Throwing Our Weight Around

I had wonderful literary heroes as a child. In fact, stories made me who I am today.

If you compare story heroines to real-life female heroes, you’ll fine a distinct difference in how they are viewed. Unfortunately, our true female leaders are portrayed through the filter of a predominantly male press which focuses more on physical features than intelligent feats.

Let’s compare a few literary heroines with female leaders:

  • Nobody told Pippi Longstocking that her red hair needed to be a different shade. Her adventures defined her. Unfortunately, Lucille Ball, one of the greatest comedic actors of all-time, was asked more about her hair color than her perfect comedic timing. And Ethel, by the way, was considered “fat.”
  • I don’t remember anybody telling Charlotte the spider that being pregnant caused her messages to be less effective. Spoiler Alert — she did die after birthing a million little spiders, but that’s a different matter altogether. There are scores of stories about female leaders in corporations who lose positions because of pregnancy.
  • Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle defied the world without any comment about her ample figure. She was a woman of power in her fifties, with or without the weight. I don’t think Hillary Clinton gets the same respect, do you?
  • Jo, from “Little Women,” was a writer regardless of her sex. I don’t remember a lot of talk about how she wore her hair or what style might make her face look thinner. I wish Margaret Thatcher would have been given the same respect. There was more talk about her “Iron-hair” than the Iron Leader she became.

What if we treated men the same way as we do women? It might sound something like this:

  • Fred Mertz – what’s with the bald head? And the Humpty Dumpty body? You were LUCKY to score Ethel.
  • Ricky Ricardo — physically fine, but no talent. Lucy deserved to run your shows, not just star on them!
  • Bill Clinton — are you going to foil that silver hair or what? And, a nose job is recommended.
  • Prince William — did Harry look better than you on your wedding day? And, has anybody mentioned hair plugs might be in your future?

I bet many of you cringed when you read the statements about men. They’re mean. They’re demeaning. They’re meant to rob people of their power. I didn’t even like writing them.

I say us Dames get together and look at the robust nature of our intellect rather than the fullness of our eyelashes.

Now, I’m not totally innocent, by the way. ┬áJust last night I commented on how a talented female judge on a reality show had gained weight.

I’m becoming one of them. Let’s stop the madness!

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