Well Behaved Women Seldom Make THE FUTURE

Posted on May 28, 2013


Women have been discouraged from pursuing technology and knowledge at least since the story of Eve – or the beginning of time – or whatever you choose to believe. Regardless, you know I’m right. But think about it: Politics, religious leaders, judicial systems, medical fields, Freemasons, finance, military branches, auto mechanics, etc. Women were either blatantly forbidden from participating in these fields and organizations, or silently scorned for doing so. As we saw in Underbelly, dragging a coal cart through a mine tunnel was considered appropriate labor for women (and children) in the 18th century, but furthering their education to pursue a more healthy, productive career was not allowed. Women were expected to simply maintain the status quo while men built the future.


But everybody knows that. That was ages ago – so why is this worth examining for the gabadrillionth time?


Because look man – we’re still fucking doing it! Women have fought to be given equal rights as men, but it comes at the cost of having to act like men. The “women’s perspective” is still unwelcome. A woman interviewing for a job is assessed in the same way as a man, but is additionally screened to be sure her femininity will not become any issue during her employment, i.e. “Can she be tough?” “Does she have kids?” “What if she gets pregnant?” “Will she need a lot of time off for her family?” “Will she try to sleep her way to the top?” “Is she going to bring a bunch of drama with her?” Within the last 20 years I’ve been asked if I were to get married during my employment would I stop working? That’s a question a man doesn’t have to worry about faking in an interview, but a woman sees this as yet another chance to blow it. And all those questions I wrote up above – those find their way into conversation, too. But what gender-specific issues does a man have that would be called into question during the hiring process.


I’ll give you some more time.  I can’t think of one, but I’m not a guy, so you’ll have to let me know.

So here’s why this is all relevant: Women have proven themselves exceptional at maintaining the status quo, and have begun to inhabit predominantly male environments, albeit by leaving their feminine instincts behind. But look at how doing things the male-dominant way has played out for our future. Our society is on a precipice where everything we have built based on the male-warrior stereotypes of aggression and power is threatening to be our physical and cultural ruin. The race for profit is collapsing our economy, wars are ongoing, and abuse of our planet – our foundation – for fuel is collapsing that foundation. We are experiencing significant global climate change, which has historically been poo-pooed. The characteristics which are most often associated with women, and are least desired in positions of power, are what is needed to put us in balance: Compassion, sensitivity, humility, charity, nurturing, selflessness, peacemaking, to name quite a few. How can any environment be sustainable without the inclusion of the traits on that list? All of those neglected traits led to today’s future, which I’m starting to think will look like Mars in Total Recall if we don’t “woman up,” STAT.

This post was written for my Digital Humanities class with Jesse Stommel and Kathi I. Berens. The assignment really got me thinking, and this is all I have typed about it so far. There is so much more in my mind about how sexism could easy be on the way out in light of the corpus-free digital world of employment. But I don’t have time to fully explore all that the way I want to. I will add on to this post and repost it when I get some more time, and more of my brain wrapped around it. 😉