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Video shows 80 years of subtle sexism in 2 minutes

Subtle, persistent sexism over a lifetime is like water torture.

via HuffPo

Condescending sexism is persistently cliché.

Subtle, condescending sexist remarks such as "When are you going to have children?" and "You'd be so pretty, if you tried" are heard by women on a daily basis. Like water torture, what's subtle and persistent can become debilitating over a lifetime.

Making things more difficult is the contradicting nature of many sexist clichés that women are subjected to starting in childhood, such as "Is that all you're going to eat?" and "You eat a lot for a girl." Then there are the big-time, nuclear bomb sexist remarks such as "Don't be a slut" and "What were you wearing that night?" that are still shockingly common as well.


It's hard for men to truly grasp this never-ending barrage of sexism because it's not in their faces. That's why The Huffington Postcreated the video "48 Things That Women Hear in a Lifetime* (*That Men Just Don't)," in which women of all ages share the most common sexist comments they hear—but which men never do.

This article originally appeared on 8.8.21

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.


Every woman who works in tech — heck, likely every woman on Earth — hears “because you're a girl" dozens, if not thousands, of times in her life.

It starts young, of course:

Why can't I join that team? Because you're a girl.

Why can't I study physics? Because you're a girl.

Then, the comments age with you.

Why can't I manage that project? Because you're a girl.

Why can't I join that group? Because you're a girl.

And after you've reached any level of attainment in a profession you love, the comments are used to minimize your success.

Why did you get that award? Because you're a girl.

Why were you chosen to participate in that class? Because you're a girl.

Like so many women before me, I have shaken off the comment.

I've gotten angry. I've gotten sad. I've doubted myself and my abilities. I've ignored it entirely. I've challenged it. I've recruited support from men and women I respect. Yet every time it stays there in the back of my mind, screaming for attention after every failure or setback.

But today is the day I've decided to change that.

I did, in fact, get the job because I'm a girl.

A girl who was called "bossy" growing up.

A girl who wasn't afraid to play with the boys.

A girl who didn't hesitate to raise her hand if she knew the answer.

A girl who stood up for other kids.

A girl who was always the first one to volleyball practice and the last to leave.

A girl who was told she was too assertive and aggressive to advance in her career.

A girl who went to MIT anyway.

A girl who asked her company to do more on diversity and inclusion and won't stop pushing until it's truly remarkable.

A girl who has made big mistakes, both personal and professional.

A girl who swings for the fences even when no one is watching.

A girl who puts in hours when other people are asleep

A girl who tells young girls how smart and strong they are.

A girl who hates to lose.

And a girl who won't stand silently while people still use “because you're a girl" as any limitation for girls who want to grow, challenge the status quo, and be something, anything, greater than society tells them they could or should.

So yeah. I guess you could say I got my job because I'm a girl, but not for any of the reasons you might think.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.


This article originally appeared on 04.14.17

Somewhere in Salt Lake City, a Girl Scout is getting allll the good mojo from The People of the Internet.

Over the weekend, Eli McCann shared a story of an encounter at a Girl Scout cookie stand that has people throwing their fists in the air and shouting, YES! THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE. (Or maybe that's just me. But I'm guessing most of the 430,000 people who liked his story had a similar reaction.)


"I just saw the most wild thing!" McCann wrote on Twitter. "A man started walking toward the Girl Scouts cookie stand in front of the grocery store and he yelled 'My bitches are BACK' and this Girl Scout just yelled 'No. Walk away.' AND HE DID."

So simple. So straightforward. But it gets even better.

McCann wrote out the full story on his blog, It Just Gets Stranger, offering some extra details to his tweets.

"It was truly jarring," he wrote of the man's exclamation. "Like, it was sort of the last thing I expected anyone to say. My mind suddenly rebooted. The six or so other people who were all standing around in front of the grocery store froze and looked at him. I opened my mouth to say something, but then really didn't know what to say."

"It was unclear who he was calling 'bitches,'" he continued. "If it was the Girl Scouts, well obviously that was terrible. If it was the cookies, I mean that's kind of funny (don't @ me), but totally inappropriate to say to a bunch of 12 year olds (is that how old Girl Scouts are?). Either way, he shouldn't have said it and I don't know what could have possibly made him think this was a fine way to approach a group of Girl Scouts."

McCann said the girl's response was immediate, and it floored everyone. "Her tone was so full of confidence and sass," he wrote. "It was the most perfectly delivered line I have ever heard."

"This dude completely froze. He just stopped walking. His face went bright red. His mouth was sort of gaping open. He did this very awkward and stilted nod, almost apologetic, abruptly turned around, and shuffled back to his car at like 6-minute-mile pace. The girl just death stared him all the way through his walk of shame."

McCann says it took him a bit to digest what he'd just seen.

"I ended up walking into the store and the entire time I was shopping I was just trying to process what had happened. I kept replaying it over and over and wondering if I had misheard or misunderstood something," he wrote.


"Who was this guy? Did he just make the biggest miscalculation of his life? Is he going to move away and start a new life now? Is that girl going to be president one day? Can I adopt her? Can she adopt me? Can I start a cult to follow her?"


As he was leaving the store, he went up to the girl to compliment her—then got another perfectly delivered line from the intrepid Girl Scout.

"Two adult women were standing behind the girl (the troop leaders, I assume)," he wrote. "I said to the girl, 'I saw how you handled that man earlier. That was really really impressive. Your troop is pretty lucky to have you.'"

"And this girl. This Goddess of a human. The one I'm for sure going to worship if ever she starts a religion. Without stuttering. With perfect comedic timing. She responded:

'You gotta be pretty tough if you're gonna go out in THIS outfit.'"

OMG.

Let's all give this girl a virtual high five for her gumption and wit. It takes a lot of courage to say something to an adult when you're a kid, especially a man who is doing something inappropriate. The fact that she seemed to have been perfectly prepared for that moment, shutting him down so immediately and decisively that everyone in the vicinity stopped to take note, is so dang impressive.

This is what happens when you teach girls their true worth and encourage them not to accept anything less than respect and dignity. Gotta love it.


This article originally appeared on 03.09.20

It all can happen at just the right time.

Media outlets love to compile lists of impressive people under a certain age. They laud the accomplishments of fresh-faced entrepreneurs, innovators, influencers, etc., making the rest of us ooh and ahh wonder how they got so far so young.

While it's great to give credit where it's due, such early-life success lists can make folks over a certain age unnecessarily question where we went wrong in our youth—as if dreams can't come true and successes can't be had past age 30.


Weary of lists celebrating youngsters, television writer and producer Melissa Hunter sent out a tweet requesting a new kind of list for 2020. "Instead of 30 Under 3 or NextGen lists," she wrote, "please profile middle-aged people who just got their big breaks. I want to read about a mother of 2 who published her first novel, a director who released their first studio feature at 47, THAT'S THE LIST WE WANT."

The Twitterverse responded with a resounding "YAAASSS." Story after story of folks finding success in their 40s, 50s, and beyond began pouring in. If you worry that you're not far enough along in your 20s or 30s, or think it's too late for you to follow your passion in the autumn of your life, take a look at these examples of people crushing it in their mid-to-late adulthood.

Take this mother of four teens who released her first full-length book at 45 and started law school this year at age 47.

Or the woman who published two books in her late 50s and is revising book #3 at age 60. Oh, she also started running at age 45.

Another person shared how they got out of prison for drugs at age 49, stayed clean and started their own business, and broke the $1 million sales mark last year at 56.

"Lauching my clothing line now—at 48," wrote a mom of two. "Next venture feels amazing."

Another user chimed in with "Yes! Plus the 40 under 40, 30 under 30 can be quite contrived (sometimes). I want to see people juggling school, career, and family.”

Yet another mother of two teens finished her PhD at 41 and got a tenure-track position at age 47. She's also working on a book on Indigenous Early Childhood.

How about this woman who hadn't taken a math class for 40 years? She aced her statistics classes and will graduate with a perfect GPA after she turns 60. "Lots of life to live!" she says.

Another mom (are we seeing a theme here?) discovered a passion for interior design and won a national TV design challenge in her late 40s. Now, at 60, she has a successful design career and contributes to radio and magazines.

Of course, we also know there are fabulously successful folks who got a "late" start in Hollywood, including the incomparable Ava DuVernay, "who left her job at age 40 to focus on filmmaking and then became the first black woman to make over $100 million at the box office.”

As one man pointed out, "The idea that you've got five years between 20 and 30 to do everything you're ever going to do is ridiculous." Hunter agreed, writing, "The advice is always that it's a marathon, not a race, and I wanna read about the people who finished that marathon!!"

So many stories of people publishing their first books, landing their ideal jobs, or discovering a passion later in life just kept coming, and person after person shared how inspiring and motivating they were.

Of course, not everyone has lofty career goals. If these stories aren't quite hitting the mark for you, check out this woman's contribution to the conversation. She's "just a regular human," she says, but she went to Zimbabwe and volunteered at a wildlife refuge at age 47. "Life doesn't just peter out after 30," she wrote. "My friend Elsa is 96 and went on an archaeological dig at 75. I want to be like her."

Don't we all.

Age really is just a number, and there's nothing magical about "making it" in your younger years. Let's be sure to celebrate people living their best lives and making dreams come true at any and every age.


This article originally appeared on 01.10.20