Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Emotion as a Disadvantage?

In 1970, Dr. Edgar Berman, confidant of a U.S. Vice President and advisor to many congressional committees and commissions, declared that "raging hormonal influences" during menstruation and menopause made women unfit for positions of power.

In 1985, I was fired for "being too emotional." I gave my boss several instances in which he had relied on my intuition, empathy, etc., during the five years I had been with the company. He acknowledged that my "emotions" had provided value in each instance, but I was, nonetheless, fired. It turned out that office politics were the reason behind my sudden unemployment but, to my boss's mind, emotions were a sufficient explanation.

In 2013, the last year for which statistics are available, women were paid 78% of what men were paid. Why? Because we're (supposedly) more sensitive, empathic, and intuitive, and those attributes aren't valued?

Yesterday, an extraordinarily intelligent woman, who has degrees from top universities and speaks 7 languages, told me she thought Hilary Clinton wasn't emotionally stable enough to be President.

And yet, the increase in recent decades of diagnoses along the autism spectrum, particularly in boys, in which difficulties in processing emotions is one of the symptoms is given as a valid reason to avoid vaccinating children against life-threatening diseases.

How crazy is this? On the one hand, we're terrified by the lack of emotional intelligence and, on the other, we consider emotional intelligence a disadvantage.

No comments:

Post a Comment