Annie Pasquariello is a 31-year-old journalism student at Niagara College. She’s a Fort Erie native currently working in a month-long internship with Bullet News.
ANNIE PASQUARIELLO/Special to Bullet News
After reading the news about Margaret Thatcher’s death I couldn’t help but think about her importance to women and her high profile position.
Known as the Iron Lady, she was the United Kingdom’s first, and so far only, female prime minister.
Growing up, women are told that any career is possible. Hard work and determination would be the key to success, and yet that “steely determination” and bluntness is what got Thatcher her nickname.
If a man is determined he is a leader. Yes, women have come even farther along since Thatcher was in office, but it doesn’t seem to change attitudes towards women in power from both genders.
Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg recently published Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead to help empower women in the workplace and not hold back in challenging themselves more. It has come under harsh criticism, mainly from women who feel that Sandberg does not have a grasp of what “real” women face day to day.
I am not a feminist by any stretch, but I was always under the assumption that the work would speak for itself, whatever that work was. I didn’t think that women needed “tips” to succeed like a man. Not all women want to act like a man, nor be called a “B” for being assertive.
Women have become their own worst enemies and we seem to keep setting ourselves back. We live in a society where we idolize women based on physical appearance and read about female characters dominated by men like Christian Grey and accept all of that as societal norms.
Some women are not comfortable using their beauty and some are not comfortable using their brains. I always believed a woman could be strong and intelligent and have a sensitive side with an empathic character. As a woman, it is hard to act like a different person to make someone else, mainly men, feel comfortable. I cannot pretend to laugh at a stupid joke nor can I pretend that my goal in life is to find a husband and have children.
The question of family or career is another dilemma successful women have to face more than their male counterparts. It is not that easy to “have it all” when a woman is torn between raising her children or a having a career. A hard decision when you care deeply about both.
Apparently journalism is also a male-dominated industry, which is scary and motivating. Having to “prove myself” is a very easy motivator and makes me want to become a better writer. Like I assumed growing up, I hope the work will speak for itself.
Success means different things to different people. Women can and are recognized in the workforce and in the home. It was Thatcher who said, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.”