Being a woman is tough, and even tougher as a woman striving for the apex of her career, because you are bound to encounter at least one person attaching your success to the hips of a man.
A classic example being Moses my friend who assumed I had a “man friend” because I smelt good, used a ride hailing service to and fro to work and was using an IPhone 6.
The idea of sleeping your way to the top means using one’s sexuality to advance one’s career. It is a subject generally frowned upon and a chorus often sang about women who succeed, especially in the entertainment industry.
Sometimes the accusation that a woman has slept her way to the top stems from a mix up in which she might have been coerced into sexual behavior by a man in power. See in the case of BBC’s documentary on sex for grades which emphasized on the incessantly harassment from lecturers who requested for sex in exchange of great grades.
Other times, the accusation could be based on a misplaced deduction from a sexual relationship that was consensual and entirely unrelated to her career progression. I once witnessed a situation where I saw my colleague pants down with the unit head during our IT program. I thought the worst of the situation, more so perplexed as to why she was willing to go those lengths to retain her job.
However, It was later revealed they were a couple trying to keep their relationship a secret. My bad!
In the past, we have seen actresses, models, call out directors and producers for demanding sex as a trade for roles. No doubt, many may or may not have succumbed to the pressure for quick stardom, and if they didn’t, they were still accused of using their body to climb the ladder of success. A never ending cycle indeed.
Women in power sleeping their way to the top is a tale as old as time. Even as time has evolved and more women are venturing more into business, engineering, tech and other male dominated industries, the assumption has remained solid.
Are there ambitious women who would do whatever it takes to achieve their goals? Certainly! Not more than men. But no woman can sleep her way to the top by being with powerful men and nothing more. Just like how men can not get to the top by merely having a charismatic personality.
I truly never believed in sex as a driving force for favors and in truth, I never believed in sleeping your way to the top either. Because, it’s not that easy! It’s a myth many people attribute to indecipherable success, a sexist slander primarily against women who gain power in a patriarchal world.
In essence, we may never know if women still sleep their way to the top, just as we never verified if they truly did in the first place.