Thursday, November 01, 2007


Professor Glick also concedes that much of this data — like his 2000 study showing that women were penalized more than men when not perceived as being nice or having social skills — gives women absolutely no way to “fight back.” “Most of what we learn shows that the problem is with the perception, not with the woman,” he said, “and that it is not the problem of an individual, it’s a problem of a corporation.”

I actually think this "concession," reported in today's NYT, is important. For too long, women have been told that it's our fault. Somehow, each individual woman out there struggling on the job is led to believe that if she could just precisely calibrate the exact proportions of being smart -- but not too smart, aggressive -- but not overbearing, demanding -- but not castrating, ambitious -- but not grabby, etc., etc., etc. that she could run the obstacle course that it is to be a woman in the work-a-day world and still succeed. That's not true. The fault, dear sisters, to mangle Cassius, is not ourselves, that we are underlings, but in our culture. It's true, an individual woman up against an impossibly toxic mix of Catch 22 expectations, has no way to "fight back." It's not the woman who needs to change. I am just saying.

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