The Planned Parenthood congressional discussions brought to light something I didn't realize - women have it easier in America these days. This week, Tennessee Representative John Duncan addressed Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, by saying "Surely you don't expect us to be easier on you because you're a woman?"
Wait, women get it easier when it comes to business and politics? Fan-freaking-tastic! That means that all the studies that show that women have had to prove themselves again and again are just outdated. We live in a world where less than 5 percent of CEOs are female, meanwhile 52 percent of professionals are female. There must be something lost between when a female college graduate enters the workplace and when decisions are made on who's climbing the leadership ladder. Two-thirds of women in male dominated fields (STEM related fields) feel that they have to prove their quality of work more than their male counterparts.
Rep. John Duncan must know one of my old managers, who in the privacy of his office told me that he had no intention of honoring my engineering degree. My manager explained to me that my degree was worthless since, in his opinion, women have it easier in school, and that I didn't earn anything. I wanted to blurt out "I didn't do anything for professors or TAs for grades!" I doubt his male employees ever had to defend the legitimacy of their education. It didn't matter the hours I worked, how many successful projects I turned around, or how much money I saved the company. My manager explained I'd never be good enough. I probably stayed too long at that company, trying to prove myself, but I'm so proud I mustered the confidence and left.
Maybe Rep. Duncan is referring to how women have it easier in politics. Thankfully Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton has had an "easier" time. No wait, she hasn't. She's had to defend her clothing choices instead of her politics. It's hard to be taken seriously as a candidate when the airwaves talk more about your pants suit than your politics.
I challenge Rep. Duncan to look at the facts of our culture and ask himself if the facts support his outdated opinion that women have it easier in business and politics. And for the record, public apologies are welcome.