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Women: the age of pioneers


In the past, some jobs and positions were only occupied by men, but that has changed. In the series "The First" we portray female pioneers

When Fallon Sherrock lifts her pink arrow, the room rages. The 25-year-old platinum blonde former hairdresser will compete against Ted Evetts, a somewhat chubby 22-year-old, nicknamed Superted, at the Darts World Cup in December. And she has the 3,000 spectators on her side. When it's Evett's turn, the crowd whistles and booes. She cheers at Sherrock. And Sherrock throws, the first arrow goes wrong. The second hits – and the audience, men in Santa hats and women in neon-colored costumes, lie in their arms. Because with this litter Sherrock wrote sports history. She is the first woman to hit a man at a darts World Cup.

It's actually crazy that this is only happening now, because men have no discernible physical advantage in darts. But so far, the genders there have been largely separated. In the men's games, women appeared primarily as dancers or as so-called walk-on girls, poorly dressed models who accompanied the often rather bulky players on stage.

2019 – Fallon Sherrock is the first woman to defeat a man in a World Darts Championship.
© Getty Images

The video of the Fallon versus Ted encounter has reached 610,000 hits on YouTube so far – and it's worth watching the post. Because it not only documents the moment when Fallon smashes a glass ceiling with her dart arrow: for this victory in the first round, she receives almost twice as much prize money as she would get for the first place at the Women's Darts World Cup , The video also documents the reaction of the viewers, who are clearly on the side of the woman.

It’s amazing. Hadn't studies shown that success and power tend to make women unpopular while making men more likeable? Was to be openly aggressive – and the desire to win is undoubtedly an aggression – not a taboo for many women?

2007 – Marin Alsop is the first conductor of a large American orchestra.
© Shutterstock

Heidi looked uncomfortable, Howard didn't

In 2003, two professors from Columbia Business School and New York University presented their students with the CV of a very successful person. Only he was called Heidi for half of the participants and Howard for the other half. The students were then asked, among other things, how much they would like to work with Howard and Heidi and how likeable they were to them. The results were terrifying: Heidi described the students as competent as Howard, but they liked them far less. Facebook manager Sheryl Sandberg has this experiment in her book Lean in described. In doing so, she wanted to show what is holding back women from striving for leadership positions: if they are successful, they are evaluated differently from men, namely as unpleasant.

However, it is far less known that the experiment was repeated ten years later for a television program. In 2013, a professor from New York University presented two groups of students each with a resume of a successful person, two case studies that were identical again, except for the names, this time Catherine and Martin. She asked the students if they liked the person and if they wanted to work for them. And lo and behold: suddenly the woman was in front. She was liked a little more than the man. And the students were far more willing to work for them than for the man.

This shows that prejudices about women and men are not immovable. They can change. And they do it too.

That fits the cheers for darts player Fallon Sherrock. The aggressive woman is no longer an enemy of her audience. Something is happening for women – and not just at the top. Because Fallon Sherrock is not a manager or high-ranking politician, not a first judge or police chief. It is about darts, in Britain the pleasure of the working class par excellence. If something changes here, then it has changed throughout society.

. (tagsToTranslate) women (t) emancipation (t) board (t) women quota (t) Christine Lagarde

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