Well where do I begin? My blog has been inspired by the 3rd and 4th season of the Celebrity Apprentice. I like the whole concept of combining the corporate world, celebrity status and philanthropist work all done with a bit of swagger. What could be better than watching a group of people trying to compete with each other and all for a good cause? Lately I have found myself with more disturbing questions than answers. I feel like I am being forced to make introspection and I cannot keep quiet about this. You see I am a feminist, independent and I believe that all things being equally woman can achieve what man have achieved and even exceed. To add to it we can do it in stilettos, lipsticks and nature kids in the same breath. Even thou a lot have been done for the equality of woman in and outside the corporate environment in the past decades, I cannot help but feel like we still have a long way to go.
Let me take you through my observation about Donald Trump’s celebrity Apprentice. He gets a number of celebrities and divides them into two groups and they are given a project or task, they agree on a project manager, do the work, and a winning concept is chosen and the losing team meets Mr Trump in the boardroom were someone will be fired. I have watched season 3 of the show and I am currently watching season 4. I am going to be honest with you guys, when I watch shows like this; I always support the women’s team. I do not even hide it, the feminist in me just says I believe in you and you can do it. In the two seasons I must say I have been disappointed. (Let me confess I have cheated already, because of the women’s behaviour in the last two episode I have already consulted “Uncle Google” on how it all kind of plays out in the end.)
Last season I watched as the woman’s team tear each other down in the boardroom, in full view of the other team who seem to enjoy watching the boardroom cat fights. All that Donald Trump has to do is just ask one provoking question and the women will just pour their hearts out, living cracks in the team that cannot be repaired. I could also not help but to watch how the men’s team always hold back about talking negative about each other when it is not called for, they focus on the person’s performance on the given task than being personal. I watched in agony as the woman’s team loses episode after episode or at each other’s throat until Donald Trump reshuffles the team. At the end I was sad when Holly Robinson Peete was not crowned the 3rd Celebrity Apprentice, even though she was my favourite, not only because she is a woman, but I really respected her passion and fire for the charity she was raising funds for. (You can read more by visiting http://www.hollyrod.org/)
I was so excited when MNET moved the 4th Celebrity Apprentice to prime time and I must say I have been watching religiously, cheering the women’s team with so much enthusiasm, I mean with the likes of Star Jones, La Toya Jackson, NeNe Leakes, Dionne Warwick and Lisa Rinna; it surely makes for interesting viewing. The team were doing so well and wining most of the tasks. I am surely enjoying the drama but hoping this time the women would have learned from the previous season and not lose focus. Sadly it is like the women have taken from where the women’s team from the previous season has left off. The infighting, the cat fights that goes from the boardroom to their lounge( even after winning a task) and carries over to their next task. You have members taking things personally and calling each other names after a boardroom session with Donald Trump and his team. Donald Trump continues to ask probing question and one of the women never disappoints, one of them will surely start talking like a broken record without thinking about the consequences and how it affects their overall survival and strength of their team. It is as if the women’s team care more about their emotions and nursing them, than the overall point, which is supposed to be about beating the other team while winning money for their charities.
Do not get me wrong I have also noticed men gang up on one of their team members Gary Buses , but they were all in solidarity, and it was about trying to get rid of the weak link in the team and they succeeded. They all agreed that he was distractive and his lack of focus and concentration made him a liability to the team.On the other hand the women takes it personally when a team member does not agree with them; they go on to call each other names like manipulative, evil, fake, phoney, pretentious, licking ass and conniving. To me when words like that are used over and over I automatically associate them with character assassination. When words like that are used to describe a team member they create a barrier and block your ability to hear each other’s ideas and make good judgement that could benefit the team. It becomes about proving the point and they miss the point at the end.
I have watched over and over as women’s team fail over and over to put their differences aside and focus on the goal which is winning the task and watch the men’s team as they face Donald Trump, from the comfort of the lounge over a glass of wine. I feel like following the show has held a mirror in my face and forced a reflection in my face, and sort of shed the light to why it is hard for us as women with all the rights and laws that are supposed to work for us are still finding it hard to make progress as teams or individuals in our personal and professional lives. I am forced to acknowledge that the pull me down syndrome is not a myth but a reality, as long as we do not know how to turn one of our biggest character, which is being emotional into a strength, use it for our good not tearing each other down.
I mean let us face it, this is not just a challenge in the boardroom, and the toxic rivalry can still be found in our personal lives. Take the following scenarios for instance, it is “normal” and justifiable for a woman to go out with a man with kids from a previous relationship and the woman goes out of their way to make sure that the man has no relationship with his kids or takes care of them, a woman will go out with a married man knowing very well that it will tear the wife apart when she finds out but justifies it in her heart, even take it further goes and falls pregnant and go out of her way to make sure that the wife finds out and make sure she is torments her about it.
Let us face it we have guts and when our minds are made up we do not fight fair. I guess if we invested and channelled the energy positively a lot of corporation, partnerships, and empires would have been thriving. I am of the view that woman who seeks to be equal with man lack ambition (Marilyn Monroe), but when you empower a woman you empower a family, a village and the whole nation. I think we need to make changes to get ahead in life and business and the largest room in the world is the room for improvement. I hope I have learned my lesson and I can go out and make the necessary changes in my own life .