Do we react differently when a man and a woman fall to protect?
Remember when almost all the homeless were men? We called them bums. Then some women appeared. We called the women bag ladies When about 15 percent were women, we called them all homeless and we suddenly began to care. This distinaion – between bums and bag ladies – is only a metaphor for the difference in our attitude toward men who fail versus women who fail.
ITEM When a male captan failed to control his ship and the resultant oil spill destroyed wildlife, the names Exxon Vaklez and Captain Joseph Hazelwood became infamous. Captain Hazelwood was put on trial, fined, and imprisoned. He became the pitiful butt of jokes by Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. His drinking was highlighted. The fart that a sudden schedule change had pushed an exhausted captain and crew back to sea and into a ruined career was ignored.
ITEM When a female air traffic controller failed at her job and the resultant air crash killed thirty-four humans (not wikflife). her colleagues took her to a hotel to shield her from pubboty. They spent days comforting her. Instead of being the butt of jokes, she received humor therapy, paid for by taxes.31 Rather than sue her. the Federal Aviation Administration provided her with a counselor. Instead of publicizing her name, the National Transportation Safety Board cooperated m keeping her identity secret from the public.32 To this day. her name remains virtualy unknown.
1 leadlines in papers from the Los Angeles Times to The Neu> York Times focused on her grief, not the grief of the families of those killed or the ruined lives of those injured.