This article is dated May this year. There are a few articles every year to remind us that this Victorian issue is alive and well. Given my phone call with my mother yesterday, exhorting me to post a certain way on FB and not be “in your face”, my guess is that as long as the middle-aged generation of women and men continue to talk to their mothers, this double standard will continue. The irony here is that she was the one “in my face” so it was a projection. The women born in 1940 or thereabout just don’t get it and they keep planting seeds of injustice in our minds and then we carry it with us wherever we go in society. I guess we need to set a strong boundary.
Here is the article.
Under the top picture, it says,
“Women can rarely just be themselves in positions of power.”
This is the first paragraph.
“I suggested she—a rising female attorney at a law firm—be more assertive to make her ideas and opinions heard in meetings. She told me she’s compelled to filter every word lest she is perceived as overly ambitious—or worse, aggressive. She noted that her male counterparts, by comparison, seemed to feel free to say whatever, whenever, without incurring any negative judgment.
She wasn’t wrong—she really did need to choose her words more carefully than the men.”
That’s because Mom said so. Mom knows best. Yeah, no. It’s holding me back with that voice ringing in my head, “Don’t be in your face.”
This next part is just unbelievable and utter crap.
“Women typically rank higher than men on “agreeableness”—they have a reputation for being more nurturing, empathetic, kind, supporting, and accommodating. If you’re a female executive who others consider agreeable, chances are you will be seen as more likable.
But leadership positions require people to command authority. Aggressiveness will do this for you. But for women, the more aggressive they are seen to be, the less likable they are found—by men and women. It’s a double bind.”
There is still a huge chasm between social permission for a man to be assertive and even aggressive and a woman to be the same. This article from Forbes proves that in the year 2019 it’s still alive and kicking despite all of our hope and denouncements. There is also a generational divide here. My mother born in 1940 still projects her values regarding what she was taught about how to behave as a woman onto me because that’s what she is still doing. She’s trying to justify it through me. So do women from my own generation. She still feels free to direct me on what to do as well.
The double standard between women and men being assertive needs to end. The truth is, more women are far more assertive than men and just as competent! I could write about this forever but do read the article and try not to be in denial in your own workplace.