‘Ambition’ is not a dirty word

Have you ever considered that using ‘ambitious’ in a derogatory way to describe women is sexist?

It’s a bit like how girls are described as ‘bossy’ but boys aren’t. Can you bring to mind any women you know that you’d describe as ambitious? Are they mothers? I bet not because once you become a mother, at least in my experience so far, people find it almost a cognitive dissonance to hold in their heads that you are simultaneously career driven and maternal.  This is why mothers often don’t have pictures on their desks. There is the story of a 1980s advice column that advised a reader whose gender was not apparent from the letter. The advice was: if you’re a man plaster your office with family pictures because people will think you’re a provider. If you’re a woman don’t put pictures up in your office because people will think you can’t keep your mind on your work.*

Ambitious Mother celebrates all the women out there who are mothers and ambitious. These two things are not contradictory !

*a story as recounted by Hilary Clinton in the ‘Why Women are Paid Less’ episode of Explained by Netflix

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