Uncategorized

Quarter Life Crisis Chronicles: Woman on woman gender stereotyping.

Now that I’m about 6 years into post-college life, I’ve gained a few life experiences out in the “working world.” (I don’t like the expression “the real world.” It’s just something unhappy, narrow-minded people say to feel better about their life decisions.) I’ve had to adjust my expectations of decent human behavior many times. And I’m still adjusting those expectations. Well, just learning not to expect too much from people.

So when I found this BuzzFeed video, “This is what it would be like if Men were Treated like Women in the Workplace,” I began to reflect on my own workplace experiences with sexism and stereotyping. I won’t get into the wage gap right now. And, yes, I know many Southern women are taught from a young age that being agreeable and passive are attractive traits. (Traits which will get you ignored, run over, and undervalued in a not-so-progressive workplace.)

But I’m not going to talk about those issues this time. I’m going to talk about the one thing that continues to frustrate the shit out of me–above all of the other things that frustrate the shit out of me when it comes to spending 40-50 hours a week with almost complete strangers in a place that smells like old chairs and spilled coffee.

How women treat each other at work.   

I’ll just get right to it.

Ladies, if you want sexism and stereotyping in the workplace to go away, stop objectifying your female coworkers.

If you find yourself about to say any variation of the comments below, tell yourself to shut the fuck up.


 

“Wow, you actually put on make-up today. You do care!”

“That shirt looks good on you. I didn’t realize you liked colorful clothes.”

“You’re so skinny. Why should you worry about what you’re eating?”

“You’re so negative all the time. That puts people off. Just be positive.”

“Oh, you gained weight? I guess you know how it feels now!”

“They just expect too much of you. I mean, that’s really not your job either.”


 

Any variation of the above. Stop. And shut the fuck up.

In any or all of those sentences, you will have devalued the female human being you are speaking to at such a level that you would be less insulting if you said, “I really think you’re inferior and a waste of space as a person.”

When you say something like that to anyone, not just a female, what you are really saying is that to you that person is nothing more than an object to criticize. In your view, that person does not have thoughts, feelings, accomplishments, talents or even a valid reason to make decisions for their own self.

That is indecent human behavior.

And when one female says it to another, it opens the door for a male to objectify and criticize a female. You want equality of the sexes, right? Well, there you have it.

Stop being assholes to each other.

And you know, I may come off as a bit self-righteous. I’m not perfect. Trust me, I have names and words for the women or men who have pissed me off at any job. That’s why I’m saying this. I spent a little time reflecting today, and I realized I contribute to it too. I hold on to anger and insult and become bitter too. But being angry doesn’t change the person who I feel wronged me. So I just try to let it go.

Just let it go. And stop being assholes to each other.

 

Advertisements
Standard
Uncategorized

Freedom (to be transgender) to be you

Today I am grateful that I can stand in my kitchen on Memorial Day, cook a cheesy, melty, deliciously American casserole, and write this blog post to you. Not everyone gets to do that.

So I want to start by saying thank you to our military and the people that love and support them. Thank you for fighting for my safety. Thank you for giving your life for me, so I could spend mine celebrating what you earned for us.

I could go on and on. Feed you endless platitudes about how great or terrible our country is or has become. I’m not going to give us credit where we don’t deserve it, and I’m not going blow sunshine up your butt.

I’m simply going to say that I find it awesome that we in the U.S. can accept (or choose not to accept) and talk about non-polar ideas of gender and sexuality.

This afternoon, I took a long bath, steeped in a clay face mask, and watched a long-needed Super Soul Sunday with Oprah. If you’ve never watched it, look though the Super Soul Sunday Facebook. If you’re a “my life is a spiritual journey” type, you’ll probably find a few videos that make you want to take a moment.

I watched the May 3 interview with Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness. She writes about her life, growing up knowing she was a woman, but born with the genitals and assigned the gender of a boy. She struggled to meet her family’s and society’s expectations, while still being herself. In the interview, she talks with Oprah about the parts of her life that exemplify her journey to making peace with who she was, and eventually loving who she is. She talks about feeling wrong when she didn’t want to put her shoes in the boys’ shoe cubby in elementary school, because she didn’t feel like a boy. She talks about playing “Smear the Queer” with her brothers because she wanted to make her father proud of her. In the end, she tells Oprah, she never listened to her own story until she found the love of her life and told him about her transition to becoming a woman. He accepted her. She has grown to love and accept herself.

Her personal story is encouraging and beautiful, and I suspect it is helping many people begin to accept who they really are. But I’m even more excited that she had the courage, and the freedom, to write honestly about her life as a transgender woman. Her book, and many others’ voices in the LGBTQ community, continue to remind us to keep talking and loving and accepting people for who they are.

She just did it. She just wrote a book and went on Oprah, and said, “Here’s my life. You can judge me, but I pretty much don’t care because I’m trying to give people something good.” That is just awesome! It’s really awesome that she could stand up for herself and do that because she lives in the U.S. and has that freedom!

I’m really looking forward to how much will change in my lifetime when it comes to individuals accepting that sexuality and gender are up to each person. Lately, I’ve begun to wonder if gender will eventually become irrelevant. We need both kinds of reproductive organs to create life, but now we don’t even need a couple to be male-female to have a baby. What will become of gender? How will the language around gender change? I know gender is more complicated than what sex organs you have, but if people begin to express a gender that doesn’t match their sex organs, or matches a little of both, do we assign a gender to that person? Maybe this is far too idealistic, but maybe we’ll just be known as individuals. Or maybe we’ll find another way to categorize people. I resist that idea. But I’ll just see what we do next.

I’m happy for her, and today I’m grateful for those of us who can live freely. Whether someone agrees with her or not, Janet Mock’s story is hers to tell, and she has the freedom to do that. When I say thank you to our military for fighting for us, I mean thank you for fighting for our ability to have a choice. Not for certain ideologies or ideas of gender roles. But for my ability to choose what to think and who to be. That is a generous gift.

Watch Super Soul Sunday with Janet Mock.

Standard