We, as women, face a lot of roadblocks and bullshit that men just don’t run into on a daily basis.
These are sometimes small and simply annoying. An example of this is the last time I went to buy a car. For the first half an hour, the salesmen talked directly to Ross, leaving me out completely. We kept giving each other some epic side-eye, kind of hoping he would notice. He didn’t. Finally, Ross turned to the guy and said, “You’re going to have to convince her. She’s the one buying the car.”
Incidents like this, happen to women a lot. Most of the time, we roll our eyes and move on with our day. Sometimes, though, it’s not small and it’s not meaningless.
I realize that I’m paid less than my male counterparts for the same job- a better job, actually.
I realize that men get away with so much more than a woman would be able to get away with in the workplace. I see this on a daily basis with some of the male employees at my place of employment.
I also realize that I, alone, cannot change it. However, sometimes its incredibly hard to swallow.
This week, I was kinda offered a promotion but not really. It was an offer to take on more work and consolidate two jobs into one. I expressed concerns that the percentage they were offering for this “promotion” didn’t seem appropriate as compared to others in the same position or for me to sacrifice my home-life-which I would ultimately do in some regard. But I was open to a continued conversation. This is how negotiation works.
We are told as women to know our worth. If we don’t ask and just do what you are told without expressing your desire for more, you won’t get it. I fully stand behind this sentiment. I know my worth. I’m worth more than what they were offering…much more.
However, the response I got back was the typical demoralizing “how dare you” attitude that we as women are very very accustomed to hearing. Not only did I get the “how dare you”, but I also got mansplained about what it would take and that I should talk to others to see how this “promotion” works. The final insult wasn’t an overt threat, but the insinuation that if I passed on this “opportunity” another one wouldn’t come around.
Okay. So, there’s a lot to unpack.
First, each one of the people I was encouraged to speak to makes more than what I was asking for with less years of experience.
Second, the whole premise for the organizational structure of this position is based on ME. But this person decided it was essential to tell me who to talk to so that I could REALLY understand what it involved. I don’t particularly need this mansplained to me. Thanks though.
Third, and this might be the worst of all, was that this person is a woman. If you think that sexism doesn’t happen between women, you would be mistaken. It happens quite a bit.
Fourth, being a hiring manager myself, I understand that convincing someone that the position is a good opportunity and making them excited to accept the position is just as important as everything else. Walking away from this conversation which was entirely one-sided, I felt like I’d been taken advantage of and that I wasn’t respected at all. So, one has to ask what kind of attitude will I have with the new people I’ve now been coerced to work with?
I’m not alone here. I know that women around the world face everyday incidents that we don’t even recognize as sexist any more, or maybe never did. We’re so conditioned to accept these slights and insults. And when we don’t, we’re insulted, threatened, and belittled. And quite frankly, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of watching men do a piss poor job and not only get paid more but congratulated for doing the minimum. I’m tired of busting my ass and it not only going unnoticed but then expected for less.
This event seems particularly hard this week, given the loss of #NotoriousRBG. She was an advocate of gender equality and fought long and hard to elevate women and their choices to be equal to their male counterparts. In some ways, she was successful. It never once crossed my mind that I couldn’t do something because I was a woman. I know that those barriers were there for my mother, my grandmother, and her mother before her. In that respect, those women who fought and came before me were validated. The next generations didn’t experience the blatant sexism that was so prevalent not that long ago.
Instead, we deal with the subversive put downs. The unnoticed degradations. The insults. The gaslighting. The humiliation. And the shame of daring to want more.
The announcement of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death hit me harder than I thought it would. I had read her opinions and her dissents, reveling in her reasoning and the arguments she made that were not just relatable but sound. She was a champion for a cause she believed in. That I believe in and fight so that my daughter doesn’t have to deal with the same questions that I have experienced in my life. I’m more confident than most women in my own worth and my ability to do my job, or just about anything out there. So, this hits particularly hard because I never once questioned that I was qualified, talented, or worth what I was requesting. To be told I wasn’t, just pisses me off. However, there are women out there that believe it, who believe the put downs thrown at them daily in little ways and not so little ways.
I’m tired of it.
I’m tired of being called a bitch when all I am is confident.
I’m tired of being called a bully when I refuse to back down to your pressure and your insults.
I’m tired of listening to old white men tell me what I should be doing with my body, my speech, and my ideas.
Sound off! Tell me your stories.