Monday, March 03, 2008

How far have we come as women?

At our Toronto dinner last week we had three journalists as speakers. All had been editors of mainstream magazines, and Linda Lewis is still in that role, heading up the new magazine More which is aimed at women over 40.

The discussion was lively to say the least and as they recalled their early days in journalism, many were shocked to learn that in job interviews they were even asked whether they were using birth control – after all the employers didn’t want to invest in someone who might get pregnant. As Dianne Rinehart (former editor of Homemakers) pointed out, she was sure they didn’t ask the men if they used condoms. When you hear stories like this, you realize we have come a long way.

But not far enough to support Hilary Clinton. When the panel were asked whether Hilary was getting a fair shake by the media, the answer was a resounding no. Not only were the media not being supportive, but women were also judging her, observed Rona Maynard, former editor-in-chief at Chatelaine.

It would seem in the eyes of many if she shows emotion, it is deemed that she is cracking under the pressure and therefore not capable of this leadership role, and if she steels herself and appears strong, she is categorized as a hard-hearted individual. Either way, it would seem that she can’t win – neither the nomination nor the unilateral support of her gender, which is too bad as she is more than capable and would bring a wealth of experience to the job. The primaries on Tuesday will reveal all.

No comments: