In case you need a super simple illustration to show how hard it is to have a career as a woman, we’ve got the comic for you
If you’re tired of trying to explain to people (male people) exactly how it isn’t a level playing field for men and women at the workplace, there’s a new viral cartoon making the rounds that illustrates just one aspect of the hurdles that working women face compared to their male counterparts.
The cartoon gained traction and then went viral after it was tweeted by Indian businessman, Harvard Grad, and billionaire Anand Mahindra.
He wrote: “I’ve been helping to baby-sit my year old grandson this past week & it’s brought home to me the stark reality of this image. I salute every working woman & acknowledge that their successes have required a much greater amount of effort than their male counterparts.”
I’ve been helping to baby-sit my year old grandson this past week & it’s brought home to me the stark reality of this image. I salute every working woman & acknowledge that their successes have required a much greater amount of effort than their male counterparts pic.twitter.com/2EJjDcK1BR
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) February 5, 2019
The cartoon’s image is simple but striking: It shows three men and three women positioned at the starting line of a track. The men have a clear path ahead of them, but the women are blocked by a never-ending pile of housework, including laundry, cooking, and ironing. And on top of it all, they’re in skirts and heels.
— Diario La República (@larepublica_pe) February 2, 2019
There’s been plenty of evidence that Carlin and his drawing are on to something. A study that came out just this month found that dads are happier than moms when it comes to parenting, and it’s because they have more time and space to function as real people walking around in the world and have less responsibilities at home.
Another recent study found that, yep, even though men are picking up the mop more often, women are still responsible for most of the emotional labor in the household, and including work outside the house, put up 98 hours of labor a week on average.
And if you possibly need a third study, this one found that the stresses of motherhood and pursuing a career are so great that the invisible labor that goes into running a household, from knowing your kids shoe size to bringing the dog to the vet, often leads to serious mental health concerns, especially depression and anxiety.
Not to mention that women are expected to do so many things above and beyond their jobs, and when dads do them, they are treated like heroes.
Reactions to the cartoon were – as you might guess – a healthy mix of women showing their appreciation that their household tasks and emotional labor and mental load are seen, and men who were like, “Hey, I did some of the dishes once when my wife was in the hospital giving birth, so men and women are obviously equal.”
For example, it only took one dude to drop the #FeminismIsCancer hashtag on the post.
Dear Mr Anand, you too are becoming influenced with #misandry— Jogesh Chawla (@JogeshChawla72) February 6, 2019
There has been redefinition of roles for men and women.
Men are owning up responsibility beyond that of a provider.#FeminismIsCancer@vaastavngo
But there were also a few sensible suggestions from women:
And also such an important point from a couple of responders, about how a powerful businessman like Anand Mahindra who is really on our side should show his concern by changing his work policies to help women, such as better parental leave and sick leave policies – and more concrete rules for equal pay and promotion.
Mr Mahindra saluting is not enough. You could share what your group does to foster diversity & support women employees. I don’t see enough woman in senior leadership roles: are there not enough women around to 🏃♂️ businesses or are they not good enough?— Malini (@malinibhupta) February 6, 2019
Also a shout-out to stay-at-home moms who don’t even get recognized in the cartoon.
While working women get recognition, home makers who work 24x7, enjoy no benefits, don't get paid, play most important role in bringing up children, keep family united and play important role in maintaining family values go unrecognised and are sometimes looked down upon.— S Rajaram (@sepprajaram) February 7, 2019
In any case, we love the cartoon and really wish that Carlin’s other stuff was more available. Until then, we’re going to brush up on our Spanish and head over to his archives.