A friend recently recommended I read the interview of Hillary Clinton by Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive of Glamour magazine. This September 2014 article focuses on career advice for women – the article was suggested because I’ve developed a keen interest in the whole “lean in vs be balanced” debate. FYI, excerpts from this interview can we be found online at: http://www.glamour.com/inspired/2014/08/hillary-rodham-clinton-career-lessons (accessed 9-29-14)
Clinton’s discussion of what it was like to be a woman taking the law school admissions test back in the early 70s is particularly thought-provoking. She recalls men saying to her:
What are you doing here?
You shouldn’t be here.
You’re taking the place of a man who could maybe get drafted and die in Vietnam.
Flash forward to today when the percentage of women in law school compared to men is hovering around 46% (http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2013/01/what-about-women.html accessed 9-29-14). Overall, we may not be equal, but we’ve certainly progressed past overt discrimination … right? I’ve been wondering:
As if on cue, this past week I was quickly reminded that there continue to be boneheads out there who say just the dumbest sh*t ever to and about women. Fox News “The Five” host Eric Bolling, reporting about airstrikes against Syria, asked if the United Arab Emirates’ first female fighter pilot, Major Miriam al-Mansouri, amounted to boobs on the ground.
Oh, but that’s not all! While you watch, make note that his cohort in stupidity, Greg Gutfeld, also quipped: Problem is, after she bombed it, she couldn’t park it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrqaw7lB76c
Welcome to 2014, where we’re still dealing with this kind of flat out sexist ridicule. To ensure that it’s not just me who is getting really tired of this sort of BS, I sent a little shout out query to my peeps, asking them their experiences with remarks that would never be said to, or about, men. Wow, did I get an earful! Special thanks to the women over on Midlife Boulevard who provided so much material I may very well have the beginnings of a new book:
Stupid Sh*t Said to Women (but never to men)
You’re not one of those feminists, are you?
You look great for your age.
You seem a little upset. Is it, you know, cycle-related?
It’s a man’s world. WTF does that even mean??
My husband would never let me cut my hair that short.
Are you growing your hair out?
What does your husband think of your haircut? I can guarantee you, no one has ever asked the Hubs what I think of his ‘do.
At work, pregnant with her fourth child, a friend was asked: What kind of birth control do you use?
Perhaps I should speak with your husband. Or, Don’t you need to ask your husband?
You sure know a lot about football, for a girl. Anything said then followed by for a girl, is officially stupid.
Would you mind taking notes, getting coffee, or cleaning off the conference table?
Well, you’re just big-boned.
Cute outfit, did you borrow in from your daughter? Your mother? Can you imagine anyone EVER asking a guy if he borrowed a jacket from his son??
Combating this stupidity, calling it out when it happens, takes time, patience, and the occasional use of one’s middle finger. I’m most definitely up for the challenge. Have face palm, will travel.
I certainly don’t want to leave you all pissed off and ready to pick a fight, so I’ll end with this very brief yet brilliant John Cleese overview regarding why stupid people are so stupid. Worth the watch – enjoy!
“John Cleese on Stupidity” – YouTube
How about you, has anyone ever said something to you that qualifies to be on the list of the STUPIDEST sh*t ever said to women?
Joslyn Boulden saysOctober 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm
Hi. Enjoying your postings. Being of an advanced age I witnessed this type of attitude first hand on a daily basis; my own father and father-in-law both being extremely biased towards women. It was all they knew. That said, we have come a long way, a really long way. When I first married I had to get written permission from my husband before the doctor would give me birth control pills (lived in quite a religious community!)
That aside, there is no place for these immature quips on a national news service; unfortunately, however, that mindset is still alive and well. I work in a bookstore and an elderly gentleman came up to me with a book in hand – a business book on leadership or such written by a woman. He showed me the book and said “amazing – thought the pages would all be blank”. I said to him, “we do surprise you sometimes!” I knew, from his demeanour, he was trying to make a joke and he was a bit embarrassed, but the fact he would still feel a comment like that could even be said was a bit surprising.
Now I am finding the same types of comments about seniors. Don’t think it is going to end!
Kimba saysOctober 8, 2014 at 10:50 am
“We do surprise you sometimes” – GREAT come back.