Photo Credit: Jamie Nelson
Whether you’re a stay at home mum or a driven career woman you are attacked at every angle. From your first days at university to your last day in earth it’s a long hard fight, and whether you realise it or not you are part of that fight for equality. I started to think about a women’s journey after helping my friend’s daughters with their assignment. It was something their guidance councillor set them, helping them think about careers and what they want from their lives.
I saw the usual suspects, hairdresser, child minder, cook etc etc. Then I asked them, I said ” what about doctor? Or scientist, politician or engineer?” I wasn’t surprised that they hadn’t which was sad. That sad truth was, they thought they were ‘boys jobs’. Really, what makes it a boy’s job? Men can be nurses, Cooks and hairdressers and that is still looked upon as a woman’s job? Why is work so gender specific?
Okay, here’s the thing, the “Career Woman” has been seen as a negative lable. For example, being a boss and a woman can hold so many negatives it can be difficult. There is still a great gender gap in many places in the UK, in pay and how both sexes are viewed. A male in charge can be seen as assertive, a leader or ambitious, whereas in a woman it can be taken as bossy, bitchy and aggressive. Seriously, sometimes in other jobs I myself have been passed over because I am a woman, even my leadership qualities questioned. You kinda realise as you go through the office life you really are not equal. But this bitch stereotype has lasted since the 1980’s shoulder pad days of Maggie Thatcher. And yeah okay, Maggie thatcher was a big deal in helping ladies break through the glass ceiling, but she also totally trashed the female image in power with all the controversy she brought to the UK at that time. I mean, it’s all ancient history, but it is still relevant today.
Photo Credit: Jamie Nelson
The other image women have is that of the house wife. The betty drapers of the world [Mad men anyone?] A common 1950’s vision of the little lady who cooks, cleans and provides a home for her husband and children. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about this choice, many women decide to put the family first. The thing is, women in this role are seen as warm, motherly and in some cases even as the ‘little woman’ which has a demeaning nature to it that belittles women. She is still belittled and mocked even as the complete opposite to the career girl.
So who are we meant to be? In fact who are any of us meant to be?
In 2016 Hilary Clinton plans to run for presidential candidate, and if she does, could be a positive turn for American women and the fight for equality. A woman running for presidency, that’s not so shocking right? I mean it is the 21st century. So why do many feel a woman’s place is in the Kitchen and not the office? Hilary Clinton herself has come under much fire because of her sex and the comments she has made about women’s place in society.
In 2008 Hilary Clinton was attacked with a sea of misogyny at Salem town hall when running for presidential candidate. Placards with sayings Such as “IRON MY SHIRT” and some people even sported buttons with “Hillary KFC Special: 2 fat thighs, 2 small Breasts, left wing.” Clearly the most important thing to the creator of these buttons was her body not her political views.
The trouble makers where eventually led out by security but the fact that this was allowed is sad and damaging for many young women with ambition. Don’t you think it’s funny, the right person for job has NOT been a woman? You could assume that she is used to such narrow mindedness, I mean she had always counteracted it with comments like back in the early nineties, she said she could have chosen to stay home and bake cookies but she chose her career and to be someone of importance.
Of course a statement like that riled up the mothers of America and frightened the men. And Hilary was challenged to a baking competition. Yep, a bake off was done to settle the issue. Yeah I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing. I mean, what is that? Lettin the little women battle it out on the stove? Not really progressive. Her opponent Barbara bush won, which was great for her and still to this day the cookies Barbara made are the top of the charts.
Both of these incidents where years ago, the misogyny placards being only six years back, many think this will never happen again. I am not so convinced, as it’s still a boys club out there, and it’s difficult to become a member as a woman. But what can a woman do? Women like Clinton have acted the long game, gauging what works and many feel it may be a case of finding a middle ground, a woman who can be both bake and win the bread. Not always in the order of course but you get my drift.
Photo Credit: Joe RaedleGetty Images News
Hilary Clinton spoke up hoping one day there will be a female president, but whether it is in her life time or the next is really up to women to raise the bar and step up to the mark. So she herself may realise it will probably not be her leading in the future, rather years down the line may see a woman leading the way. In fact when searching for pictures of women, ambitious or in power the search engines where filled with naked women on desks. Then typing in men at work or ambitious men came up with pictures of savvy business men or a grafter. Its almost as if the internet is saying it’s a man’s job.
It is more important now that we have an equal vison of men and women and show our girls and boys their sex is not important in their job. That’s why having a woman in power is so important.
Many do not want this, and some even ask “Why do you need a female president? Why is it so important for a woman bit to be in charge?” We must realise this is the very reason we need this to happen. The reason being is that you’re still asking.