“Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult.”
I posted this quote as my facebook status the other day. I heard it on the film Miss Representation, a documentary film about how women are represented in the media, which I watched a few days ago. It was not credited in the film, so I looked it up and it traces back to Canadian feminist and former Mayor of Ottawa, Charlotte Whitton. It’s truth struck me and I decided I wanted to post it. One unknown guy who I have never spoken to and who was not ever among my facebook friends happened to see this and it didn’t go over well with him.
As you can tell I found an issue with his first comment. It is no doubt insulting. It didn’t take me long to block him. I went to this guy’s profile at the moment and found a status a few minutes after I blocked him, “I’m not sexist, I just don’t put up with shit.” Um, put up with what shit exactly? I’m guessing he interpreted the quote as insulting to men, because otherwise I have no idea what he’s going on about. I posted about this incident on a forum I go to and someone else, a female, implied that the “Luckily this is not too difficult” part could be sexist against men.
Still, I don’t see that it is. I think the entire quote was never meant as insulting to men, but instead empowering for women with the “can do” attitude it captures. I don’t think it is implying anything else, but maybe that is just my view.
What do you think about the quote? What do you interpret it?