Something that I’ve noticed since I’ve entered the working world is that certain ‘rules’ don’t apply to men in the same way that they do for women. Let me concentrate on something superficial, yet a very good example, of what I think is a double standard.
Sadly I am prematurely grey. This is a fact that I have to deal with because both my parents went prematurely grey (why they got married is something that mystifies me in general, but that’s neither here, nor there). I have had to dye my hair for many years just to cover the greys. In the last two years, it’s been far more noticeable as my Pepe Le Pew marker is right on the top of my forehead. So if I don’t dye it, it’s very apparent. No way you can miss it. It is so bad that people often stare at it when they are talking to me that I have to cough or speak loudly to get them to pay attention to my mouth or eyes when I am speaking.
I was told once by someone at work that I need to take care of my grey hair. Because if a woman has grey hair, it means that she is stressed. (Hello, yes that’s exactly what it means! But it can also mean it is hereditary! MORON!!). And that people will take her less seriously because it shows she can’t handle her stress. Needless to say, I told that person in kind terms to ‘bite me’. And I also said that I thought it was unfair for them to bring this to my attention because if the men in the team weren’t told these same things, I shouldn’t be either.
What bugs me is that so many men in business or on tv have grey hair and they are distinguished, trustworthy, or very knowledgeable in their field (e.g. George Clooney, Anderson Cooper and Anthony Bourdain). But I’ve never heard those terms applied to women with grey hair. Also I don’t think I’ve heard this because there aren’t too many women who show off their naturally grey hair. The only person I can think of off the top of my head is Paula Deen. (I think she’s knowledgeable about butter and lard!)
So I ask myself why does this bias continue to happen? What the heck is wrong with the world when these double standards exist?? I’ll tell you what is wrong…too few women bask in the beauty of their naturally grey hair because some jerk told them it didn’t look good. That’s what I think.