Give women a break

Women have no ambition, according to Kevin Roberts, the now suspended chairperson of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi who believes that women just want to be “happy”.

Women have no ambition, according to Kevin Roberts, the now suspended chairperson of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi who believes that women just want to be “happy”. 

Put simply, he thinks women aren’t really interested in power jobs and executive positions. Someone tell him to Google Hillary Clinton, Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Oprah Winfrey and newly appointed Fifa Secretary General, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura. 

Since he took it upon himself to paint all women with one brush, I’m going to go right ahead and put words in his mouth. I think what he really meant is that women are happy to just look pretty. 

Nails and hair done, fabulous clothes and bam, women want nothing more. There’s nothing wrong with looking good by the way and that is why even men spend time and money on personal grooming and looking presentable. 

I just don’t understand why seemingly smart men continue to make ridiculous statements similar to Roberts’. Earlier this year, Formula One Boss Bernie Ecclestone’s remarks that women “aren’t strong enough and so can’t handle the physicality of the sport” sparked outrage. 

The 85-year-old who himself probably needs help getting around also said female drivers wouldn’t be taken seriously and that women will never be accepted in the sport! Another man, Raymond Moore, was also forced to step down from his role as CEO of the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament after basically saying there wouldn’t be Women’s Tennis without the Men’s, which may be a valid point as male-dominated sports generally draw bigger audiences hence more revenue but you know the adage, “Some things are better left unsaid” or “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” 

But knowing how chauvinistic our world still is, it’s only a matter of time before another male says something sexist. I wish everyone would just give women a break. 

We still have laws drafted by men telling us how to live our lives. Cover-up, you can’t go to school, can’t drive, no makeup, anti-abortion laws, FGM, even taxation on sanitary products for women! Speaking of which, did you see the story of the Malawian HIV-Positive man paid by scores of parents to cleanse their daughters once they start their periods? 

How crazy is that? I just want girls and women around the world to have choices. When it comes to our freedoms and dreams, there shouldn’t be a one-size fits all because we are different. There are women who are happy to stay home and raise their children. 

They shouldn’t be undermined for making that choice. Other women don’t want to have children and their decision should be respected too. Some girls want to be models or beauty gurus. Nothing wrong with that. Many others want to be entrepreneurs, bankers, neurosurgeons, pilots or astronauts. 

As long as it’s their dream, it’s not our place to discourage them from taking on a power job because that might intimidate potential suitors. You see society’s double standards? Like I said earlier, happiness is relative. Some draw satisfaction from taking care of their families, watching their children grow and thrive. 

Others get a thrill from meeting monthly sales targets or overseeing projects they initiated. Some want it all. Let’s not dictate anyone’s happiness.

 

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