Sure, the Olsen twins started out as cute little actresses who hung around with John Stamos and Bob Saget. Then, they were a teenie-bopping brand that had little girls everywhere dreaming about having a twin sister to star in straight-to-DVD movies with. But over the years, these petite ladies have established themselves as businesswomen, moguls and professional designers. My Heavens, Mary-Kate and Ashley are up for a CFDA award for Womenswear Designer of the Year against the designers of Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs.
So I guess it’s only fitting that in their success, some guy is going to call them bitches. Oh, Steve Madden isn’t using that term specifically. He’s not that dumb. But let’s take a look at how he describes working with the Olsens when he designed shoes for their line, Elizabeth & James.
“Painful. Painful. They’re very demanding, they’re very tough,” says Madden. “They are difficult. They are exacting. They are a pain in the ass. But they’re very good though.”
Gee thanks for that clarification at the end. We actually already realized that they were good at their jobs when they became millionaires before they could vote. We realized that they were amazing at their jobs when they turned their child star success into multiple profitable companies.
It just feels like such a predictable critique to throw out about young women who are in powerful positions. I mean, really, when else would the term “exacting” be used as an insult? If we called a young man exacting, it would be seen as a compliment to his decisiveness.
For men, being demanding and tough is a sign of strength. These are the things we look for in male managers. For women, it makes you a pain in the ass. It makes working with you a painful experience.
I wasn’t really invested in this year’s CFDA awards. Honestly, I would’ve applauded any of the nominated designers if they would’ve won. But I have to admit that now I’m really hoping Mary-Kate and Ashley can show Steve Madden just how important it is to be demanding and exacting in business. Those are assets, not things for an anyone in the business world to complain about.