and anti-trade war, which is exactly the opposite of what Trump would recommend. But she…
Former President Bill Clinton answered a question about his history of sexual misconduct with a defensive deflection and a series of justifications that don’t hold up under scrutiny. It’s been more than 20 years since Clinton’s workplace affair with intern Monica Lewinsky led the news, but that doesn’t make it irrelevant. In February, Vanity Fair published an insightful piece by Lewinsky about the scandal, her role in it, and the repercussions of the investigation on her life. If only Clinton…