#GoodRead | Women make history and their husbands get the credit. How infuriating is that?
This week, an article caught our attention that voiced our concerns at GenderAvenger so perfectly we couldn’t resist sharing: Petula Dvorak's "Women make history and their husbands get the credit. How infuriating is that?" at The Washington Post.
As the world comes together in front of their screens to take in the wonder that are the Olympic Games, we are made even more aware of the work that still remains to be done. We have watched the women athletes (who should really just be called “athletes”) compete at mind-boggling levels, slaying world and Olympic records left and right, and yet it would seem we still don’t have the language to speak about a woman’s accomplishments as her own. Much of the commentary about women has served only to place their accomplishments within the context of men.
The announcers praised men for what the women achieved, attributing their successes to their coaches or spouses and comparing the women’s sports to the men’s equivalents, making them the default measure. We’ve heard phrases like “here is the man responsible” after a woman broke a record in an individual event, “she swims like a man” about a woman who performed at the top of her game, and “she almost gets as high as the men” about a record-breaking gymnast.
Women in the public dialog can only become the norm when women are treated as individuals in their own right, not as appendages of their male associates or counterparts. Perhaps TV announcers really don’t realize the value system they perpetuate, but lack of intent is no reason to let it slide. We must all do better. GenderAvenger commends Petula Dvorak for her article “Women Make History and Their Husbands Get the Credit. How Infuriating is That?” It is this week’s required reading.