Home > Uncategorized > Rachel Simmons – Curse of the Good Girl

Rachel Simmons – Curse of the Good Girl

September 25, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I saw Rachel Simmons speak the other night at Town Hall in Seattle. Hm. What to say here? She was good, if you were say, a 12-year old girl. And, when I bought tickets, I hadn’t realized that she was going to be directing her talk to that age group. She did a great job, in terms of reaching those girls. And, I think that’s saying so much for her, because reaching girls at that age is pretty tough for anyone. She definitely tailored her talk so that young girls felt as though she was their friend – by asking them to text answers to her questions on their cell phones and having those answers show up anonymously on her presentation for the whole audience to see. That was pretty cool.

But what I really wanted to hear was how the long-term effects of always trying to be a “good girl” challenge us in the long-run. Everywhere I look, I see men continuing to dominate culture. And I see women still trying to compete on their terms, or fit in. Competing is definitely the harder way to go, it seems. It is so easy for women to be labeled as ‘aggressive’ when they’re trying to be assertive and, as one woman put it in the audience, some men, of a certain age, only respond to women when they act within a certain pre-defined paradigm – you know, if you act coquettish, you are more likely to get what you want…or if you act helpless, a man is more likely to help. Men don’t like to help assertive women, at least in the workplace, because they are competition, or not ‘real women’.

So things are not any easier for women, and I think men are more confused than ever. Even men who think they are progressive are still trapped in this culture where women just aren’t as prevalent in positions of power and that influences the way we all act and respond. The sad thing in all of this is that women have to be something that they’re not. I can’t even say what that something is, because it is different for every woman. But I can say that we have to pay close attention to how ‘this’ particular man that we are dealing with is perceiving us. If he thinks I am too assertive, he will just ignore me. If he thinks I am too feminine, he won’t take me seriously. If he thinks I am beautiful, he will cajole me. Very few men can sit down and have a conversation with a woman and take her exactly as she is, a human with something to say.

C’mon everyone, grow up.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 30, 2009 at 18:17

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so, Excellent post!

  2. October 9, 2009 at 11:07

    what a great site and informative posts, I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

  3. Fiona
    October 11, 2009 at 17:02

    Thanks for your comments.

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