During the on-court celebration of now retired Serena Williams’ win in the first round of the U.S. Open last year, she nodded “Yes” when Gayle King, the MC of the celebration said, “Serena hates to lose.”
Which made me think: why is it ok for men to be competitive at everything, and only professional female athletes to be competitive? And why is it not ok for ME to be competitive?
To be clear – I am the opposite of an athlete. I have little hand-eye coordination and I grew up the youngest of three – two of whom were athletes. For me, there is trivia. As the girl praised for her intelligence – I am VERY competitive at trivia. This has meant that when someone new plays on my winning trivia team, I feel compelled to warn them that we – the three women and one man at the table - aim to win!
As a male colleague pointed out – “When women are ambitious or competitive it’s fine! As long as they are competing against other women.”
In the past, however, I have been deemed “not worthy” of taking part in various card games or trivia games by other women, because I was “too competitive.”
I’m confused. Would you set off to a game of cards with the attitude “I hope I lose tonight?” And then these same women who didn’t want me at their table, would turn around and route for the US Women’s Soccer team.
There is something in our society that states that women should just enjoy showing up. Competitiveness and ambition are somehow “unbecoming.”
And probably why the US has yet to have a female President.
Ladies – how we support each other is vitally important! And this includes supporting each other’s ambitions.
(And admit it – no matter what your gender – you want to play on my (very winning) trivia team, don’t you?)