I love it when the universe conspires on my behalf! Last week on Talk Back Tuesday, we asked a very simple question:
Are you a feminist?
I offered a few wry comments of my own and then shared some definitions of feminism, which I found particularly entertaining. Somehow the universe picked up our simple question and plopped it down in Victoria Beckham’s lap. Elle.com reported in a speech to the journalists and students at the Parson School of Design, VB revealed she’s a fan of Lean In’s Sheryl Sandberg, but does not consider herself a feminist.
She’s a Sheryl Sandberg advocate…
I’ve read Lean In, she said. I’m a big fan of hers.
…But don’t call her a feminist.
I am a professional, but I’m also a mum, she emphasized. I put my children first. Women are still treated differently from men, and, like I said, I’m a big fan of Sheryl Sandberg. I don’t know if I’d use the word [feminist], but I definitely support women who work. I think women should support women, and should stick together.
These 5 sentences say one thing, but imply something very different.
Let’s pick it apart, shall we?
- I’m a professional, but I’m also a mum. Please note the use of ‘but’. In communication circles, ‘but’ is referred to as a verbal eraser. It dismisses the first part of the statement.
- I put my children first. So….if you put your children first, than you can’t be a feminist? Where are you heading with this?
- Women are still treated differently from men, AND, like I said I’m a big fan of SS. Note the use of a compound sentence, sort of like a ‘but’ however it’s subtler. Hey folks! Don’t get me wrong. I know we have a problem and I’m a big fan of so-and-so, BUT …
- I don’t know if I’d used the word feminist. Pray tell VB, what word would you use?
- But, I definitely support women who work. Gee, thanks…for nothing.
Sorry VB, but you’re DISQUALIFIED! You may collect your non-feminist award on your way out.
In all seriousness — do better, Victoria. A lot of young women look up to you. They listen when you talk, so choose your words well.