I recently came across an article titled, “Ladies, Why You Need to Have Sex Appeal and Swagger to be Successful.” I clicked on it thinking, okay, I’m sure this is an article targeted towards empowering me to be all the woman I can be … while owning my awesome sexuality… a.k.a. my rockin' ass.
It. Was. Not.
Instead I was told that I need to learn about the four major sports. “Know your sports girls” (baseball, basketball, football and hockey), the article read, because men want to talk about it.
|Girl, you should wear that to work.|
I was told I need to wear heels, "not two-inch pumps" (Really, is it 1987?) because men need to want me -- in the work place mind you -- and no man wants to work with frumpy mc-flats-wearer.
Then I was told to NOT dip my “hoo ha in the company inkwell”. Okay, mixed signals.
Next I was told my work outfit should look like it could transition straight into a date … I should never be overly aggressive … I shouldn’t speak my mind unless I’m 100% sure of what I am saying … and my favorite, “All men want to be around a woman who would go to a game with them.”
This writer is a woman. She might be time traveling woman from 1955, I’m still looking into it.
Regardless, this is what’s wrong with women. It’s not that she was telling me to do all these ridiculous things -- maybe they would help my career -- it’s that somehow she was equating my success to men liking me.
The entire prose of her opinion was based not on what kind of work I was doing, or how I should take charge in a meeting, or stand up for myself, or ask for the raise. NO it was all based on catering my look, my clothes, my conversation topics, hell my opinions … to what men want to hear.
In case you didn’t know, I am pretty big feminist (in that I am a woman and all women should support women's rights. Seriously). I see women struggle to get ahead, I know firsthand what it’s like to work in a male-only environment and the misogynistic bullshit that goes with it. I want women to stick together, to support each other, to do what men do and HELP RUN THE FUCKING WORLD.
But rather than empowering ourselves WE are making ourselves look stupid, trying to get ahead by getting a man's approval. Being scared of the word feminist. I get it, men respond better when we play dumb, when we play cute, when we smile and flirt … but WHY do our lives and our careers need to be based around what men want? Especially if what they want is "cute, smiley, and non-assertive."
Can you imagine the reverse, an article on Chive or Mandatory or Bro Bible – telling guys to know all the celebs on US Weekly and the major designer shoe brands … because women like to talk about it. Your career will go nowhere if you don’t guys.
Or … “Hey guys, make sure to wear a tight shirt, but not too tight. You want her to know you work out, but not think you’re a slut.” Even though, you’re a slut of course.
This would never happen because men don’t cater their lives to what women want. Men fuck girls, men hang out with their friends, men talk about what they want to talk about and when they go to work … they work.
Why can’t we do the same?