Social Media Connections Run Amuck
Smart Woman Online: Lynette Allen
UK Coaching Partnership with Meg Reid

3.5 Things You Never Say About (or To) A Grown Woman

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Voting_is_sexy_poster Women have come a long way,  as evidenced by the 2008 presidential election. But, we’ve also got a long way to go…as evidenced by the 2008 election.  The women candidates  had to get up hours before the men so they could look good all day long. The tears Hillary shed in New Hampshire?  Not faked and – boy – did the women of NH relate!  She was thinking of all the pre-dawn blow-drying and make-up sessions, while Obama snoozed away (and lost NH).  Those peep-toe high heels Governor Palin wore while she walked, talked, smiled and walked some more?  Ouch.  Guys, you try standing for hours on your tippy-toes and looking happy.

During the campaign, charges of sexism were thrown around with great abandon, often by men who have no clue what it really means to be treated in a sexist manner…which brings me to the three things: 

1. “I’m so proud of her.”  Now, I’m sure Senator McCain didn’t consciously mean to sound like a father talking about his daughter’s loss in cheerleader try-outs.  But, if the Obama/Biden ticket had lost…do you think Obama would have said he was proud of Biden when asked if he thought the VP pick had hurt his chances?   Me neither. 

2. “Smart…and Pretty too!”  Somehow, I doubt anyone has ever said to Mitt Romney, “Wow, you’re so good-looking and smart too!” I’ve heard variations on this most of my life.  Certainly, I like to be complimented as much as anybody, but it shouldn’t be patronizing.  (“Gee, look! The poodle can play the piano!”)

(You could write a book on Clinton and Palin, as the smart and pretty one, respectively.  If Clinton had ever performed like Palin did in the VP debate, she would have been ripped to shreds.) 

3.“Treat her in a respectful manner.” 
The days of the pedestal are long past.  Women have been fighting to get down off the damned thing for centuries.  Ideally, of course, everyone should be treated in a respectful manner.  However, in Governor Palin’s case it was an insult to her, Hillary Clinton, and women everywhere that McCain’s advisers kept her sequestered so long from the mean ol’ media until they thought Palin would be treated “respectfully.” If she’s tough enough to be VP, possibly even President, she shouldn’t need to be protected like a fragile little female.  After all, the 44-year-old mother of five does know how to kill and field dress a moose, something I'd bet would make Sean Hannity "scream like a little girl." 

3.5.  That "scream" thing. 
See above.  Same goes for "run" and "cry."



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Mary Schmidt


Absolutely - nothing wrong with being as noted about Michelle Obama - a "girly girl." (I noticed the dress too. Yikes!)

But, being a "girly girl" also immediately lessens our credibility with some (shouldn't but it does.) And, let's face it - some women don't act as if they want respect.

We've got to keep working - and firmly, but nicely, call the old guys" on their programmed behavior.

Janet Engel

Agree with you...In McCain's case it is really a generational issue, isn't it, ie not intended with malice. I used to work for an older McCain type who called his admin, his "girl"...etc...and we did not take offense....however I do agree that all should update their is a bit tougher for "silent generation" older males I would think...

Yvonne DiVita

Okay, Mary, don't hold back, tell us how you really feel.

Interestingly, I think much of this is our own fault. WE, as a gender, can't escape from fashion, references to shoes, that old saying between girls, "I'm the smart one, she's the pretty one," which is intelligent and one is nice ot look at, never the twain shall meet.

In the end, women need to act the role, if we want the respect. You do that. I do that. We know hundreds of other women who do that...But...not all women do.

And, even then, sometimes we slip (I admit wondering who picked out Michele Obama's dress on election night - I couldn't help myself; it didn't distract me from her role as First Lady elect, or as a Mom, but it did make me shake my head - no such thought entered my head about Barack.)

Let's admit we like fashion, we do obsess about our hair, and we ask each other where the best shoestores are, but those things don't make us less intelligent or worthy of respect. They just make us...female.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)