She nails it! Just be prepared, when you speak up not only for yourself but for those around, some of the “fools” might not like it.
Some find they need to “put you in your place”. They won’t hesitate to use how you are as a woman to humilate you. And they won’t ever see how what they do impacts everyone around them.
That is on THEM! NOT YOU. Don’t pretend to be anything other than what and who you are. If that is a totally feminine woman, so be it. If that is masculine qualities mixed with some femininity, so be it. If that is all male qualities in a female’s body, so be it.
Does that mean that your way is always the right way? No. It doesn’t.
Does that mean you shouldn’t find ways to work around differences in a professional manner? No. It doesn’t.
Does that mean you have no responsiblity to learn how to work WITH men instead of against them? No it doesn’t.
Offended as a woman right now? Wondering how I could say such things? Are you reading what I just said as “bowing down” to the man?
Let me set you straight. There is no “bowing down”. There is picking battles and learning when to compromise. There is a huge amount of learning. There is a lot of time focusing on self-awareness.
It’s give and take, ladies. And your approach is crucial. And timing is everything. If you immediately go at it like “I’m a woman, hear me roar.”, you won’t get far. Trust me. I’ve seen it happen over and over. And I’ve tried it at the wrong time and totally failed.
The approach that has worked best for me over the years is to be quiet at first. Now let me explain something, I say “over the years” because that’s how long it has taken. I’m now at a point where I’ve been around long enough that in most situations, I don’t give a shit. But I always take the same approach.
Does that mean allow them to harrass, degrade, or embarrass you? Um, hell no. Stand up for yourself if needed. Being “quiet” doesn’t mean being submissive.
And I am going to go ahead and throw this out there before you read any further…men are simple. We are complex. Do not expect every man to put forth the mental effort and energy as you do. Like I said before…it’s picking battles and compromising where needed.
When you enter a new environment filled with men you don’t know well, don’t immediately start spilling your guts about anything and everything.
I’m not saying be meek and mild and don’t speak at all or don’t stand up if needed. I just mean be conservative with what you share at first. And in reality, you should be conservative with what you share at all times. Not everyone is your friend or can be trusted. This includes other women (an entirety different topic and blog subject!).
Join the group. Join the pertinant conversations. Join in the work load. Do your best. Don’t skimp. Accept some help every now and then if you need it. And certainly offer help.
Always remember there will be times when YOU are wrong and YOU are being a fool. Own it if you mess up. And own it before someone else throws it at you. Stronger people admit they have flaws. They are self-aware and they are always monitoring how the perform. They eventually surround themselves with others who compliment them and succeed in areas they may be slacking. It’s called ” being a team”.
This doesn’t happen overnight, in the first week, on every project, in every situation. It has taken me years to get comfortable with where I am as a woman among men. And I still have plenty of trials and errors.
It is in those times of trial and error when you will see who has your back and who doesn’t. There is a very distinct difference in being told you messed up or that you are wrong and being “put in your place” because you are a woman.
Trust me. I know all too well what that is like.
There has been a time recently that I almost let it break me. But with the love and support of my rock of a husband, family, friends, counseling, and some awesome guys I work with, I came out stronger than ever.
Life is too short to let “the bar” beat the shit out of you. So stand above the fools and their bar.