“Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly “you got this, keep going.”’
It feels like a good time to remind you that you should never be made to feel inferior mama. Not in your own home, not at your place of work, not anywhere. Know your worth. And yet- that’s the position I find myself in… again. It’s almost comical to me at this point. I am not a meek and mild kind of female- not even a little bit. I am the kind of person who will defend a woman in public that I don’t even know or the kind who goes to Lilith Fair with her older sisters. I’m like two steps away from driving a Subaru, signing up for every women’s march, and only wearing LL Bean clothing. But somehow, I think that is seen as a challenge to some type of men, like “well I’ll bet she’d love to know my fatherly view on the world’s politics today. I should tell her.” WRONG- don’t patronize me, Sir… keep moving. But they always find me.
Years ago, I ran an office and I had a really great relationship with the Executive Partner there. I still think the world of him, I think he was dealing with some personal issues- but I digress. You also need to know that Fifty Shades of Gray was very popular at the time- it’s relevant. So I run the office and he passes me in the hallway and tells me to order pizza. I say ok, I’ll look into it. A seemingly innocent phrase, non-committal and honestly there was someone else in the office already ordering pizza for the night that I knew of, so sure- I’m on it. I go to my office and he calls me. Requests me to come down to his office immediately. It starts to feel a little ‘off’ but I go down the hallway and he has me close his door. He starts yelling at me about how he told me to order pizza and I needed to follow his instructions immediately- without question- and do as he says. I tried to explain someone else was already planning pizza. He yells louder and then finishes by telling me that I will now call him Master (see, 50 Shades of Gray).
I said absolutely not- no way would I be calling him master. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I turned on my heels and exited without his permission. In two seconds flat he had called my boss. Do you know who had to apologize? Me. So here we are today- you’d think after the #MeToo movement and the progress women have made that companies would be jumping on board to make sure women aren’t still experiencing these treatments. Hardy har har. I currently work in an extremely male-dominated industry. Women hold the service rep positions; men hold everything else. A man thought it would be appropriate to yell at me, in front of other co-workers, because a desk wasn’t set up the way he likes it to be. This isn’t his desk, his name is not on this desk, but he likes to sit there occasionally. I calmly explained the extremely rational situation and he began yelling again. It made me uncomfortable, the IT person was uncomfortable… and guess who has to receive coaching on communication? YOU GUESSED IT!!! Me. During our coaching it was explained that he was too valuable in his position- a.k.a. the Patriarchy wins again but thanks for trying to make things a little more equal.
I am so bloody tired of being talked to and reprimanded for not being a subservient, passive maiden in the workplace. I have bent over backward, not reported questionable behavior (because do you see what happens when you do?!), kept my head down, and provided this office the best assistance they have ever received. Not anymore. I will not apologize for being a strong female. I will not apologize for being the voice of those who have buried their harassment. I will not bow down to the men in powerful positions… you’ve got the wrong girl. I’ve learned my worth. Instead, I will shift the crown upon my head; I will pack my damn bags, and I will take my talents to where they are appreciated. Because I know my worth. And I’ll leave you with my favorite saying on the way out the door: I am not fragile like a flower, I am fragile like a bomb.