Monday, May 23, 2005

The Apprentice

I just got a chance to watch (parts) of The Apprentice finale, which I had missed last week.

Has anyone else noticed this? The previous two winners were male and got these very powerful, prestigous jobs in Chicago and New York, running several tasks and programs. Kendra, who won the last season of the show, was given a choice between working as a subordinate in the Miss Universe Pageant or overseeing the renovation of a building. Hmm.

Why did he even pick her, if he didn't have a job he really wanted her to do? Did he want to avoid seeming sexist by consistently choosing men?

Trump also said that he didn't like how "aggressive" Tana got during the finale. I'm no Tana fan, myself! But why did he say this? Often, people have a hard time evaluating agression in women. Things that would be seen as ambition in men are seen as craziness or agression in women. He questioned Kendra when she cried after the final task was over, yet when Chris cried, he pulled him over and encouraged him. For Kendra, the fact that she cried emphasized her female-ness, which obviously gives anyone in a hiring position in the mainstream corporate world pause. Women are successful when they act like men. Women have to be careful to tread the line between seeming too female and between too male. They have to be "one of the boys" yet still conform to feminine beauty standards. When confronted with the fact that in our society women (even those who work more and get paid more than their hubands) assume most of the responsibility for child care, they are forced to either go into "mommy track" mode (and never make it to the top) or outsource their child care by hiring a nanny, in which case she is judged by society.

Why am I so addicted to this show? I mean, beyond this stuff, which hadn't really hit me until I watched the finale and saw Kendra's assignment, there's the fact that this show totally reinforces the idea of a meritocratic society. Look, whether you got a college degree or not, you all have an equal chance to work for Donald Trump! Yeah, right. Doubly so if you have no Y chormosome.

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