Have you ever heard the phrase, “Women have to do everything twice as well as men to be judged half as good”?
Unfortunately, that's right, we women often have to prove ourselves and we have to do it more than men. We have to assert ourselves and to do so, very often, we also happen to give up small things, the same ones that, in the long run, also make us lose ourselves a little.
It can happen during a job interview, when we think that perhaps it would be better for us to choose that more "serious" suit or outfit to gain greater confidence and therefore appear more "professional" and "credible".
It can happen when, for example, we choose a not too flashy make-up for a certain occasion, precisely because perhaps it's not the case to appear so much if we want to be taken into consideration and not judged for the aesthetic aspect.
So why, especially in the work-professional environment, does this happen all the time?
Why can't a woman be taken seriously for what she does just because, say, she goes to work in red lipstick and stiletto heels? What exactly is the correlation between dress/make-up and job competence? And why, then, "you do well, to be a woman" should be a compliment? It isn't, it never is, but unfortunately it still seems impossible for a woman to carry out jobs properly attributable to the "male" universe and also to do it well.
But that's not all, because this stereotype always applies, on every occasion that involves work. I don't know how, but I have the clear feeling that many of you have, at least once, received compliments for your well-groomed appearance, for your blouse, or even called you with nicknames, made jokes and praised you (even questionable) on your physique. Not to mention, then, the hand on the shoulder or on the back to make you understand how "good" you were... but I imagine that none, or few of you, have ever received a concrete and honest comment on the work done.
We always find ourselves having to make ourselves credible in the eyes of those who look at us and those who listen to us, we must always not be frivolous (because working women must not like make-up, clothes and sexy underwear. From a mother, then, one does not expect these things!?!) but in any case we must be taken care of (but not exaggerated) and if we work in technological-scientific fields we are either incapable, or we are scruffy nerds.
Work is the big black hole in which sexism enjoys doing stunts and diving into it with a double pike with a twist that not even at the Olympics! The world of work (and we are talking about every profession) is the demonstration of how long and tortuous the road to equality (both wages and HUMAN) is, but above all it makes us understand that we have always received a different treatment as women.
The world of cinema tells us so, where in films it happens that the protagonist (a BEAUTIFUL BLONDE and STUPID girl, because the stereotype has always lived within society, since we were born), a law student at the University, immediately becomes the laughing stock of all through college and after law school, drowning his skill and expertise in that endless black hole.
Television tells us, media communication tells us, where a Minister is judged only for her red lipstick and her bikini-like body on the beach (it is well known that we usually wrap ourselves in merino wool to sunbathe) and not actually for his political work; or when, later, as a guest in certain programmes, she does not have time to answer the questions addressed to her which the conductors immediately talk over to her, urging with the usual "explaining" tone ( mansplaining and where to find him).
The headlines tell us this, when even on the occasion of the Sanremo Festival they try to catch clicks by focusing only on the short and transparent outfits of the singers in the competition, or on that top that accidentally fell off during the performance. The commentary on the performance? Not received.
But do you know who tells us that the problem is objectively serious? The Global Gender Gap Report . It's reality, it's a punch in the stomach that throws the truth that we live every day of our lives at us.
It's sad, because the 2020 Global Gender Gap Report saw Italy in 117th place in terms of economic participation and opportunities , while for political power we reached 44th place , one below Burundi.
Do you know what was the percentage of women under the category “ Lawmakers, senior officials and executives ”? 27%, against 73% of men.
Do you know what the percentage of women in parliament was? 35.7%, against 64.3% of men.
Do you know what was the percentage of women who occupied ministerial positions ? 27.8%, against 72.2% of men.
The reality of the facts is this and we must admit that it is not getting better. Contributing to this non-improvement are obviously gender discrimination, stereotypes of all kinds, judgments and prejudices about how we are made, what we do, how we speak, what we put in the office, how "aggressive" we are. when we take a stand on how it is impossible to reach the highest peaks at work ( glass ceiling ), despite having the same merits and the same skills (if not more). A non-improvement, because a woman cannot work between engines and turbines and, when she does, she always does it worse than a man.
I could stand here and list dozens of other examples, but the central point remains one and only one: we never stop talking about sexism and gender stereotypes ; it's the black hole into which everyone falls because, unfortunately, it often happens that comments, judgments and prejudices come precisely from women against other women. In any case, we know, this great black hole finds its basis in the signs of a fundamentally and incredibly macho and sexist society (and often to say this is still very scary).
So what to do? Maybe we are just living a very bad nightmare and at the sound of the alarm clock all this damned effort will be over!? Let's hope…
For now, however, remember that if they tell you that "you have more balls than they who are men" well, they are certainly not paying you a compliment. That, sadly, is just benevolent sexism.
Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to unpack my new matte lipsticks sipping gin and tonic and in the meantime I'm also continuing my essay on quantum physics and the wave theory experimented by Feyman. Cheers !