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Tammy Wynette, Klondike Bars and Raising Girls Right: It’s hard to be a woman

Friday, August 17, 2012
posted by Rita Handrich

Last week my soon-departing-for-college daughter came to me and asked me if I’d seen the “stupid new Klondike ad”. I had not. She described it to me and so I did what any mother of my age and predilection would do and went to YouTube to see the offending ad. It’s a new iteration of the old “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” brief vignettes.

This Klondike ad features a man listening to his wife for five whole seconds and being rewarded by a Klondike bar (and confetti and buxom cheerleaders) for this Olympian feat. My daughter was further irritated by not finding much backlash on the internet about the blatantly sexist focus of the ad.

I was reminded of a post run recently on a blog I like about women being so distracted by the availability of men in the workplace that it shapes their career progression. Specifically, the research cited says that women who see men as less available to them choose briefcases over babies while those who see men as more available in the workplace choose babies over briefcases. I am grateful that the featuring blog questioned whether similar research focused on men would find like results and that they questioned the impact of income disparity between men and women in the study’s results. (If only they had linked to Tammy Wynette singing on YouTube!)

So, even though we routinely do these posts–here it is again! It’s hard to be a woman. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

You may have seen this one. The unhappiest person ever is an unmarried female lawyer-at least the unhappiest white collar worker!

Gender role stereotyping continues in full force! So if you want to get ahead at the office, it might be a good idea to cut your hair really short. All it took for people to begin assigning “feminine” tasks to a robot was a wig!

The (former) CEO of Tuesday Morning [with more than 10 years on the job] has filed suit alleging she was fired when the company learned she had breast cancer.

Alas, women do it too! Both men and women view the genders differently. We see men as people and we see women as a collection of body parts.

It can make you wish to run away. But what if you run the wrong way? Fear not! The National Post has an infographic on the best (and the worst) places to be a woman! You may wish to go to Norway but likely not to Somalia!

And if this makes you angry, frustrated or bitter–here’s a good tip for managing that response. Rather than venting or hitting things or even spitting–pretend you’re a fly on the wall. Observe it. It’s curious. And then return to whatever you were doing before.

 

Durante KM, Griskevicius V, Simpson JA, Cantú SM, & Tybur JM (2012). Sex ratio and women’s career choice: does a scarcity of men lead women to choose briefcase over baby? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103 (1), 121-34 PMID: 22468947

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