“Beautiful women have a lot of power. … From what I’ve seen, they get away with whatever they want.”
I overheard that during a break yesterday. A nice seeming man, late 30s or early 40s maybe, white, was chatting with the bartender in a mostly empty restaurant. That was what he said before launching into a meandering chat about the child he and his wife were expecting, and how he thought having kids kept a person feeling young. He did actually sound like a nice enough person, as much as you can tell such things about someone after only hearing them talk for a little while.
And I thought, wow, if conventionally attractive women really had as much power as he thinks they do, why aren’t they running everything? Why aren’t they the majority of CEOs? Why aren’t they the majority of officeholders?
Because it must be granted that women who fit a certain standard of appearance can sometimes get perks from that. It may be easier for them to find romantic partners. It made the news a while ago that women who were considered attractive tended to earn higher wages. Even if they might be too pretty to work in a bank or a traditionally male, blue collar workplace, you know, worse things could happen to a person than being born into a conventionally attractive female body.
It’s just that, at this point in time, it seems like 40-60 something (mostly white) men sympathetic to corporate control of everything are the people in society who actually can get away with whatever they want and do have a lot of power. They can rip off the government, rip off their customers, spread poison all over the face of the world and be so negligent that they get away with letting their employees actually die on the job.
As Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins of Green For All said earlier this year, in a DC speech given shortly after the BP Gulf oil spill really hit the news, ‘First, we have to lift up that 11 people died just because they went to work.’ I think I remember that pretty close to the way she said it, because I’ve found myself thinking about it often. It’s a guess, but I have a feeling that BP’s senior management isn’t getting a Vogue spread any time soon.
Who is it that gets away with whatever they want, again?
The incident reminded me of a conversation with a male friend in our living room a few months ago. He said that, sure discrimination was bad, but “women these days” need to look at “how they behave.” He was referring to how it seemed like attractive women had an easier time getting out of traffic tickets, and he was thinking of one woman in particular, one that he wanted to date but hadn’t been able to strike up a relationship with.
And that was something to do with me, how? That was something to do with all women these days? Sure did suck that we still haven’t closed the wage gap, but look, this one woman got out of paying a ticket because she was pretty and men wanted to do things for her. Facepalm. We haven’t spoken since. Which is sad, because he’s not a bad person, nice enough. I just couldn’t think of anything to say in that moment that I wouldn’t have regretted, so I walked off to another room of the house and couldn’t turn around to look when he said goodbye, let himself out.
Like I said, he’s a nice enough guy, you know?