Glass ceiling vs obstacles(5 Posts)
I feel that while once the concept of a glass ceiling was a good way to describe how women in the past could see success but were blocked from entering into its sphere, I think nowadays it seems more like there's a fanfare about how women have every opportunity to get to the top while at the same time hurdles are quietly put in their way to make their path to success that much more tiring, that much more frustrating, that much less worth it than the path followed by their male peers. Women then get demoralised and drop out and everyone points to them and says, "Look, they don't have the drive to do it, there's something wrong with them." Hence the endless idiocy about how to "empower" women as though we're idiots, or are far too stupid to understand success.
As an example, recently a very successful colleague of DH's, who was also of the opinion that feminism was a thing of the past, faced her first obvious hurdle (the first she couldn't dismiss as being somehow necessary, or her fault) when she was promoted and then told that even though every other (male) predecessor in the job had had at least one assistant (sometimes many, and they all used the office staff like their personal gofers) suddenly there was no more money for her to have an assistant and she would have to do the extremely full-on time consuming job entirely on her own. Thankfully, she woke up and realised what was happening, challenged it, and they backed down. But even still the damage is done. A confident, ridiculously successful woman has been given the message that support is being withdrawn, she's not entitled to the "perks" (if an assistant is a perk, in fact it's absolutely essential and they couldn't deny that when she protested) of being in the upper echelons, that as a woman she can't expect someone to help organise her as women just do that automatically (with their wombs, I suppose) etc etc.
I want to see an end to this idea that women can't or won't accept success and a recognition that once success comes within their grasp women are subtly overburdened, subtly undermined, subtly (or perhaps not so subtly) given the message that they've gone far enough and the road ahead is closed.
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