Are you a global brand that recently discovered International Women’s Day is an actual thing? Or are you a national brand that’s suddenly down with Nasty Women? Maybe you’re an advertising agency or a tech company that likes to talk a big game on social media about the one woman you promoted to a senior position as if you just solved all inequality in the workplace past, present, and future? Or maybe you’re a supposedly enlightened organization, like a university or nonprofit, that likes to think of itself as always on the right side of history when in fact your org chart looks more like a family tree constructed entirely of sausage? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
As you’ve probably been finding out the hard way, there is so much to learn about women. First of all, there are so many of them! When you see them gathered en masse with those pink pussy hats you might not know whether to think “target market!” or “RUN AWAY!” We totally get it. That’s exactly how women feel about large groups of men, except without the “target market” part.
At work, you may not have noticed how many women are actually there. There’s the one who always cries after her yearly review and that other one who orders the pastries and coffee for important meetings — Alexandra, Alexandria, something. Always forget her name. Or the one who runs HR and occasionally raises her voice in meetings — so shrill and that awful haircut. But, unbelievably, there are likely more than three women in your workplace. How can you be sure?
Well, look around. A common mistake is not actually seeing women who are over 32, are above a size 8, are mothers, and/or are obviously smarter and more capable than you. This is what women call “being invisible,” which is deceptive since they’re just as much of an actual physical life form as you are, except without the sense of entitlement.
Secondly, women love to shop. You might be thinking, “Well duh, even I know that. Those THE FUTURE IS FEMALE T-shirts aren’t buying themselves!” No, no, dummy, we mean really shop. Did you know that women are responsible for 70-80% of consumer spending? And we’re not talking about T-shirts; we’re talking cars, houses, and other big expensive man stuff!
Because of this, you might want to rethink how you cast when it comes to those television commercials and videos you hope go viral. While the bases seem pretty well covered when it comes to the role of Laughing Yogurt Eater Who Has a Difficult Time Pooping, The Patient and Condescending Wife of that One Dumb Bastard, and/or The Mom Who Has Hot Pockets® For Dayz, you should strive to highlight these less visible roles: Woman Who Does the Same Job As That Guy But Gets Paid Way Less, The Breastfeeding Mom Who Doesn’t Want to Make Food For Her Baby On the Toilet But Thanks for the Bathroom as Lactation Room Suggestion, and/or I Feel The Anger of a Thousand Suns When You Steal My Ideas In Meetings, DAN, So YES I’m Gonna Raise My Voice Right Now and You’re Gonna Take a Seat and Zip Your Idea-Stealing-Mouth You Fucking Fraud.
Lastly, while you’re rah-rah-ing women via your Twitter account, Facebook page, Instagram feed, with spiffy new T-shirts, with branded pussy hats, and/or through a softball LinkedIn post written by that one lady employee who writes pithy human interest stories for the company blog, ask yourself, “Does our family leave policy reflect the real world or was it drafted with giraffes who give birth standing up and then go about their business in mind?”
I’m sure in no time you’ll realize women are more than just your coworkers who never seem quite satisfied with how things are going and more like your bosses who never seem quite satisfied with how things are going. And before you post one more thing about how invaluable the women in your workplace are, ask yourself, “Am I totally full of shit or what?” and “Have I ever unironically used the phrase ‘I’d tap that’?” and “Do I get it, like, even a little bit?” and “Am I hoping to parlay this into a happy hour anecdote that will get me into some unsuspecting young lady’s pants?” and “Would the women who have worked with and/or for me in the past read this without rolling their eyes and doing that cough — BULLSHIT — cough thing?”
While I don’t want it to seem like the task of satisfying women’s demands and expectations is impossible, it actually is impossible. But that should never ever keep you from trying, because that’s what women have been doing all along. Trying and trying and trying without any guarantee of succeeding, even when she gets the most votes. Good luck!