Michaels: Women should write script for their own realities

Hollywood has delivered a few regularly recycled plot lines that I blame for my deepening brow wrinkle.

Hollywood has delivered a few regularly recycled plot lines that I blame for my deepening brow wrinkle.

There are time travel tales ruined with romance, alien abductions that are too friendly and, worst of all, the various incarnations of young-woman-conquers-a-man’s- world, with a failure drenched twist.

The latter goes as so:

A lovable lass with a heart of gold and an under-utilized, Einstein-like brain, should be a shoe-in for Top Dog, at Nameless Corporation.

But, just as the brass ring arrives within her sights, her boobs—or a barren harpy—get in the way and she misses her one chance to climb the corporate ladder.

In no time flat she’s scuttled to the back of the line, which gives her a chance to love, wear frumpy clothes and clogs while finally realizing what a relief it is to stop worrying about upward mobility.

Then they say something to the effect of; “Viva apathy—it’s comfy down here! Leave men to the rat race. Let’s bake.”

For some, this is a happy ending.

For me, it offers cause to smash my head against the theatre seat in front of me so my brain cells won’t record an unhealthy world view.

Just like I didn’t believe in monsters in childhood, I’ve chosen not to believe in the type of inequality that adds happy-context to these fables. They’re like the bogeyman.

When I hear things like “women’s conciliatory nature make them less geared to fight their way up” I bully the man closest to me just to make sure I can. When others go on about the glass ceiling, I aim for a higher view of my life.

The only thing that dictates a woman’s standing should be their abilities and, frankly, that’s been my experience.

That said, there’s a world outside my cubicle that’s a little less cut and dry, and the bogeyman has taken a more realistic form.

Courtesy of a new study from the Conference Board of Canada, the country learned this week that men are still more than twice as likely to hold a senior executive position, as they were in 1987.

In fact, women made up almost 48 per cent of the Canadian labour force but less than one per cent are in top management spots.

“Women have made great progress in many areas of society over the past 22 years, but not in the ranks of senior management positions,” said board president Anne Golden in a release.

“Now that the rousing early days of feminism are behind us, perhaps we have become complacent about the success of women in senior management.”

The report offered a shudder-inducing data and quote package I struggle to digest. It’s clear women are no less capable and, from the femmes I know, they’re no less driven. So, what is it about the top that’s so prohibitive?

Perhaps, the years and movies since 1987 have lulled us into a friendly fugue state, and it’s time for a shake down just in time for Labour Day.

Or maybe we should ask ourselves: What would Anne Hathaway and her Hollywood ilk, not do?

Kathy Michaels is a reporter for the Capital News.


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