Colin Cowherd’s Take On Why Men Are More Successful Than Women Is Wrong On A Few Levels
As a rule, when someone prefaces what they're about to say with "this isn’t some misogynistic take," it's probably at least a tad bit misogynistic. Case and point: yesterday, Colin Cowherd told his listeners that one of the reasons men are more successful in the business world is because women aren't very good at compartmentalization.
When it comes to accepting criticism, Colin Cowherd and "a million articles" say men take it, put it in perspective and move on, while women resist it and hold "grudges" that "last all month." Because of their dumb lady brains, no doubt. I bet their brains are pink, too. Ugh, chicks.
While there may be science to support this claim, there is also science that finds the female brain to be better at multi-tasking -- something that you'd assume would help someone in "business" (whatever the hell that means). Apparently it's not as valuable as what dudes have got going on upstairs. Of course it's not -- we're the man!
If Cowherd is saying that women do not take criticism as well as men do, he's also saying that they're not as capable of success in fields outside of business. He's saying women aren't as good at getting better at things because they don't have the balls (literally) to internalize suggestions on how to improve whatever it is they're doing. While he does admit that there are exceptions in either gender (throwin' the ladies a bone, wink wink), he doesn't point out other reasons as to why women may seem to be innately worse at stuff that makes men better at businessing their way to the top.
For example, what if men simply aren't criticized as much as women, and thus appear to have more of a tolerance for whatever their boss wants to scream at them because they're not constantly hearing it? In fact, what if women are criticized differently than men? What if they're unfairly criticized more often than men? Seriously, Colin -- what if women in business are treated as less capable than men to begin with, and are thusly criticized both more frequently AND more harshly -- for worse reasons -- than men are? Maybe women always feel threatened because half the world treats them as less than equal, which makes them less open to hearing what those people have to say?
Wouldn't that make YOU worse at taking criticism?
Also, what's to say that this trend Dr. Cowherd is speaking to doesn't develop as a result of external influences during adolescent development? If Cowherd's greater point is that we all need to be more honest about our differences, fine -- we get that. But that also means we have to look at what causes the differences to begin with. Things like, oh I dunno, radio hosts using stereotypes to explain why women aren't as successful as men in the business world when the actual reason probably has way more to do with misogyny.
Talking about gender differences as an static reality that exists in a vacuum is stupid. Lot's of factors determine how and why groups of people are the way they are, starting with these kinds of sweeping generalizations. Parents and culture generally treat female children differently from a young age, "compartmentalizing" them, if you will. Girls are given baby dolls and taught to behave in ways that are informed by the type of "hot takes" Colin Cowherd routinely puts out there about human nature. There are a million articles out there to substantiate this. The effects of testosterone levels in the human brain combined with the environment in which children are raised greatly informs how they behave for the rest of their lives. There are matriarchal cultures that counter the idea that women are held back in "business" by some innate inability to put things in perspective.
“Guys do one thing really well, and I think it’s really helped them through the years in business. Guys compartmentalize really well. Women don’t do it as well and there are a million articles on this, you can look it up. This isn’t some misogynistic take. I’m not saying every guy does it well and no women do it well. I’m not giving you an absolute but guys compartmentalize well.
Get into a fight with them, lasts all month. Grudges. Guys are different. You get in a bar fight, five minutes later, ‘Dude, I’ve got a business idea.’ ‘What? We can make each other money? High-five, all in.’ We just compartmentalize — it’s the way our brains are wired.”
Part of why guys succeed in business, some of it is obviously tradition and opportunity, but some of it is guys can take really bad news and take it personally and it doesn’t destroy them. And I’ve never understood this idea that you just always say to a woman, ‘You look great.’ She’s not a pet. She’s not nine. She’s not like your kid, ‘Honey, you tried real hard, of course you look beautiful.’ She’s 42. She’s successful. She probably has higher SAT scores and a better job. I don’t for the life of me get it. The ultimate sign of respect for any human being is honesty. Honey, my wife asked me the other day, ‘How do these pants look?’ I’m like, ‘Okay in front, not as good in back.’ She still loved me. My wife comes up to me all the time, she’s like ‘Do better.’ That’s her big thing. ‘Do better. That shirt, do better.’ ‘Alright,’ I want to do better. Why can’t I do it with my wife? 'Do better.' That thing in society right now, I don’t get it. Honesty is respect. ‘Yeah, you don’t look great in that. Ehhhh, not your best outfit. You can still make it later.’ I don’t get it."
Just because you've noticed a trend in women's behavior doesn't mean it is an objective fact about the nature of human beings -- unless, of course, you're making a very nuanced point about how citing negative stereotypes perpetuates negative stereotypes. Maybe this is what Cowherd means by men being better at compartmentalization? He likes to put people in boxes. The question is, is his brain man enough to sell those boxes for three easy payments of $19.99?
Colin, if your man brain is so damn good at taking criticism, why did it take you so long to acknowledge you were wrong about John Wall even though everyone was telling you "YOU ARE WRONG"? Also, heed this advice without flipping out on us like you did last time we critiqued you: cool it with the gender/racial/socio-cultural analyses.
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