Saturday, February 24, 2024

Making Waves

The moment a woman realizes she is working around a world full of men something changes inside her. She realizes the comfort that was afforded to her before maybe when she was unaware or maybe when she hadn’t learned of the world isn’t there anymore.

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Now she has many of two paths she can choose. Either she can keep her head down and keep moving quietly without being noticed or she can make waves as she moves along and navigates her world. What does it mean to make waves, really? Does it mean to fight at every point? Or does it mean to tell everyone that they are wrong and to get into trouble with everyone.

Nah, making waves just means to stand your ground. Making waves is just knowing who you are and making sure the world knows it. When women are out in the world we are not supposed to be known or seen, we are just supposed to do what we are there to do. Get it done and get out. Seems like harsh words but this is our reality. We need to make sure the world knows we are more than that. We do have a voice and our voices should not go un-heard. We are not here to only listen to what others say. We are here to speak as well. Our voices should not be muted out of our opinions.

Many times, we don’t even realize it’s happening to us. Many times, we even do it to ourselves because we feel that’s just how it should be. Sometimes, if we speak up, we might just be heard, and things might be different, but we don’t give ourselves a chance because we are taught that chances are for others. We are not others; we are the ones who pave the way for those ‘others’. We are the nurtures, caretakers, lovers who make way for others. We watch and bask in the glow of the ‘others’ while they outshine us.

We are told to believe that this is what should bring us inner happiness;  to watch them shine above us. So, we let it happen and even condone it when it’s happening to other women. Those waves just pass us by, and we dedicate them to people we care about. We sacrifice them in the name of those we love fiercely, on some occasions even more than ourselves.

This is not to say that we can’t be all those things that I mentioned above and still be stirring the ocean and making people think. We are capable of way more than we give ourselves credit. We can nurture others while nurturing ourselves. Along with that we can teach the world how to nurture women and the talents we hold.

We can love without bound, while we do that, we can teach people to appreciate and love our experience and wisdom.

Sounds like a pipe dream doesn’t it? That’s because in most cases it is. Did you know that women are vastly underpaid compared to their male colleagues. Also, that women are not given seats in colleges and universities based on merits in most places because Deans and administrations assume that they will eventually get married and ruin a perfectly good opportunity for a male student to obtain a living? You knew all of it. Many of you are thinking, but things are changing. That is not the case in many colleges, universities and workplaces anymore.

That might be true, but not true enough. What I mean by that is that we are not getting there fast enough, that place that makes us doubt ourselves as women. That place that makes us wonder if you are good enough. Before I move forward let me be very clear that this is not one of those writings where I put all the responsibility of everything that’s wrong with the world on the shoulders of one gender. This is not even a writing where I say that women should become just like men. We are unique and special; we can never attain our truest most honest abilities until we accept our uniqueness and accept that we are different. We need to stop the competition with men and rely more heavily on our capabilities.

Let’s get into what is it that’s truly holding us back. There is no doubt that it’s the patriarchy that has decided that women are not capable enough to handle the tasks that men are capable of, it’s the gender bias. Of course, that’s the problem. However, patriarchy comes in many forms.

We are also our biggest enemies. We are so engrossed in proving those men wrong that we have forgotten how we don’t have anything to prove. We don’t need to be equal to or unequal to anyone. We do need to take our place back from the world, but it has nothing to do with men. Well, I mean it has to do with men in the sense that they have taken it from us, but they can’t infringe on it because we are not them, we are not like them and if anyone is holding us back from our full potential it’s us doing it to ourselves; Mostly.

There you go…lets unpack that.

You might, say these are some heavy accusations, only these are not accusations at all. These are realities that women are forced to live with, for better or for worse. We have learned these behaviors.  We have been conditioned through thousands of years of mimicking and modeling. We have been taught, told and shown what our place is in this world. We have learned over and over again the trying consequences of being out of place.

You can’t tell me that you don’t understand what I mean by any of this no matter man or woman. Don’t tell me you haven’t heard mothers telling their daughters that being married and having children is a woman’s ultimate responsibility. When a female goes out in search of herself, she’s told that serving her husband and children is where she will find true content because it’s in her nature. We are taught to believe its science. Who can deny science? Am I right? When one of us does try defying, this, “scientific fact” the rest of us who have bought into it remind her that she can’t fight destiny. Men may be responsible for putting this system in place, but women are responsible for keeping it going for this long.

While we were busy trying to be something, we weren’t supposed to be we didn’t realize that we were  losing everything that we already had that made us great.  We were pitted against each other in the name of equality. We were fighting and trampling each other in the name of being better to prove that we were just as good as men as though men are the epitome of goodness and “the best”. Who decided that they are the criteria? I didn’t. Did you? I like myself, just the way I am. To be honest while I have met my fair share of terrible men, I like a lot of them as well, so I am not in the mood to compete with anyone. I want to be me and lift everyone up, especially my sisters so we can be a community and finally find ourselves. Seems like a better way to make waves, don’t you think?

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