I’m all about celebrating International Women’s Day but this drives me nuts
I’ll preface this by first stating that I don’t consider myself a feminist. Although I don’t know that I could define what a feminist is. I believe in equal rights no matter your color, creed, or etc. In my opinion, I’m fine with you as long as you don’t hurt yourself, anyone, or anything else to the best of your ability. If you actively try to not be a detriment to society I’m fine with you. You can try and fail, but keep trying.
Secondly, is those that take it super far, like there aren’t differences between men and women. Of course there are, and you should be celebrating it not acting like there’s no differences at all. Differences are fine, but it’s when it negatively impacts your life that I take issue.
There are differences.
Of course, it’s normal and natural, but sure it doesn’t mean men can’t do women things and vice versa. And don’t tell me women things don’t exist. I have two kids, 13 months apart, a boy and a girl. They are vastly different.
Everything with my son is ‘boy’ he can be brash, he likes smashing things and being loud. My daughter is much quieter and infinitely more ‘sensitive’. No, I’m not just talking about emotions, my son has emotions too. But my daughter will wake up to the sound of a plastic bag rustling.
On International Women’s Day I want to celebrate that not pretend like it doesn’t exist. Why my daughter is more sensitive to things like that is because (hopefully) she will have some babies of her own one day and those are things that are necessary to being alert to wake up to a crying baby. Should my son also wake up to his crying babies one day? I hope so! But evolutionarily speaking he wasn’t designed for it because it’s not his primary role.
I don’t want to start an argument about International Women’s Day.
I really don’t, and if you take any offense by anything I say it’s not meant to be like that it’s just my opinion. Can men have more female attributes and vice versa? Of course! I always said I want my daughter to be just as rough and tumble as my son, but also wear pretty dresses and be beautiful and lovely.
I also want my son to be emotionally intelligent and unafraid to have more feminine attributes for your information. What I want the most is for them to be wholly themselves, completely unafraid to express themselves however they want to. I want them to be happy.
What I don’t want is for them to be judged for being who they are, and I want the world to be more friendly towards being human. That’s not the world I know, but it is one I hope to help shape for them. But after all this, that’s still not what bothers me the most.
What bothers me the most is that the world doesn’t support being human.
What do I mean by that? Well I mean the fact that mental health days aren’t really even a thing. I’m not keen on taking them myself, but it is a very Spartan ideology. That no one can ever just have a bad day and need to mentally reset. Do some take advantage? People will always take advantage of things, get used to it.
To take it a step further though is when it comes to being human, the workplace does lean to the men’s side. There is less accommodation for “women’s” things. Specifically surrounding my pregnancy and the birth of my children. At least in my experience.
Do you know how pissed off I was when my boss yelled at me for pumping breastmilk? I had just returned from maternity, my son was maybe four months old (I was fortunate to get extended time off), and this was a new boss I just met.
Why was he mad? Not because I was shirking my responsibilities but because he didn’t know where I was. Where was I? I was in my old office, the one that they gave away when I was on maternity leave. He couldn’t reach me because he was emailing me and I no longer had access to that computer. All of my staff knew where I was but I didn’t know this boss needed to know my every move. Previously the head honchos left me alone.
Fortunately, the new occupants of that office were kind enough to allow me to use that office to pump because my new office I shared with three other managers. My new office also was all glass, allowing anyone to see inside or out, not really conducive to pumping.
My bad job might not be the best example.
They also scheduled me to work both my baby shower and my wedding, as if I didn’t put the request off in months in advance. Maybe it wasn’t really their fault, I did go through 8 bosses and 3 HR personnel in the 2 years I was there, so the juggling of paperwork can get confusing.
But they gave away my office while I was on maternity. I had to kick other managers out of their offices so I could pump breastmilk for my infant son. It’s a good thing I’m not the sensitive type too. But don’t tell me that everything is even-steven in the workplace because it’s not.
I’m not just saying this to gripe, I want to highlight an issue that I know is not singular to me. Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx and the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, understands the very male-driven society that we live in. On International Women’s Day, I want to bring to light this gender gap that exists on every level of the workplace, not just the billionaire level.
Dare to be different!
Don’t settle for the way things are. If you know more about my story, you know that I love to challenge the status quo. This world might favor the men’s side of things, but I hope you fight for your rights too. If you didn’t know, that job let me go after only being back two months after returning from maternity and I turned to a direct sales company and blogging to make money. Not only that but I have also created a course and have dedicated my time to building a home business for myself. By the way, when they let me go I was already pregnant with my second.
What I don’t think many people realize is that my resume is still active on different job platforms and that I regularly still apply to jobs. Why? Mostly because my husband and I are looking to buy a home. But since becoming a mom I have had absolutely no luck finding a job whatsoever.
In my estimation, I have applied to no less than 500 jobs in the past 3 or so years, and most don’t even get to the interview stage. Granted, I am looking to change my industry now that I have kids, but once they find out I have kids I usually don’t hear back. And I know that I’m not alone in this.
With so many out of work, they don’t need me, fettered as I am to two kids. They want someone younger and who will work more for less, and I can’t do that now that I have kids. Fortunately for me, I have another means of making money but on International Women’s Day, I wanted to highlight this issue and tell all the other women out there that there are alternative options if you were open to them!
Tell me your story of gender disparity in the workplace, especially those moms that suddenly found that they weren’t valued after the birth of their children.
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