Although things are moving forward on behalf of women, there’s one thing that I hope changes for the generations of women to come and that is their right to express their feelings whatever they may be.
After I exited my abusive marriage, I came to realize that I expressed my anger with tears, tears of frustration. When women verbally express their anger, they are most often called “bitches” or given some other negative label. It is acceptable for men to express their anger but not women. I believe it goes back to the generations of women who were expected to be “ladylike” and subservient. The “Catch 22” is that when we cry, our tears are labeled as self-pity. We cannot win!
Even now, strong women, or women who don’t conform to society’s expectations of femininity, are often considered to be lesbian. It is unfair to the lesbian population to be pigeonholed in such a way and unfair to women who are just being who they want to be.
It has been my experience that women supervisors were difficult to work under. They seemed to believe they had to prove that they were “just as good” as a man. They projected the image they perceived a man would project in the same position. However, their tendency was to over-compensate making it difficult to work under them. They seemed to have a need to show that they were boss and to believe that they couldn’t be friendly or have a sense of humor nor could they show compassion or have an affinity with their employees. It was as if they believed that if they showed any of said emotions, they would be seen as “typical women”. In my opinion, women are often valuable at their jobs because they have stamina, humility, compassion, and can multi-task like crazy.
Women who appear strong often are seen as being cold or a “bitch”. However, when they don’t come on strong, they are seen as “weak” or “a typical woman.” I believe that Hilary Clinton does well at being good at her job without sacrificing her womanhood. Yet, I hear negative comments from men that her voice is too strong or when she fights back. Why are those things even a factor? She tended to her e-mails from home, something a woman might do because we multi-task. We have a need to be at home with our family and take care of our family’s needs and to do our career job as well. It is seen as a weakness, yet I see it as strength. Did she do wrong? Maybe. If she made a mistake, slap her hand and move on because it was not done with an awareness that it was unacceptable. Have I come to believe in her ability to do the job as President of the United States because she is a woman? Nope, I was not in her corner when she ran previously because she was a woman and I mistakenly believed that, as a woman, she would be too emotional to do the job. What has changed? She has shown me that she can do the job, that she can be compassionate without being overly emotional. She has remained mature for the most part while other candidates have become defensive and have given in to pettiness and bickering.
Women are often seen as weak when they cry when it actually can help us to be stronger. Men most often are seen as strong because they don’t cry when it can actually make them less in command of their reactions. Crying is a relief valve for emotions and if that valve remains shut off, those emotions will build and blow at some point and in some way. When emotions have not been released at the point of impact, they will blow when they choose, not when you choose and they don’t choose the best or most appropriate time. When this happens, it is referred to as “coming out sideways”. We often don’t know or understand that the emotions are not a reaction to what is happening then but are a reaction to something we did not address in the past. If our emotions are addressed at the time of occurrence, we are better able to manage them appropriately because the negative emotion has not been building up over time.
Women’s psyches have been held back because we have not been allowed to be who we are. Rather we have been seen as “the weaker sex”. Reading this post, one might think that I was supportive of the “Women’s Liberation Movement” of my time but I wasn’t. I enjoy being a woman with all its ups and downs. There is a courtesy and respect that I grew up with in the south as a woman . As a child and young adult, the lines in my home were clearly delineated. There was no expectation of me to fix the car, mow the grass or carry up the groceries nor was my father expected to iron his own clothes, fix his own meals or clean house. I’m not sure I would want to go back to that delineation but it was what I was accustomed to. When I ventured out into the world, it was confusing to me as times changed and men expected me to do what I considered men’s jobs. However, men would not “stoop” to do what they considered to be a woman’s job.
Men of today are much more sensitive and allow their emotions to surface and I think that is a good thing. I have experienced what happens when a man considers his emotions to be a sign of weakness. That fear of showing weakness can and often will become abuse directed mostly at women. I would like to believe that a world where women and men respect each others emotions will become a “thing”. Here’s hoping🍸