This week, I got told more than once that women have to work twice as hard as men to prove themselves - in music journalism or any career - after someone went after me on a messageboard (which I don’t believe was motivated by sexism). I would never want to underestimate that fighting to be taken as seriously as men is undeniably a fact of many industries, and sadly an aspect of many women’s lives and careers. But it strikes me as a dramatically negative thing to internalise, and a very inhibiting starting block from which to tentatively jump— like tying a little bungee from the block to your own foot.
I am very lucky to have a job that makes me want to work twice as hard as everyone else, whatever gender they are, because I love it so much. I do not want to say that I’m “lucky” not to have run into any obstacles because of my gender, because that should be a fact, not a stroke of luck. (Though I am aware that it’s not a fact for many women.) You should never think you have to work twice as hard because you’re a woman. It sincerely bothers me that this line of rhetoric is so accepted, as it’s as personally limiting as running into gender-based barriers set by some other malignant force. If anyone ever says it to you, don’t just accept it politely. Refute it politely.