Studies have shown that women work hard, harder than most men. In addition, they still do most of the housework and childcare on top of their jobs. Their accomplishments, large or small, are rarely recognized by men. It is like their accomplishments are invisible. I have watched and experienced this for years. Whether it is in my family, among friends or in the workplace, most women don’t get the attention and the credit they deserve. The world is geared towards supporting men. Women’s sports programs are the first to be cut in universities when there are money issues. Programs to help women in crisis are very dependent on government funding and can be cancelled with the stroke of a pen. And health care has an undoubtedly male bias. (For more info on this, read The Gender Bias in Health Care Rant https://stillbitchyafter60.com/2019/07/05/the-gender-bias-in-health-care-rant/).
Men go nuts over other men’s accomplishments, things as simple as their golf game or their latest catch of fish will inspire so much attention and chatter that everything else can fall by the wayside. I used to see this in offices that I worked in so often that it was considered the norm. All the women would be at their desks first thing in the morning, head down, trying to get work done and all you could hear was the men talking or bragging about something they did or bought or saw. This could go on for an hour every morning while the women worked and no one, absolutely no one, questioned it.
Women spend their lives, caring for, encouraging, complimenting and stroking the egos of males who spend their lives taking this for granted. If a women puts something out there as if to say: hey, look what I did, what she often gets is silence. Women’s accomplishments rarely register on a male’s radar unless her accomplishment is so promoted that it can’t be missed (such an accomplishment can intimidate many men), or she happens to be the bikini model on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Forget the small everyday accomplishments or even those more challenging personal accomplishments because they will be invisible to most males. The general thought is: that if a woman can do it, it must be easy. My generation of women is very familiar with this habit but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hurtful. I also see it in younger generations, fifty-something and forty-something women. I don’t know many thirty-something or twenty-something women to comment on. I can only hope that their situation has improved, yet I am guessing those studies that show how much work women really do probably include those groups as well.
Luckily, my last job was as a member of a women’s marketing team. We worked hard and did great work together and had each others’ backs. I reported to women who showed me how much they appreciated my accomplishments and made sure that the males in upper management were aware of my talent and my worth. Having experienced this, one of the more positive experiences of my career, it was difficult to adjust to a retirement where no feedback occurs.
Once you reach a certain age, a post-retirement age, it seems that women are expected to fade into a world of crafting, volunteerism, housework and planning holiday dinners. A world that a lot of men don’t feel a need to pay attention to. But most of us are much more than that. We are still able to have good ideas and be creative in other ways. We are still able to learn new things and change our lifestyle. We are still able to put stuff out there and say hey, look what I did. We are still deserving of some attention and credit and perhaps a few words of encouragement or even some tasteful constructive criticism, just something to show us that we are not invisible. Something to show us that you have taken the time to notice and care. After all we have been doing these things for you males for years.
So guys, my point is that it would be nice if you noticed and then offered a little acknowledgement and support to the women in your life for all their accomplishments. I’m not sure you will though, because I don’t think you are reading this. I think this will be invisible.
Thanks to those who did take the time to read this. If it resonates with you, feel free to share.
Photo by Sam Schooler on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “Women’s Accomplishments Are Largely Invisible To Men”
Well said! I certainly was on the receiving end of this, and I know that women in their 30s are still experiencing this type of treatment and have to fight to be noticed. I say “was”, but of course, I still am invisible now as well; when meeting new people, my husband is always asked what he does or did for a living, while I am never asked this. There seems to be an assumption that I was either a housewife, or perhaps something not worth talking about. I love/hate inserting my career as an archaeologist into the conversation and watch their expression change and their interest shift over as they are reevaluating.
Yes I think so many of women can relate to your/my situation. Unfortunately men don’t see it at all.
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