Females dominate public relations. At least they dominate the major. They don’t necessarily dominate the actual jobs out there, but this is something that I’ve discussed in another blog worth checking out called “Where My Sistas At.” We know why women aren’t always in the high profile PR positions, but when they are, are they treated differently?
I think I’ve always been able to hang with the boys. I remember in elementary school when the boys and girls would race down the playground and certain boys didn’t want to race me because they were afraid I’d beat them…how embarrassing. Chances are my grades are just as good as yours, male or female and although I am majoring in public relations, my second major is economics, a field heavily dominated by men. I have a management job where I manage men and women and I bought my first house at age 18. Boo yah. I’ve made it clear I am capable of taking care of myself. Throughout my successes, (and low points) I have been subject to a little bit of sexism. Usually people act this way towards me without even realizing that what they’re saying is potentially offensive. I have a position of slight power as the Brand Manager at 88.1 The ‘Burg, I’m a leader by default on my track and XC team and I am a current participant in the Miss America program. These are my top five most annoying things people say to me because I am a woman.
1. You’re pretty tough, because you never cry.
My high school friends would laugh if they saw this one. Yes, since coming to college I hardly ever cry…in front of people. I cry all the time. Within the last 24 hours I have cried. Do I think I am tough? Hell yeah. Is it because I don’t cry? Heck no. You may be asking yourself, so you cry; I still don’t see the problem. When was the last time you heard someone tell l a man he was tough because he didn’t cry. I never have. That’s because there is a double standard. Women who cry are normal, men who cry are weak. Women who don’t cry are tough or hard while men who don’t cry are normal. Crying in public is one of the toughest things you can do. Its making yourself appear vulnerable, its letting you emotions show instead of hiding them down somewhere deep. Crying in front of people is badass, whether you’re a man or woman. Don’t get me wrong, nobody likes a crybaby but the periodic cry is fine by me and I won’t degrade you for that whether you’re a man or woman.
2. You seemed like a prude when I first met you.
This has been said to me at the workplace. I’m sorry? In what way did I seem like a prude? I wasn’t loud? I dressed well? I don’t gossip? When I ask people why I seemed like a pride they usually confirm all of the above. Though men are referred to as prudes, other males who acted similarly to me at the workplace were never accused of prudishness (to my knowledge). I believe there is a false notion that women are bubbly, social, airheaded creatures, or at least they should be. This isn’t what everyone thinks of course, but when you don’t fit into one of those categories you are sometimes labled as a bore.
3. You have a dude’s sense of humor.
What does this even mean? Yes, I can quote Tropic Thunder almost all the way through, but so can my female best friends. Are we actually a bunch of bros and I didn’t realize it? What is a female’s sense of humor I wonder? While rom-coms are generally marketed to women, when it comes to pure comedies, is Bridesmaids the only thing we women can claim? Maybe Mean Girls? And even those could be categorized as romantic comedies. Maybe instead of saying I have a dude’s sense of humor; you should tell me I have a good sense of humor. And no, I’ve never seen The Notebook.
4. You eat like a dude.
Once again, the comparison to a dude. Statistically, perhaps men do eat more than women, but anyone who thinks that scale is universally true doesn’t hang out at my house. I eat like a cross-country runner. I eat like an active person. I like to say, I eat with a purpose. What is a comment like that supposed to accomplish. For a split second it makes me feel bad, only for a spit second, Domino’s pizza is just way to delicious for me to feel bad any longer than that. By the way, I’ll take anyone on in a pizza eating competition, I don’t care if you’re male or female.
5. You have a nice a$%.
Need I explain? I put this on the list because I feel that this is something only women regularly hear. I have never heard someone, male or female, tell a man he has a nice rear-end. I have been told this in the office, I have been told this in a casual setting, I have been told this at a bar. It doesn’t matter where I am, I can’t seem to escape the fact that people seem to like my bum! Most of the time, it just isn’t appropriate to tell a woman this, but in a world of booty songs, booty jokes and a general fascination with the derriere people somehow think it’s OK to tell a woman what they think of her tuches.
Being in the PR profession will undoubtedly come with its difficulties, trials and tribulations. There will certainly be moments when I will want nothing more than to have a good cry and other times when even a compliment on my caboose will make me feel better. Although I am sure I will be able to handle whatever comes my way ultimately I just want a family. Whether I become a mother and housewife, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company I am sure I will find happiness. And that, my friends is the beauty of being a woman.