Never underestimate a man’s ability to underestimate a woman

This is one of those quotes that I keep at the ready, like a slogan or a battle cry that sustains me. It’s by Sara Paretsky, from her novel V.I. Warshawski. Kathleen Turner starred in the 1991 movie of the same name.

It’s been a long time ago now since I first heard this line, and I loved it right from the start. “Never underestimate a man’s ability to underestimate a woman!”. So true…

On one hand, it makes me smile. But I sometimes need to repeat it to myself to once again grasp the grievance wrapped up in the black humor. And for years, I’ve had the deep hope that the feeling would vanish one day. That this quote would become obsolete, irrelevant.

But almost every day, the line’s continued relevance is confirmed to me. Usually, it doesn’t ruin my appetite anymore.

Except for days like today. When once again, another brilliant, high-potential woman knocks on my door telling me she’s had enough. That she’s stuck under de underestimation and needs my support to move on again… maybe to another organization. She can, of course, and perhaps she will.

But the problem is that the grass ISN’T always greener on the other side of the fence. You should never underestimate in how many places you will find men who underestimate women. But for this bright young lady, staying and fighting the good fight is apparently not a solution anymore.

I had hoped to finish this article on a positive note. But I may have overestimated my optimism…