WHAT EXACTLY IS FEMALE LIKABILITY?

But is she likable enough to win? Clearly, she wasn’t. Will any woman ever be flawless enough, perfect enough, indeed likable enough to win the ultimate race in 2020?

This is such an interesting op-ed in the New York Times that drills down the origins of the “likability” construct; tracing its manufactured roots to Madison Avenue and the biggest dealer of illusion and falsehood: advertising. This conventional idea of “likability” has historically followed a set criteria that casts men in this positive role; i.e. strong, bold, enter any other adjective you see fit here to describe the socially dominant gender. And yet, by virtue of the idea having been crafted by ad men in order to promote their own agendas, there is hope yet that a new idea of likability -- both male and female -- can be reimagined for today.

 

As more women enter the Big 2020 Race and as more women assert themselves in roles typically reserved for men, the current construct of like-ability might just evolve to accommodate a more inclusive and feminine world view. If we reimagine a new standard of likability based on what women actually care about rather than what male marketers of the past assume and desire women to be, then we might just think she's likable enough to be President after all.

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