These thoughts have been swirling in my draft folder for a while. They were brought on months ago and have nothing to do with anything going on in my life right now. Some similar things came up in discussions at the retreat so I know they swirl in the minds of many women.
I have been fortunate to have good relationships with most of the men in my life. They have, for the most part, been kind and understanding men. Men who supported my dreams and whose own dreams I supported. I have, however, experienced issues in the workplace and looking back, even though I leveraged complaints, my concerns were rarely heard.
i remember having an issue with a man in our sales department erupting vocally on me in a very aggressive manner. I complained to my boss, a woman. Instead of filing a larger more formal complaint, the male VP talked me into letting him handle it. I folded. I chose not to ruffle any feathers because I knew they valued the sales guy more than they valued me.
Their way of handling it allowed this man to come into my office with just the two of us, close the door and apologize. It was 20 minutes of a very strange apology. It was frightening. A couple of years later this man killed his wife, their cats and then committed suicide.
You might think this is rare, but I have even seen a male supervisor hurl a coffee cup at a female employee and I had a boss throw his glasses at me.
I was shocked to read this article from Huffington Post about corporate training Ernest & Young conducted as late as 2018 on how women should dress and comport themselves around men in the workplace. It is discouraging.
I welcome my male readers to respond in kind with the things that men sometimes choose. I think it might help us understand each other.
Sometimes women choose…
To stop at a fast-food restaurant bathroom because it feels safer than a rest stop.
To stay home rather than go alone.
To stay silent for fear of not being believed.
To not have children and the reason does not matter.
To leave a good-paying job because of harassment.
To stay when they know they should go.
To fight until they can fight no more.
To cry because they feel something – not always because they are sad.
To laugh rather than cry.
To be alone rather than to try to be someone they are not.
To act like a man so they are not treated like a woman.
To suck it up in order to keep their job.
To stay single.
To have platonic relationships with male friends.
To travel alone and hope to be safe.
To choose a career over everything else.
To choose a family over everything else.
To raise their voice in order to be heard.