The Woman Card

 

Let me preface this by saying that as a general rule I don’t write (on here or on social sites) about topics having nothing to do with web design, the internet, or technology. However, as a woman, I took serious issue with Trump’s “woman card” comments this week regarding Hillary Clinton and felt impressed to cross my “never talk about religion or politics” online rule. So bear with me while I take this time to write a more personal and less business-esque post.

Trump’s comments (be they about Carly’s face, Hillary’s voice, or even complaining about the fact that Hillary IS “a woman”) irks me because of my own personal experiences over the years of having worked in primarily male-dominated industries.

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card,” Trump said on Tuesday. “And the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”

Then there was this equally as inane remark he made during an interview on CNN:

“She is a woman. She’s playing the woman card left and right. She will be called on it… if she were a man and she was the way she is she would get virtually no votes.”

If she were a man and was the way she is she would get virtually no votes? So. If Trump were a woman and he was the way he is how many votes would he get? And does his “man card” entitle him to insult every gender, culture and religion simply because he feels superior to every human being on the planet?

That graphic started out as my knee jerk reaction to Trump’s whole concept of “playing the woman card.” While I designed the image to be satirical, I was actually recalling my 15 years as a stockbroker and what I put up with, especially when I returned to work from maternity leave. My boss called me into his office and during his little chat with me, he said (and I quote): “You can’t be BOTH a stockbroker and a mother.” How’s THAT for an eyebrow-raising statement? I won’t go into details of the rest of the conversation. However, it ended up with him actually following me down the hall and into the women’s restroom while bellowing out something about my not walking away when he’s talking to me. True story.

I’m sharing this personal part of my life because I was fortunate enough to be in a financial situation to where I could take him, and the firm, on. The vast majority of women in the workforce do not have that luxury. They need their jobs so therefore they have to put up with all sorts of BS in the workplace. It can also be quite challenging for women to prove that they’re getting paid less, or being treated unfairly, than their male counterparts. I happened to have solid evidence, along with witnesses who saw him follow me into the bathroom.

So, yes; I took Trump’s comments personally — as will millions of women across the country. In Trump’s narrow-minded and chauvinistic world, a woman only has value if she looks like a runway model.

With over 90,000 Tweets being posted within a couple of hours of Trump’s comments, I really didn’t think that my one image would be so quickly noticed by online publications such as NYT’s Women in the World, BBC, the Toronto Star, Stylist, Jet, and others. Within short order it ended up with thousands of retweets, copies, more comments than I can possibly respond to due to time constraints. The vast majority of comments to me were VERY positive and often humorous! I was surprised to see that even the majority of comments from men were positive and lighthearted.

Of course, there were the downright UGLY and nonsensical comments from Trump supporters — proving the adage “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” There was the name calling; “baby shredder,” “mass murderer,” the c-word, and so on. Men telling me that “if I want to make as much money as a man I should get a job doing the same dangerous work, with the same long hours.” Typical online harassment women deal with on a regular basis. Yet another perk of the “woman card.” Also another reason why I tend to never discuss religion or politics on social media sites.

By the next day, there were many versions of a credit-card-looking “woman card.” Even the Clinton campaign came up with their own version to use for collecting donations. I’ve also had requests from people wanting to use the image for various reasons, along with people who simply decided to take the image and use it as if they created it. (Good thing I didn’t put my own name on the card. 🙂 )

As for equal pay for women, in general: SOME women make more than their male counterparts, SOME are paid the same, but MOST make less.

Jobs with the most equal pay for men and women are:

  1. Postal Service (which is heavily unionized). There’s more transparency about wages in the public sector, with no penalties for discussing salary. The pay is SLIGHTLY smaller for women, but that could be based on number of hours worked.
  2. Biological scientists; Small pay gap, depending on when you entered the field.
  3. Sales; You’re typically paid a commission based on your sales performance.
  4. Food preparation. Unfortunately, equal pay in this industry is very common since it’s a low-wage job. Full-time women earn a median salary of just $17,000. (Source: CNN Money)
  5. Electrical Engineer
  6. Mechanical Engineer; Oddly enough, the median salary for women is slightly higher.
  7. Videographer
  8. Computer Repair Technicians

As for Government (read: typically old, white, male politicians) making health care decisions for women, and not allowing women to have full control over their own bodies…. well… all I need to say about this is: Nearly 400 anti-abortion bills were introduced just in 2015 alone (both local and federal). Some would argue that this is the ONLY thing Congress, and the Senate, has accomplished during the entire Obama administration. Aside from the attempts at completely doing away with Planned Parenthood; a place where millions of women go for cancer screening.

So. What have I learned from this entire #womancard experience?

  1. There are FAR more wonderful people online than there are asshats. I had the opportunity to chat with so many awesome people — from all walks of life. Great convos and a few good laughs!
  2. If I’m going to make a graphic having anything to do with women, consider the fact that there are MANY women who either don’t have, or no longer have, a uterus. My sincere apologies to transwomen who “sighed” (or decided to verbally beat the snot out of me for using an image of a uterus for the chip on the card).
  3. Never talk about religion or politics on social media.

 

And now, for your listening pleasure….

Reba McEntire - If I Were A Boy

ARTICLE ATTRIBUTION: This article and #womancard image first appeared on WebDesignsByTerri.com and reprinted here in its entirety with permission.