Sunday, February 10, 2008

Twice as Good as a Man?

Nicholas D. Kristof, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times wrote a column this morning that seems tailor-made for our unit on women, and speaks to many of the issues raised at the 1848 Seneca Falls convention, which we are simulating.

He makes an argument that historically, and for various reasons, being a female leader in a democracy has been much more difficult than a being one in a monarchy. Beyond that, however, and more important for Americans, he concludes that, "they [women] have to be twice as good as men to get anywhere" in our society.

The reason for this may surprise you: according to the "Goldberg paradigm", both men and women judge more harshly a speech delivered by a woman, than the identical speech delivered by a man. What gives here? Why the double (dual) standard applied to leaders of both genders?

Click here for Kristof's article, and please weigh in with your thoughts, particularly in light of Hillary Clinton's run for president.

9 comments:

John said...

I think that the reason for the doube stanadard is because of the relatively recent idea of women having equal oppurtunities and power as men. Men have been looked at in the past as being the ones who did the heroic things(achilles), the explorers(Colombus), the kings(Alexander the Great). The uprise of oppurtunity given to women in the last century still hasnt rally settled in everybodys mind. Similar to somebody who may view blacks as still being inferior beucase of the horrific slave occurances, that same type of person may still think of women as being inferior hence expecting more to equal a man. That is an extreme example, but in general i believe that its going to take time and perhaps a woman president to ensure equal expectations from both a man and a woman.

Lars said...

I think it is ridiculous that women must be twice as good as men to get anywhere in our society but unfortunately true to some extent. I think this is because our society isn't used to women in the government yet, so because we are scared of change we point out all the flaws in a women, therefore they must be twice as good to get by all the ridiculing. Maybe our society isn't ready to shed that bias of men being better and more capable than women. If we were, then why would a women have to be twice as good as a man, it would be the other way around if we really wanted to move on.

carly m said...

Her outfit looks so uncomfortable! I know it has nothing to do with her ability to rule a nation, but it is another way that women are held to those double standards. A man ruler may wear a suit, or he can wear comfortable clothes if he so chooses, but women might seem weak if seen wearing anything remotely comfortable. Just imagine how many layers of clothes she has on underneath the top dress. I, for one, am thankful that I live in a society where it is not looked down upon for women to wear jeans and a sweatshirt.

Elizabeth L said...

I happen to absolutely love the movie Elizabeth I, and find that especially in textbooks she is demonstrated as this angelic, perfect, women in an almost biblical way. Last year we touched upon it alot and how she was such a symbol of European historys, "GOLDEN AGE". I started to think about Hillary Clinton representing the United States as our president just like Queen Elizabeth, and how she represents us as a symbol or not? I also thought back to an earlier discussion and blog you wrote illstrating when Hillary "cried" or broke down in an interview yet she hardly dropped a tear. The press was hard on her because maybe of the still four virtues among us today that existed with the Lowell girls?
"they [women] have to be twice as good as men to get anywhere"
I do think this is true today and something should be changed because of it. I am just surprised Hillary hasn't addressed this issue as much because it affects a majority of the voters.

Bolos said...

Hey New Trier! Bolos' daughter, Katina, here again. I was ranting to my dad about a sexist teacher of mine (no names b/c my dad doesn't want a lawsuit :-)and he told me to read this blog. Oddly, it made me feel better, due to your guys' comments. John and "Lars", I WISH you could come talk to the guys at my school- I really admire your opinions and you were easily able to explain this double-standard mentality without being at all offensive.

Even though I HATE it, I do agree that women have a much harder time in positions of political leadership, and I agree with the four of you; it hasn't been long enough, at least in America. I truly don't understand it though; when one is younger, the stereotype is that boys are the brawn while girls are the brains ("girls go to college to get more knowledge, boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider"). Then, suddenly, as adults, women are incapable of leading? Actually, now that I think about it, boys and girls seem most balanced as teens; there are boys and girls categorized as "the smart ones." What the heck happens after high school???

Okay, now I feel like I'm just thinking out loud. Carly, you're so right- Queen Elizabeth's outfit looks PAINFUL! But if you think about it, it's still not really acceptable for a professional woman to wear sweats to work. I mean, what if Hilary Clinton wore a sweatshirt? (what an image)! It would just be weird...

And Elizabeth, I agree that the press completely attacked Hilary when she "cried." Pleeeease! I watched that video; she barely teared up! And they made it seem like she was cracking under pressure when she was actually just feeling a personal connection with her country.

...Well, okay. I have to do my actual homework now :-)so thanks guys and sorry this really didn't have a point.

Sara D said...

I think it is really interesting the fact that BOTH men and women would respect a speech more by a man than a woman, at least from a political standpoint. I also think it is obviously not good, but truthful, the fact that women, historically, have more success in a monarchy than a democracy. I think that it is so hard to break the habit of having "strong" males in those kinds of positions, and a women may not be what are society believes in general. Although I do not agree with any of this, I do see how hard it is these days for a women to feel accomplished in the political world.

Brandon said...

In light of the democratic primaries, it seems as though Barack Obama might also have a higher standard because he is African-American. I saw this article and I thought it was interesting about how sexism is less offensive than racism because of the "overt adjustments to how African-Americans are addressed", compared to the feminist movement which has only been ridiculed.

I agree with other posters in that I think the double standard has applied to female leaders because of some people's sexist beliefs.

Harlesbarkly said...

Wow i find that the “Goldberg paradigm,” is extremely interesting. i never knew that women are constantly judged harsher then men. The fact that they conducted a experiment where "people are asked to evaluate a particular article or speech, supposedly by a man. Others are asked to evaluate the identical presentation, but from a woman. Typically, in countries all over the world, the very same words are rated higher coming from a man". Is there a psychological reason for the man receiving more respect then a women. Does a male's voice have more reinsurance then a females? When a male speaks does it affect the brain differently then a female speak? These are just some questions that i was thinking when i read the article.

Elizabeth L said...

HEY! I just posted about Queen Elizabeth with a different perspective... great minds think alike, so check out my BLOG.. haha I can't believe it I was like that picture looks familiar