As she strutted out of the courtroom, tasteful split in the back of a very fashionable satin skirt, pumps (but not fuckme pumps) , colorful blouse, I wondered how long before she, like me, experienced the weight of the curse. The cutesy girl curse--when a naturally friendly almost bubbly woman finds herself in a male dominated setting, in a male dominated career. Where every smile is considered calculating and every progressive fashion choice as seducing.
I never understood the challenges that I heard many professional women speak of. Honestly, I thought women were just “bandwagoning” it. Historically women have faced challenges in the professional arena and therefore I believed the conversation was passed on because while it wasn’t relevant it was traditional. I have not directly experienced the discriminatory aspects of working while woman but I have experienced the weight of working while cute. I’m not talking about cute physical features here. I’m talking about a cute disposition. A likeable disposition.
If a man has the natural gift of charisma, then he gets to use it in every aspect of his life. He never has to shield off that gift. Never does this man have to simmer that gift down. He’s currently not asked to and he never will be. At work there are no raised eyebrow if he uses it. People will just watch and smile in awe. Men will regard him as belonging to a prestigious Gwendolyn Brook’s we real cool club. Men will embrace him. Women will be smitten by him. He will use his personality, his gift, to advance his career and no will question it. He will attract both women and men alike. Take a woman on the other hand, now this same Denzel Washington charisma may land her jobless. Therefore, she better shut the giggles down.
I was recently told by a woman, cursed with bubbly as well, that I would need to redress myself, very straight laced, no make-up, not that I wear hardly any now. I would need to be a “plain Jane” she said. I would need to do this to play down my personality. We were having a conversation about my challenge in dealing with interviewing inmate clients, therefore I welcomed her advice. What she probably did not know is that her advice speaks to situations not only in dealing with imprisoned men but in professional environments as a whole. Its basically saying shame on me if I decide to wear a cutesy yellow dress, black blazer, basic black pump, and am smiling and saying “hello”. For I am cursed with cutesy, I should know better than to bring any more attention to myself.
If a cursed woman acts as she normally would, being friendly, maybe a little quirky, other women, not cursed ones, will think she’s fake. "She thinks shes cute" they might say saltily. And presumptuous men, well, they will think she’s trying to sleep her way to the top. Don’t misunderstand though, some are more than willing to capitalize on this supposed eagerness , quickly letting her know it too. There is a thin line in work situations between nice and seductive, every cursed woman should understand this. What we may not know is that the line is a lot thinner than we anticipate. The line-- is almost non-existent. Sex is oozing from every crevice of the universe but somehow a friendly woman, relatively attractive, has to tread lightly. If I attempt to network with a man then I must be leery because in every corner someone is watching for that smile of mine to be too broad, or that handshake to last too long.
I suspect Desiree Rogers, former White House Social Secretary, was cursed. A fellow blogger asked earlier last month if she was “Too Fabulous for Her Own Good?” The answer is yes. Solely from appearances and hearsay she was the quintessential cursed woman. And let’s now take note on where she sits, definitely not up there with President Obama. She was dethroned and although she ultimately resigned her hand was definitely forced. President Obama on the other hand, charismatic man that he is can give credit to his smile and swagger as being partly responsible for his presidency. As I suspect Desiree Rogers was a cursed woman I also anticipate men will label this kind of hysterical banter as paranoia. I am not paranoid. However, I am cursed. I have experienced the weight of cute firsthand. And until a man, which will never occur, experiences it there’s no way he can discredit what I am saying.
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