Episode #110 of the podcast discusses what every woman has experienced from a very early age: sexism and misogyny. Do we recognize it at the time? No. Do we recognize it later in life? Most of us do. Can it come from people who love us? Yes. If you are the lucky woman who has not experienced this in any form, read no further. If you are a woman and have not experienced this around body issues at the very least, please email me the planet you are living on as we all want to move there.
I read a quote from Hilary Clinton this week that knocked me off my pins (a bowling analogy at last!) this week. Here it is.
The idea that women have to fit certain stereotypes that's a weight around the ankle of every ambitious woman I've ever met. You should be able to work hard and succeed not because you're perfect but because you're good enough. We should be proud of that instead we get constant messaging our whole lives you're not thin enough talented enough smart enough. Your voice isn't what we want to hear. This has to be called out for what it is a cultural political economic game that's being played to keep women in their place. -Hilary Clinton
I thought about the “fact” that when she was Secretary of State, her approval rating with the American public was somewhere around 63%. But, when she ran for President? Well, you know that story.
She had an explanation I think plausible. In fact, I can think of no better explanation since her ratings changed virtually overnight after she announced she was running. Approval for Secretary of State on Monday, Thumbs down on Wednesday after she announces her candidacy. As the result of her ambition to hold the job of President rather than being happy to be Secretary of State, she lost some of those “approving” voters. Secretary of State a job people really approved of for some reason. One reason? It's a job where she is not in the top job and is a job where she is employed by a man and safely part of the chorus, not the lead singer. We're not just talking the Hilary haters, here. We're talking folks who once thought highly of her performance as Secretary of State.
Just the perception of unbridled ambition was enough for them. Folks didn't even wait for the campaign to start. Her approval rating went south before the campaign had even begun or the Republican nominee was known. So, it's not all attributable to the Toddler in Chief. Just the perception of her ‘unbridled' ambition was enough to take air out of the approval balloon given to her by people who liked her as Secretary of State but not so much as a President of the United States.
Today's episode, I'm looking back to three instances in my own life, early on, where I came to the ambitious road and did not take it. I wonder how many of my listeners have similar stories. I'd love to hear them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know we have weight issues in common and I suspect we may have some “ambitions” issue in common, too!
Here are some quotes that cover some of the territory. Again, if you have no idea what I am talking about, email me. I've never spoken to a visitor from another planet. Perhaps, you'll have some tips for us living on this increasingly alien planet called Earth.
“When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.”
“As long as she thinks of a man, nobody objects to a woman thinking.”
“The history of men's opposition to women's emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.”
“Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”
“When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood.”
“It's hard not to feel humorless, as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you're not imagining things. It's hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you're going to float the fuck away. The problem is not that one of these things is happening; it's that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly.”
“Everything might scatter. You might be right. I suppose it's something we can't easily get away from. People need to feel they belong. To a nation, to a race. Otherwise, who knows what might happen? This civilisation of ours, perhaps it'll just collapse. And everything scatter, as you put it.”
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