Here's the deal: In this country, women represent more than half of the population as well as more than half of those graduating with a college degree. So why then are we still lagging behind men in several areas: equal pay for equal work; representation in C-suite and government leadership roles; and how we are treated in social situations, at work, in parenting roles and in relationships?
Apparently we still have a long way to go. Gender inequality and misogyny are still alive and well in this country. We saw that in this recent election. We see it every day at work, at home and on TV.
A lot has to change to correct these things. Some of it starts with a change in how we socialize of boys and girls as children. Some of it involves legislation. Some is just how women and men behave toward each other as well as how we conduct ourselves.
Let's start tackling the things we can control now.
There are lots of ways women are held back just by their own behavior. Behaviors that are typically "feminine" and are labeled as "weak" that we ourselves perpetuate, sometimes even unconsciously.
We need to fuckin' stop that. We need to take some control back. And I think that means adopting some of the habits we see men exhibiting every day. Habits and behaviors that exhibit power, confidence and yes, selfishness - whether at work, at home or in relationships.
Will men like this? OF COURSE NOT. But do it anyway, even if you just change one thing.
Ladies, we should...
1. give our opinion whenever we have one, regardless of who is in the room. Men do this freely, without hesitation or remorse.
2. express anger. Sure, some will call it "emotional" or "crazy" but who cares? No more holding it in. Men don't.
3. not play the caretaker of men. We should take better care of ourselves first. If men can't take care of themselves, maybe they'll start lagging behind us for a change.
4. never cry in front of anyone at work. Save it for your office, the ladies room or the elevator. Unfortunately this is seen as a weakness, even though it's a natural reaction to stress.
5. take the credit for our work. Individually. Don't say "Well it was all due to the team's contribution" or "I couldn't have done it without Bob." Just take it and own it. Ever had a man take credit for YOUR work? On the daily? I thought so.
6. not say "I'm sorry" any more. To men or to women. Stop apologizing for inserting yourself or your opinion. Stop saying "I'm sorry but..." before saying something in a meeting or in a conversation with friends. Don't say it unless you've done something to be sorry about.
7. learn how to take a compliment without diluting it. Say "thank you" confidently - no matter what it's about - and move on.
You learned something, right? There are some things we could all do to regain some power and change the way we are seen by others.
HOWEVER, since I am definitely still a woman and therefore have some extra tricks up my sleeve, there are several great things I wouldn't want to change about being a woman.
Women should continue to...
1. embrace and perpetuate qualities like compassion, restraint and kindness.
2. cry, in appropriate settings. Sometimes we need to let it out and it's too bad men don't feel comfortable doing the same. We'd have less war, for sure.
3. be fierce and passionate and stand up for what and whom we believe.
4. keep a cool head. Collecting information then devising a plan. Being rational instead of impulsive.
5. talk with peers about feelings and challenges and using collective energy and support to build each other up. Women are talkers. That's definitely an advantage.
6. look good doing it!
So there. We all know we run things right? Let's start acting like it!