Are Women’s Successes Ignored?

photoI was talking to my Mother the other day and the subject of Joan Rivers came up. My Mother’s first comment was her looks and plastic surgery. My Mother didn’t know what a role model and success story Joan is.

So I will tell you. First, I might be biased because I think she is extremely funny. I have never been a fan of late night TV, never watched Carson, Leno, none of them. But, back in the 1980s (70s too maybe) Joan was Johnny’s fill in. If he wasn’t hosting the Tonight Show she was.

Sometime in the mid 80s Fox tried to become a player in late night and hired Joan as the host of their late night show. Joan called Carson to tell him about it (which he denied) and Joan’s show was launched. Carson, meantime, would never speak to her again and black balled her in all of Hollywood.

Joan’s show was cancelled. Then the big shock, her husband of many years committed suicide. So, there Joan was, penniless, no hope or prospect of a career and a daughter to raise. About 5 years later Joan got a TV talk show of her own. I remember her winning an award and the audience was practically in tears, everyone was so happy for her.

Joan went on to sell crap on QVC, create her “Fashion Police” franchise and now she is a very wealthy woman. What a success story. There are lessons here we can all learn from. To me, she has earned the right to do as much plastic surgery as she wants.

She prevailed. Are people at Harvard Business School studying her success and come back? No. Would they if she were a man? Probably.

I don’t think Madonna is given enough credit for changing the paradigm of how women are portrayed and how a woman could build an empire like she did. I personally wish she would stop trying to act like she is in her 20s and take on the role of the icon that she is. I do believe her work is recognized, but not to the effect of the difference she has made.

I believe the CEO of Yahoo being a woman gets far more media scrutiny than a male CEO would. Although Yahoo sees this as free publicity. But, is it? Or is it saying “can a woman really do this?”

Oprah is an institution, of course. I do think that she is given proper credit for the contributions she has given to society. From teaching people how to communicate better to funding a school for girls.

In my opinion Women’s accomplishments are not given the same credence as Men’s. It’s an exciting time, we have lived all of our lives with men in charge; so much to look forward to with a more equal balance or women in charge.


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