Billed as a Twitter parody on the ridiculous advice given to women, when I first saw the tweets I laughed. Really laughed. These gender reverse tips are super funny. Along with several tens of thousands, I shared them on Twitter and Facebook. The tweet about the scented candle really resonated. As did the one on guilt. There was also something Pythonesque about the @manwhohasitall peach hunt concept.
ALL MEN! Don’t be afraid to enjoy your OWN body. Light a scented candle, pop on some silky underpants & dim the lights. ‘Me time’.
— manwhohasitall (@manwhohasitall) October 15, 2015
They are in advice overload and some of it, we all agree, is totally banal and ridiculous. We have power dressed, we have conquered nerves, our presentations are flawless, our strategic analysis ditto. We pay it forward, mentor and sponsor within an inch of our lives and our mousse au chocolat is to die for. We look good in killer heels. We have obliterated the word “just” and “only” from our vocabulary and we now only apologise when we have caused accidental bodily harm to a handicapped senior, or small child. We do allow ourselves some flexibility. After all isn’t empathy our defining characteristic?
But 24 hours later, with the tweets really on a roll, churning out by the hour, I had second thoughts. Funny. But not really funny. This tongue in cheek humour is but another form of patronising indulgence. A distraction from the real issues. Some might even dare to call it benevolent sexism.
Let’s talk about the men who have it all!
- They occupy more than 80% of board level positions
- They own a big chunk of 99% of the world’s wealth
- They earn about 20% more than their female counter parts – and even more if that counterpart is a woman of colour.
- They carry out approximately 20% of unpaid work compared to 80% carried out by women
- If they don’t wear make-up people won’t think they are less trustworthy or competent.
- A high BMI will not be held against them as it would for a woman.
- If they look after their kids, women think it’s cute
- If they are married with kids, corporates think they are solid family people not hiring risks
- When they apply for a job their qualifications and experience are top considerations. Really? How weird is that?
So as I see the stream spew out fatuously funny tips for men I can’t help but wonder – what is the point? There are far more important issues the #menwhohaveitall can address.
Like supporting the men who don’t have it all. And they are legion.
Or educating their teams to manage their unconscious biases to drive gender balance to create environments where both men and women can succeed.
And one of the reasons women like scented candles in the bathroom is:
Ikea candle = €0.95 (currently on special offer)
Golf club fees = ??
What did you think? Funny? Not really funny?
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