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. Just 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!