If men can’t view women as fully human — as people who happen to be women — then they’ll never really see them as role models. This helps explain why they need to be pushed to consider women in the first place, and why they’ll often then champion fictional characters like Wonder Woman or saintlike, maternal figures who make them feel good or serve them rather than those who are fully realized, flawed and independent.
They live to tweet at women about how their experiences aren’t real. Type “Didn’t Happen” into Twitter’s search function and you’ll find a bunch of tweets, largely by women, recalling how stories about their everyday lives resulted in strange men accusing them of lying.
While public wife-worship may evoke genuine affection and a passably woke outlook, it can also serve to efface the wife’s identity. The patriarchal nature of our democracy only exacerbates this, and when a man seeking unparalleled power implies that his wife is the better half of the couple, we are left to ask: Well, why isn’t she the one on the ballot?
If you can improve a player’s performance, what gender you are is irrelevant. That’s not to say female coaches don’t have to face a disproportionately high level of doubt, bias, sexism and discouragement from external entities like fans, parents of male players and the men who make up the institutions responsible for staffing and running professional sports teams, but most of the time, female coaches and male players get along just fine.
Talking about pay is already an enormous cultural taboo, considered by many to be gauche and improper. But sharing what you are paid, especially if you are a man who works with women or other marginalized groups of workers, is the most direct way to help build a culture of pay transparency, which in turn helps workers unite to remedy the injustices these discussions reveal — as well as to fight for wider workplace protections and rights.
“What’s important to understand is that the women involved [in these cases] aren’t just victims,” says Everline Lubbers, one of the founders of the Undercover Research Group, which helped expose the effort. “They were also used for a higher end, to infiltrate networks that the British state felt were a threat. They were basically used as objects.”