Thursday, September 16, 2004

On today's Oprah After the Show, Barbara Walters and Oprah presented some pre-1975 freak show advice for women who are being treated unfairly in the workplace. Walters talked about the difficulty of her early career, and said she didn't realize she was paving the way for so many women. "I was no Gloria Steinem," she said, and she still isn't.

Young women who are not being paid or promoted fairly frequently seek Walters' advice, and this is what she tells them: "Be so good that you become indispensable."

"That's a good one!" chirped Winfrey. "Be so good you become indispensable. I'll quote that."

No, Barbara. No, Oprah. That is not a good one. That is telling women to buy into the reality that women--like minorities-- have to be twice as good as anyone else in order to get any respect from the white male establishment. By buying into the reality, the reality is perpetuated.

It amazes me that two obviously intelligent women who have not always had an easy time of it would advise women to curry favor with men rather than demand equality. What are they thinking? Are they thinking at all?

Please...if you are a young woman who is not being paid or promoted fairly--demand what is due you, and if you don't get it, take legal action. Working twice as hard and being twice as competent is a manifestation of internalized misogyny, not a solution.


Nothing much to say except Amen.

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