When Is a Compliment NOT a Compliment?

You know, I like a compliment as much as the next person but when someone chooses to compliment me by saying, as someone once did: “You drive really well. You drive just like a man” I’m so not impressed.

Nor was I impressed when I read in the paper recently that the actress Rachel Weiss was given a similar ‘compliment’. This little gem appeared in The i  newspaper :

Rachel Weisz says that in the course of becoming an action film heroine she has had to learn to ‘run like a man’. “Apparently I don’t run like a girl – which is a compliment. I was told by (actor) Jeremy Renner”

No wonder women suffer from a lack of confidence when so many things in life are ‘good’ if they are male and ‘bad’ if they are female.

If you care to give me a compliment please don’t do it by insulting my sex, however subtly you say it.  We are not amused.


And that’s not an euphemism for bad, ask any insurance company!

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Posted on March 9th, 2013 by

3 Responses to “When Is a Compliment NOT a Compliment?”

  1. You probably know by now that I am not quite as passionate about things as you are, Jane. But I will tell you that I also had assumptions. Like getting mail addressed to Mrs. William. I did change my last name but never my first… I have heard those kinds of compliments too and they are annoying.

  2. Andrew Plath says:

    Confidence is not a gender thing. Otherwise Danica Patrick would not be where she is. Or how would have Marrisa Mayer gotten the top job at Yahoo. It is not what you are, but who you are that counts.

    • Jane says:

      Research from the Institute of Leadership and Management suggests it is but of course it is not a universal rule.

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