Copyright 2008, Navigating Diversity
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Fifth most offensive comment of 2008

“Iron my shirt!” – Radio personalities at a Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign rally in New Hampshire. link

Our Suggested Responses

Thought provoking: Oh, is your shirt wrinkled? Do you need to borrow an iron? Was that intended as a joke? Who did you imagine would find that funny?

Personal: I feel angry when anyone’s potential is restricted by stereotypes and limited thinking. I have personally benefited from the leadership of women and I hope to soon see the day when women’s contributions are fully appreciated.

Informative:  Throughout history, many patriarchal societies have viewed women as subservient. In some instances, women were considered property rather than people. Yet many societies have long recognized the value of feminine leadership, and countries on every continent have had women leaders. 

Even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination based on sex illegal, the vast majority of top American leadership positions are still held by men.

Light:  Iron your own shirt. 

Authoritative: If you have a concern about someone’s qualifications, you have plenty of options for expressing it without resorting to insults. I don’t know what gave you the impression that we tolerate that kind of comment here, but if you say something like that again, you could be looking for another job.

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