Double Standards are Alive and Well

19 09 2009

I have two qualities that give me great perspective on double standards

a) Being a woman

b) Being a bitch

Growing up with a younger brother, I had certain rules that he didn’t have.

Baby Brother could spend the night at  a friend’s house, I could not.

I had the strict curfew of 11:30pm, if Baby Brother came home at 1am – no big deal

But then again, Baby Brother  didn’t get suspended for being drunk at the prom, so maybe these rules had their reasons.

 

With 10 years of professional work experience under my belt, I have become familar with certain phrases and words that have peppered my performance reivews over the years.

“Aggressive”

“Gets the job done, but sometimes a little cold”

“Business-like”

I’m sorry, is this about work or a debutante ball?

 In most contexts, these words are positive. But once put in the context of WHO the person is doing the job, the reaction can change.

If these words were used to describe a man, no doubt he would be viewed as a leader. He’s doing his job well and effectively – a real “go-getter” .

Now when the same words are used to describe a woman, she is seen as a bitch. A cold, emotionless person, who is great at her job, but can’t she just smile a little bit more and be friends with everyone?

 So in essence, a woman leader is a bitch. And a male leader is just a leader. Watching Mad Men, you can’t help but root for Peggy Olson, who as the only female member of the creative department makes just a few dollars more than her secretary. But I guess she can smoke and drink scotch in her office all day. Even when pregnant.

Mad Men ( also if you aren’t watching this show – start NOW!) highlights the double standards in the workplace  in the 60s, and yes we have made strides in equality in the workplace,  but we still have a long way to go. And we can’t even drink scotch in our offices anymore during the day.

Case in point, this year’s US Open. The Serena melt-down debacle created a media frenzy.  

This article  from The Nation highlights the biased scrutiny of the fallout.  

I have a newsflash for you: Players have been losing their SHIT on the court for decades.

Have we forgotten about McEnroe and Connors? They basically invented the word “FUCK”.  I was so pissed to see the wrap-up article about the US Open spending so much time on the Serena blow-up instead of the inspiring win by Kim Clijsters. ( Another Double-Standard Challenged: You can Be a World Class Athlete AND a Mom!!)

There is SOME good news, Grand Slam prize money for men and women is the same. Actually the US Open has been paying equal pay-outs to men and women since the 80s ( yea America!). The last tournament to change the unequal prize money was Wimbledon (typical) in 2007.

Now, let’s keep in mind that Serena is a champion. She has played at the highest level for a decade amassing  over 20 Grand Slam titles ( singles, doubles and mixed doubles). And she is not known for her on court antics, a la McEnroe, she just had a bad day. She flipped out, but she is moving on, as should everyone else.

On that note, I will leave you with some quintessential McEnroe moments. This guy is a GEM!

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2 responses

23 09 2009
Deanna

Ditto on Serena, and besides Mac and Connors, add Nastase and Martina to the list of those who acted out on court. People don’t get to that level by being a “good loser”, though some learn to subliminate it better than others. Two more thoughts re Mac tape: 1) how did they play in those shorts and 2) how did we play with those tiny rackets?

17 12 2009
Shayfafa

you are my favorite 🙂

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