Columbia Business School Follies MBA students’ just produced a women’s anthem of sorts about being a “bitch in business.” Their video has gone viral and turns the tables on the “Wolf of Wall Street” attitudes that men have long been rewarded for. Will it make some uncomfortable? Yup. Did its crudeness make me uncomfortable? Some. But that’s the point.
A man in business would never be called “abrasive,” or be told to “smile.” Hard charging male attitudes are rewarded, and those men are not penalized or criticized for a dearth of “likeability.”
Behind much comedy is anger or frustration and a hunger to turn the tables on outmoded ways of thinking. Today’s women are rejecting inherited rules that no longer suit them and are uneasy in the container someone else built for them, i.e, don’t tell women they can’t do math.
But a woman getting ahead in business doesn’t mean that she’s going to be an imitation of a man. Maybe that’s the secret male fear! Successful female entrepreneurs today are offering a more flexible business model in direct contravention to the excesses depicted here. Women, like men, need the freedom to pursue their goals without getting judged for how much they do or don’t “smile.”
For a less, ahem, “abrasive” video that makes a similar point, see Maddie and Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song,” wherein two teenaged singer songwriters turn the tables on the lyrics of male country stars who yearn for no-name arm candy dressed in painted-on shorts.
Not unlike the MBA video, Maddie and Tae’s song is a perfect example of showing rather than telling — putting guys on the receiving end of objectifying treatment, with hilarious results.
To date, “Girl in a Country Song” has been viewed over fourteen million times. Their song is now number one across the country.
Apparently more of us are ready to hear the message.
Anita Finlay is the bestselling author of Dirty Words on Clean Skin. Sharing the untold story of Hillary’s 2008 campaign, Dirty Words exposes media sexism in a society not as evolved as advertised. “The book tells it like it is for women aspiring to power.” #1 on Amazon’s Women in Politics books for 16 weeks.
Like Anita Finlay, Author on Facebook.
Follow @AnitaFinlay on Twitter.