Men in control used to be a societal truism, and we’ve made a lot of progress to move past that, but the end of that era doesn’t seem to be definitive when I think about it.
Depending on the culture, the zeitgeist, and the revolutions, some societies are closer to equality for women than others, but the fight for it is not over for any of us. In the United States where I grew up, significant leaps in feminism have been made in the past century, (and by feminism, I mean equality, since anti-fems are still challenging the definition), and those feats should never be diminished. Women have come a long way, but in regards to slashing the double standards we currently still face, which are unfortunately perpetuated in the media, we’ve got so much more to overcome. I’m not trying to make any sweeping generalizations about all men— only those who display the patriarchal attitude toward women which we are trying so hard to stamp out.
I’ve pinpointed my narrowed awareness of these ridiculous double standards to right around November 8, 2016, give or take a year leading up to the election, and it’s made me more aware of situations when I am treated like I know less or am falling short when I know that isn’t true.
It can be a risk for women to correct megalomaniacal men on their underestimation of our talents and intellect because this type of attitude does not like to feel inferior.
I’ve noticed certain opportunities in which I’ve neglected to do so because I just don’t have the energy to deal with the repercussions. Some women have reason to fear that they’ll be fired or barred from advancing their careers, or that they’ll be labeled a b-tch, or even in the smallest cases, that they’ll be blamed for making the man look bad. In other words, it ends up being the woman’s fault. It’s exhausting, but I’ve been trying to recognize my duty to call out this behavior more often with no apologies.
I was discussing my ongoing frustrations with Trump, who embodies this kind of ego, with a friend the other day. He said that his supporters stick with him because he is easy to listen to. I don’t understand that, so I asked what he thought the reason for it was. He said, “Because he’s loud and opinionated.”
If that’s the case, Trump’s America, let’s talk. When Hillary’s opposition described her during campaign season, “opinionated” was a common adjective used to rail her. It was negative in reference to a woman— it was nasty— it was the reason to hate her. But when a man loudly spews discriminatory opinions and ignites prejudices, supporters laud him or just remain completely apathetic. Hillary wouldn’t have lasted a day in office with these double standards— she would not have been allowed a single one of his blunders, let alone the thousands he’s made since before he even took office, yet here Trump still is.
I do understand that Hillary’s track record is nowhere near pristine. I did not, however, choose to diminish my support for her in the election by deeming her the “lesser of two evils,” as so many people did. I saw her as the most qualified person for the job, not only in this election but spanning decades past. That’s not to say she would have necessarily made the best president we’ve ever seen; all that is subjective. Qualifications, however, are fact-checked, and hers stood. Yes, she has made corrupt decisions in her time as a public servant. This is true for any politician; she is not unusual for it. Scandals have broken for so many men who have held office. Trump has the worst track record of them all, just given that I can count ten examples off the top of my head as I’m typing this, but no one cares about his screw-ups. Hillary was not allowed any margin of error, but Trump’s lack of qualification, cabinet of dimwits, withholding of tax returns, porn star scandal, racist travel ban, recorded and televised misogyny, slander of every minority imaginable, orders to separate parents from children at the border and detain them in cages, criminal legal team, and third grade lexicon, is all fine. Trump is a cheater— in his marriage, finances, and the election— and he’s barely facing any consequences. Among many other things, granted, Hillary is widely criticized for getting cheated ON by her husband.
Hilary is hated for BEING disrespected and dealing with it in her own way which has nothing to do with her ability to run a country. The double standard is disgusting.
A metaphor that accurately describes women in their climb toward equality goes like this: proving yourself in the interview, getting hired, and then being asked to list your qualifications again on your first day, by a (male) co-worker who had nothing to do with your hiring process. This isn’t even a metaphor anymore for so many of us— it’s an anecdote. Our tireless efforts on a doubled workload are unequivocally exhausting. We are trying, and we have many incredible women to emulate and inspire us. It would also be helpful if our highest example, our commander-in-chief, displayed an example for men on progressing the agenda of equality, rather than this callous bullsh-t that bogarts the news every day. Thank you to the men out there who are fighting the good fight, and the women who are leading the way at the battlefront.