Although I am devastated with the election results, I am laughing a little bit at myself today. I was so buoyant and hopeful of late about the state of women in the world, I was a little worried I had missed the curve with this podcast. Like I was jumping in and telling women’s stories just as we were crossing over into a post gender discrimination world. Oh, how naïve I was yesterday.
I know it is not as simple as gender bias that elected Trump. This election is layered and nuanced and there are several issues at play, that may or may not even be related to each other. But, I do believe gender bias was in the mix.
Just on the face of it, several common experiences were on display. Pretend these were two applicants for an entirely different job.
1. A man with one or two (and I’m being generous) of the 10 requirements for the job, confidently put himself forward as if he was completely qualified, despite never working in a related field.
2. A woman made sure she had all the qualifications and then some, in fact became the most qualified person to ever seek the job, before throwing her hat in the ring.
3. They were treated as equally viable candidates.
4. When interviewing for the job, the woman was constantly interrupted, condescended to, and mansplained by a man who could not hold a candle to her knowledge of the issues. And yet, she had to take him seriously as her competition for the job.
5. She laid out detailed policy plans of how she would perform the job. He shouted that everything was a disaster and he was going to make it great. And we all pretended that was an exchange of equally substantive but different ideas.
6. She had to worry about what she wore, her tone of voice, her makeup, hair, shoes, and her resting bitch face.
7. He didn’t.
8. She was penalized for her ambition.
9. He wasn’t.
10. Her temperament was questioned because she once had periods.
11. His erratic temperament was on public display.
12. His bombastic arrogance was mistaken for leadership/management skills.
13. Her leadership/management skills were not enough, and in fact, were suspicious.
14. She was described as being untrustworthy, a liar, while being repeatedly proven otherwise.
15. He was perceived as telling it like it is, while being constantly proven a liar.
16. She was penalized for staying with her husband, and blamed for his infidelities.
17. His infidelities and multiple marriages were not relevant.
18. Her background check revealed 30 years of investigations resulting in no criminal charges. She was labeled a criminal.
19. His background check revealed hundreds of lawsuits, several bankruptcies, missing tax returns, questionable financial dealings, two pending criminal trial dates in the next two months, one of them for raping a 12-year-old girl. His background check passed.
20. She was gas-lighted. He gas-lighted.
He got the job.
She had to be graceful about it, and will probably have to train him, while he expects her to get his coffee.
We still have work to do. I will still do my little part here.
I will soon launch a podcast adding the stories of women in tech. If you know some, send them my way.
From Pantsuit Nation,