It ain’t easy being a lady. No, this isn’t a male bashing blog or an anti-love message. But it is part of my “random but relevant” series… and today I’d like to focus on the notion of women thinking like men. For the past few weeks, both men and women have been flocking to see the acclaimed Steve Harvey movie “Think Like a Man.” And while popular culture teaches us to act like a woman and think like a man in order to win in the game of love, what about the game of life? Ladies (and those men smart enough to pay attention), if we are still hitting that glass ceiling, what is the point of thinking like a man?!
Everyday, I watch millions of women in my city of New York rush to and from work. Many are the head of their households, many others are single mothers. Some have been fortunate enough to break down institutional barriers and open doors for other women to follow suit. But the reality is when my fellow women go home from their long day of labor they are still making less than our male counterparts. In industries across the board, women are still only earning something like $.70 to every $1 men earn. Now if I’m going to think and analyze like a man, it’s time I get paid like a man.
It’s absolutely amazing how many double standards there are for men and women – even in the corporate/business world. Constantly judged first and foremost on our appearance, women spend an outrageous amount of time (and money!) on perfecting our looks rather than focusing on why we aren’t demanding equal pay. Now there’s nothing wrong with looking good and making sure we are presentable, but why does it reach to the point where we are wearing shoes that are literally damaging our feet? Or clothes that we can barely move around in? Why are we skipping meals when all we’d love to do is eat? And why do men get a free pass so often when it comes to their appearances?
I recently had a conversation with a TV exec who worked in the news business for decades, and she said the amount of time spent on hair and make-up with women was nearly triple that of men. The sad fact remains that for all of our great achievements – and there have definitely been many – we are still struggling to catch up to men in terms of money, power and respect.
There’s nothing wrong with acting like a woman. I will always be a lady. But it really is time that we change the definition of what behaving like a woman means. As we continue to hold down the fort at home, raise our children and more often than not bring in the bread, we need to stop judging ourselves on our looks and instead start changing the way we are treated.
And to all of the wonderful men in our lives and those reading this, we have your back – now it’s time for you to have ours. Let’s level the playing field for all.