RESPECT

I was watching TV and a commercial came on from a local TV station. It showed two males discussing their new talk show that would air this fall. The two were dressed in casual jeans, a tee shirt, and a suit coat. Suddenly, their female co-host entered in a very casual short skirt and tight shirt. So why is she not dressed like her male counter parts? I am not a huge feminist, but at some point we all need to ask ourselves WHY? Is her position less than theirs and/or are they just using her to sell ratings. I have a hard time understanding why this female is asked to wear less than professional attire while the men are wearing suit coats. I hate thinking like this, but this isn’t the first commercial like this from this local TV station. As a professional working woman I want to be valued for my work and my dedication to my department. What would I do if my leadership team asked me to wear a tight skirt and shirt to work during high volume times while they wore suits- let’s just say that this conversation would not go as they would expect, but I don’t work for employers that would ever ask this.

I was sitting at home one night and a commercial came on; it was from a fast food company. The young lady was half naked sitting on top of a car eating a sandwich in a provocative manner. I was so frustrated that I called the company’s home office to complain. I quickly noticed I was not the only one that had the same frustration as the home office set up a line just for complaints about the commercial. In my complaint I said ” I will never eat at your establishment due to your lack of confidence you obviously have in your own product. If you know you have a great product you could stand behind it and would never need to use sex to sell it, it would sell itself”. Well, a few years later they have stopped using this style of commercial to sell their product. I would love to know if removing these adds helped or hurt their sales.

All of this should not just be offensive to the onlooker, it should be to the individual. We women want to complain about the differences in professional settings between men and women from pay, authority, acknowledgement, and respect. However unfortunate, the sad truth is that we are allowing this behavior. If women would take a stand against this type of objectivity it would eventually stop, but it takes us all doing our part. And this can not just be in the lives of everyday women, those in positions to be seen and heard should also should take a stand. This has to be a broad change. We are never going to be taken seriously unless those in respectable, and public settings set a precedence for what is acceptable. I wish those in the public eye would realize what they are communicating to us all about what is acceptable and respectable. We can’t fuss about inadequate pay or higher positions if we are not demanding basic respect. I would like to see how the three staff members from the local TV station are being paid, is it equal? From outside looking in it appears that they do not value the female as much as the men and do not take her as serious, just something cute to look at. I hate this and hope this is not true because this young lady has worked hard and should have the same respect from her employer as the other two. If she is being paid the same she still isn’t being given the same level of respect. Perhaps the commercial was meant to be funny and light hearted, but this is not the first thing that comes to my mind when watching it.

This should not only bother women, but males as well. I am trying to raise two young boys and teach them to respect women. How on earth can I do this effectively when everything coming at them says the exact opposite? The message of the TV station and the message from the young lady says this type of behavior is acceptable. I know this may upset some to read, and I hope it does, it should. We should be upset that women continue to let themselves be used to sell ratings and products and all of this is supposed to be professional….. WHAT? This has always been so frustrating to me. If you want to be respected you first have to respect yourself! Demand respect and carry yourself in a way that shows this.

I love reading books regarding coaching, staff development, professionalism, managing, and productivity. One of the books I am currently reading goes into depth about the do’s and don’ts of women in professional settings. It talks about not to be emotional, the difference in communication styles between women and men, and body language. All of this information is to help women navigate the male dominate work force. Now, this book was written a long time ago and I believe the work force has improved greatly, but it’s bad to think that women seeking professional, higher level jobs have to worry about all these things on top of making sure they are excelling at normal tasks. I wish there was more information/coaching for women in regards to respect for one’s self and how to demand it from others, especially in the professional setting.

Does this frustrate you too?

-J

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