So lately, I’ve seen a lot of posts and links on Facebook that girls are sharing almost as a way to validate their power, their jobs, and their lives. It’s no surprise to anyone these days that women are starting to stand up for themselves and hold their own.
While it’s wonderful that more and more women are taking charge and reaching through ceilings, a brand new realm of sexism has opened up — one that expects a woman to have both a successful job and a successful home, all at the same time.
The notion of women belonging in the kitchen is less common than it used to be, but the concept is still there. And with that concept comes confusion for girls everywhere. I know from personal experience that the phrases and questions we hear often impact the way we look at and think about ourselves. For example:
“So, have you started cooking yet? You know, you’ll never find a husband if you don’t know how to cook. No man wants to marry a woman who can’t cook.”
Yet in the same breath, a girl will hear the phrase:
“Well, forget about cooking for right now, you still have a little time to learn. Get a good job first, get yourself established, and then worry about cooking and finding a husband.”
It seems as if the end goal hasn’t changed, it’s just moved. Where our grandparents focused on marriage usually at a young age and our grandmothers focused on being mothers, we now have a stigma to get a career and then a family and then drop that career for your family. If you try doing both? You’re judged. You’re questioned. And a it’s made into an impossible feat, yet men have always had a career and a family.
I found the video below being shared around Facebook. I think it makes a very strong point, but it’s also only half of the conversation. It focuses on phrases that girls and women hear all the time that a man would never hear. It hits close to home for me (since I’ve heard a vast majority of these, myself), but I think it’s something everyone should watch. Although a cliché, the phrase “think before you speak” is beyond important in the world — for sexism, racism, bullying, everything. People need to focus on the words they’re saying and what they really mean before they decide to say them.
Now, as I said, this is only half of the conversations. Men could easily make the opposite side of this video with phrases like “act like a man” and “men don’t cry”, but this at least gets a conversation started. Sexism is still very much alive, even with women working hard to rise, and it’s not going to stop until we all make a conscious effort to watch the things we say and encourage those around us. Anything men can do, women can do too (and vice versa).