Being a female in Corporate America isn’t the easiest.
I don’t really consider myself a feminist, but I’ll stand up with conviction and say that anything they can do, I can do at least equally as well (besides lifting heavy things (not that I can’t, I just really don’t want to (and I’m a small person))).
The point of this particular blog, however, isn’t to start ranting on the inequality of opportunities and pay and whatever else there is to rant about in relation to the whole men vs. women in the job-force-saga.
It’s sort of, a bit, to examine perception.
Really, when I think about it, this can umbrella most facets of our lives as females, starting (these days) in grade school. Hell, it might even start in the womb.
I’ve had a lot of recent interaction with the younger crowd (dear…God). And by “interaction,” I of course mean via social media and tales from my aesthnetician (i.e. the woman who does my hair (does that not sound like the title of a memoir by Lauren Conrad?)).
I will be the first person to openly admit that I have an obsession with love and relationships. Rom Coms? Norah Roberts Novels? Hand holding? Please, yes. However, I’ll also be the first to admit that the first successful and personally satisfying relationship (that didn’t end in broken glass and mascara stains on everything I own) didn’t occur until I was in my 20’s (…I’m in my 20’s).
You see, men don’t even know what love is until they’re like..23 (I’m being generous(oh, don’t get angry)). Everything up until that point is emitted euphoria from orgasming. Sure, they appreciate you, but they also appreciate bacon and a good pair of sweatpants.
I’m not bitter that a lot of my past relationships were flukes. I wake up on a daily basis praising the sweet Lord that commitment was an issue for the people in my past. I’ll even say a silent, thankful prayer right.now.
The above realization came with time. It took a lot of seconds and minutes and hours and days and months and years to acquire the knowledge that I currently have about relationships and the probability of them working and which ones are even worth making the leaps and bounds for. However, up until the point that I shall call “enlightenment” (not to be confused with actual enlightenment), I spent a significant amount of time ob.sess.ing over why I couldn’t just find “The One.”
Chicks (I can call them that) do this. We literally hang our happiness hats (I don’t even wear hats) on being in relationships (not I, said the sheep), and being what someone of the opposite (or same?) sex wants.
We spend a lot of our teen years mentally proclaiming, pick me. And when they don’t, we stop eating, start drinking, and listen to way too much Christina Perri (this song is like my life!). I don’t think Christina Perri was around when I needed her (you youngins are so lucky).
I remember getting my heart shattered for the first time. I worked at Sonic and I sat up at the front desk and composed a beautiful sonnet entitled “You Deserve” (I’m literally laughing at myself while writing this). I read it to my Mom when she came to pick me up and even she looked a little terrified for me.
My nostalgia is getting me way off track.
The conversation that I had with my hairdresser was about her 16-year-old and her inability to be happy alone. And by alone, I of course mean surrounded by close friends and amazing family members. Why do we feel like the world hates us if we aren’t wrapped up in someone’s arms? Where does that even come from? Regardless of whatever answer there is, this mentality is becoming more prevalent, and at rapidly decreasing ages (terrifying).
Additionally, in the work force, I’m surrounded by a lot of women. A. Lot. Of. Women. This is good (being employed is a positive thing).
However, what I also see a lot of, is the jaded, messed up perception of these females in the work force. I also see a lot of females who play into this perception and allow it to drive their “success.”
I’d like to point out that I’m not specifically talking about my place of business (I can only imagine the fun that would bring).
I see a lot of women who depend on their looks and ability to smile/nod simultaneously to carry them through. Why are you so afraid to open your mouth and say something intelligent? Is it really that risky to have a strong personality as a female in the working world?
Additionally, why are you smiling and nodding when the men you work with are making obvious passes at you? What part of that seems appropriate? I’m pretty sure the last guy who made an obnoxious comment to me was threatened with physical violence (sexual harassment vs. assault…do they wash?)
I. Don’t. Get. It.
It’s almost like as we move up from our elementary ideas of “what we want,” we just continue to a more mature version of wanting the same things.
At some very relative level, we have collectively decided that we want someone to pick us. Choose us. Acknowledge our worth.
But how can we expect that to happen if we don’t wake up on a daily basis and choose ourselves?
(this sure did take on a preachy, feminist tune, didn’t it?)
Stop focusing on obtaining a relationship. Read a book, find a hobby, adopt a dog. Be adventurous in becoming yourself…whatever version you think might be the most fun.
Stop laughing at the sexually driven jokes. Yeah, they’re funny for a second. But when they’re being made at your expense, it’s not cute. You’re the one who walked up a thousand flights of imaginary stairs to acquire your ass. You’re the only one who gets to talk about it.
Have a personality and contribute to actual conversations (i.e. something other than what happened on your reality TV show last night). You’re standing there for a reason, and as much as that Coach bag says about you, it’s not paying the bills (it’s actually moderately counterproductive to your paying the bills).
Cultivate your relationships. Stop focusing on the ones that don’t exist and revel in the goodness of the people who make you laugh and support your (at times sporadically inept) moves. The people who have been there are the ones who will stay there. Until your asshattery drives them elsewhere.
Put on some clothes and stop taking self-pics. Please. Dear God, please. And leave the photoshopping to the professionals.
Someone else please add to this list.
Point being, you are worth choosing, picking, acknowledging. But if you don’t believe it, no one else is going to, either.
From fruition to adulthood and beyond, you decide your worth and set the standard.