Sensationalization of Women Keeping Us In A Box?

Judge Judy – A Great Lesson in Negotiation Preparation
April 6, 2017
Self-Leadership: Disappointment
Self Leadership Lesson – Disappointment
May 30, 2017
AARP Magazine

Photo of Eldonna's recent feature in AARP Magazine (Photo By Peter Yang)

We still hear about problems women have in various environments.  Problems with sexual assault in the military, harassment at work, not being considered for something because you are a woman.  There are many problems like that in society.

I have one solution that in my humble opinion might close the gap.  Stop making a big deal out of women being a first to do something that has been traditionally only done by men in the past.  We are conditioning people to be surprised when a woman achieves something like flying a jet or helicopter, becoming an army ranger, coaching football, sports news caster, riding a motorcycle and the list goes on.

There are so many things we have made a big deal about because a woman did it for the first time.  If we stop making such a big deal about it, maybe there won’t be as much push back and it won’t be thought of as impossible for women to do.  It’s as if it’s so shocking that a woman can do something that men have traditionally done that it appears surprising that we have the intelligence or ability to do those things.

I have been riding Harley’s for over 20 years and I still get people who are shocked that I’m a woman who rides a motorcycle.  I served in the military for 23 years and although it’s a male dominated environment I managed to do the same things my male counterparts did; fire a weapon (expert marksman by the way), don a gas mask in 7 seconds or less, and lead troops.  What makes it so special that I’m a woman doing all of that?  Nothing.  I’m simply another human being who has honed my skills to a level of excellence and has been able to excel at many things because I simply decided I was going to succeed at doing it.

There are many more systemic problems in the military and other areas that cause women to be assaulted, this is not about that.  The point I’m making is it might be a little less surprising to people and a little more acceptable for society if we didn’t sensationalize everything a woman does as being a big deal because she’s a woman.

Sensationalize means to present in a sensational manner.  Sensations means arousing or tending to arouse a quick, intense and usually superficial interest, curiosity or emotional reaction. Exceedingly or unexpectedly excellent or great.

Unexpectedly excellent or great?  That’s the emotion that is perpetrated whenever a woman does something for the first time as a woman.  It’s not expected because she is a woman.  Therein lies the problem.  Why should it be considered unexpected?

I believe if someone no matter who they are wants to go for something; they can do anything they put their mind to.  It’s been proven time and time again.  I personally am living proof of succeeding when all the odds were against me in life.  I was dealt a bad hand with alcoholic abusive parents but I have succeeded despite all the negativity early in my life.  Not because I’m a woman, because I’m a human who decided to make it in life.

Let’s stop sensationalizing women for doing something unexpected just because she’s a woman.  In my humble opinion that will make a shift in our thinking and might make people a little less cynical and a little more supportive.  Sometimes it takes baby steps to start making a change.  This is one simple change we all can do is eliminating the sensationalization and The power is in the work, you do the work, you will have the power to achieve anything you want, no matter who you are.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *