#YesAllWomen face a double standard


On May 25, 2014, Susana Abdurahman cries in front of a makeshift memorial for 20-year-old UCSB student Christopher Michael-Martinez after a series of drive-by shootings in the Isla Vista neighborhood of Santa Barbara, California. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Not long after a 22-year-old man with a grudge against women went on a killing spree on a California college campus, women took to social media to share their personal stories of grief and objectification with the hashtag #YesAllWomen. Days later, there are now hundreds of thousands of sobering tweets, many of which highlight the sexual assault, harassment or verbal abuse that women have experienced in their lives.

It's illuminating to see how far this hashtag thread has gone. The most poignant statements may be from women revealing stories of rape or unwanted advances, but a discussion has also emerged about the biases and sexist stereotypes that women face every day when they try to be assertive at work, balance their career and family, or simply lead others without being called "demanding."

The hashtag seemingly began as an effort to show that while not all men are sexist criminals, all women have been judged by their looks, treated like objects and forced to navigate a world where fears and vulnerabilities are very real. Where the conversation has gone, however, reminds us that the stereotypes yielding double standards for women at work are connected to the demeaning treatment they receive elsewhere, and that changing one will help to change the other.

Here, a few tweets from the thread:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read also:

Why did Jill Abramson really lose her job?

Why more women don't run for office

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Jena McGregor writes a daily column analyzing leadership in the news for the Washington Post’s On Leadership section.
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Lillian Cunningham · May 27, 2014