Getting in Touch with Your Inner Bitch: “When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” Bette Davis
If I carry the above quote forward, the most important corollary is: When a man is ruthless, he’s a leader. When a woman is ruthless, she’s unnatural.”
I am not a huge fan of Hilary Clinton. Her history, policies and opinions are too centrist and support the status quo. However, my dislike really stems from my personal bias and socialization. Bill Clinton cheated on her and it went public. She put up with it. I think she should have kicked him tot he curb. I also think she’s unfeminine and that’s socialization. I voted for her because I couldn’t vote for Bernie Sanders and refused to cast a defacto vote for Trump (which failing to vote in effect was).
I’ve hit real gender bias twice in my life. The first was as a young married woman living in the South. I was constantly asked when we were going to start our family. I got various reactions when I replied that we hadn’t yet decided if we’d have children. That became less of an issue over time as I got older, we moved to other states, and social norms changed.
The second was my choice of career. I tried a bunch of the usual options. I did clerical and sales work as we moved around. I considered teaching and took some college classes geared toward that and business. I loved English, so I took some literature and composition courses. I got a chance for computer training when a family practice doctor automated his office and I was the office lead/manager. I got another chance when I worked in appointment scheduling at an Army hospital and received training on programing the IBM mini-frames. Eventually I won a Department of Army internship as a computer specialist. I spent two years taking college courses, working, and receiving on-the-job training. The women taking computer courses at the University of Alaska at either the Fairbanks or Anchorage campuses were minimal, less than half a dozen. I later worked in a large technical support department where 3 out of 60 employees were women. If you take 10-15 years off my age, you see more women in the field. The trend was to route the women into management and supervisory positions. I had to accept career limitations if I didn’t wish to do those things or take on a very narrow specialization.
I’ve been in my current position for 16 years. I’ve maxed out my pay. I stay for two reasons: I am nearly autonomous and the job requires a variety of skills instead of specialization. My expertise is questioned less often, but I think that relies more on my experience that much change in public opinion.