Over the past few months, I have had the joy of getting to know a great blogger. We haven’t talked a ton, but our conversations have been so genuine and down to earth. Throw in the respect I have for this woman as a blogger, and I just have to say its been a gift to get to know her some. Her name is Natalia Gustafson and if you have not had the pleasure of meeting her, you are missing out on an amazing woman.
Earlier this week, Natalia and I were swapping messages on Facebook, laughing about one of the riddles that has been going around there recently. Over the course of the conversation, she recommended a podcast to me. She thought that due to some issues she knows have interested me, and my love of foreign accents (I would kill to have Natalia’s accent, BTW), I would enjoy one she has been listening to on her commute to and from work. So, at her suggestion, I have started listening to the podcast, The Guilt Feminist.
In listening to the first few episodes that found their way into my iPhone, a lot of thoughts about a a recent meme I saw on Facebook came to mind. In this meme, it talks about how many in society view actions that would be considered complimentary for men are turned and made into negatives for women. For example, when I man expresses his displeasure in something, he is complemented. When I woman does the same, she is considered whiny. When I man expresses an opinion on something that may differ from others, he is seen as a strong male figure. When a woman does the same, she is seen as a bitch. This meme listed several examples of this and I have heard discussions about the same thing in The Guilty Feminist. Sadly, it seems to be the norm in today’s world.
Considering the fact I am transitioning, I have seen and continue to see the cold hard truth in these memes and what that podcast is saying. I am experiencing it every day of my life now. I mean, I always knew there was this double standard between men and women, even before I accepted myself. But now, now I experience it first hand. What’s even more ironic with it all is the number of people who will say women should be empowered and men who say they incredibly attracted to strong, independent women…yet the second a woman displays that she is strong, independent and has a mind and opinions of her own, she is instantly labeled by some derogatory term. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why some women who claim to want to be seen as equals help perpetuate these beliefs. As for men, and no offense to those who believe women are equal, its like you see us as some threat to the all mighty penis. Some of you guys really need to grow the hell up.
I see this dynamic play out in every aspect of life. Work, marriages, friendships, etc. Its every where and to see it, all you have to do is want to see it.
One thing I think that is important to remember is that for most women who want to be seen as the strong women they are, they aren’t wanting to give up their feminine nature, per say. We still want to be called beautiful. We still want to wear pretty dresses. Most of us still love our sexy heels. We want our soft skin. We aren’t looking to give up those aspects of ourselves. What we want is to know our opinions matter. That we are just as capable in the workplace. We can make the difficult decisions. We can do the jobs. That when we express our opinions, we won’t immediately be labeled as whiny or bitches. You would think that after all the time that has passed and all that women have achieved, we would be considered as intellectual and professional equals to the men of the world.
Sadly, it seems this is not the case and we have to keep fighting.
If you enjoy podcasts, I would highly recommend The Guilty Feminist. They use comedy as the basis for this series, which I think helps to make the message much more engaging and powerful. Considering I am new to being the woman I am, if I can see so much of what they are talking about clear as day, I believe most of my fellow women would see even more truth in it than I do.
And remember, speaking your mind with pure intentions never makes you whiny or a bitch. It makes you a strong and capable woman. Don’t ever let anyone take that away from you.
Don’t be afraid to be fierce. ♥
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