Friday, August 21, 2015

What If She Was Yours?

I have always had quiet a bit of feminism in me. Too many women fought for the rights that we have. I do believe that in many, many, many circumstances I am equal and sometimes even superior to my male counterparts. Throughout my short life, I have fought the "you're just a girl" comments and have even used them as fuel to push harder.

I remember my grandfather telling me that since I was a girl and from the South, I would have to fight twice as hard to prove my worth. I would have to be twice as smart. And most importantly get my tears in check.

I was told by a high school guidance counselor that I was "just an average girl" and I shouldn't apply for any colleges other than the local community college. Then when acceptance letters poured in from every college I applied to, she called me into her office and yelled at me for not getting her permission and she let me know I created a lot of extra work for her.

I had a college professor look at me straight in the face and tell me that "the only thing that women have done throughout history is give birth to significant men." He fought me on almost every step of earning my history degree, but I went to my adviser and we figured out a new path so I could achieve the double degree.

I was fired from my job for giving birth to our first child. Since I missed an audit (because I was seriously in labor) it was deemed that I was not responsible enough to continue my job.

Just a few weeks ago I questioned our builders on things they were doing to our home and invoices we were paying. Rather than having an adult conversation, emotions went flying, I felt attacked and insulted and they next thing I knew I was in someone's face. I was told to "Go hob-nob back in DC and see if that gets your house finished." Rather than us discussing the questions I had, I was attacked and written off because I was a woman and my job was downgraded to "hob-nobbing."

Right after we moved here, the editor to the local paper wrote a note that he was upset that women would be featured on money soon. He wanted to know if they would use a picture of women shopping or vacuuming. I was assured he was only kidding, but I really don't think he was. He sure did spend a lot of time on something that was supposed to be taken as a joke and his joke sure did have a degrading manor to it.

In the news now we have Ronda Rousey, two females who qualified for Ranger tabs, a female NFL ref and the US women's soccer team. They are all achieving such incredible levels of awesomeness that this mother of two girls is beyond excited that our girls have new faces to look to for inspiration.

I had two females who were in the public eye when I was growing up who inspired me, Senator Elizabeth Dole and Sally Ride. That's it. The rest of my inspiration came from men. And having the honor to work with one of the women I always looked up to is inspiring beyond words!!

For some reason our society feels the need to squash female achievement any way we can. The comments that have come out about the women who are hitting these new goals are primeval. Seriously, what year is this?!

I will proudly admit I have no desire to participate in a MMA fight, play soccer, complete Ranger course or referee the NFL, but if that is something you want to do I will cheer you on!! I will also proudly share your accomplishments with our daughters.

I am so blessed that my grandfather encouraged me to light my own path. I am so thankful to have a husband that puts up with my loud mouth and opinions. I am thankful for brothers (related and not) who will not tolerate someone putting me or my work down. I am thankful for a job that values me and my opinion.

I will admit the one thing I love about my job is that I am treated as an equal. I have lost track of how many times I have been in a room and had to pull the "yes I am a woman, but I know what I am talking about" card. But with YRF, our board actually asks my opinion and it is lovely to be valued.

Now to all of you keyboard commandos, here is the question I would like to pose to you. What if one of these awesome women were a part of your life? What if they were your wife, girlfriend, sister or daughter? Would you still be so brave behind your keyboard and fire off your disgusting comments? I know that when I have been cyber-attacked it has enraged my husband and those who know me so well. But like I always say, "We don't win internet wars with people who obviously cannot pull their heads out of their own ass."

Why can we not just take the time to think that what they are accomplishing it awesome?! Why do we have to belittle and question how they got there? We don't question the male counterparts to the same degree.

Once words are out there, they cannot be taken back. Sure you can delete your comment, but you already threw it out and someone felt that sting. Been there, felt that. My favorite was the person who said they'd "wish I would die so my family would live happily ever after." Yup, not going to forget that one any time soon.

So keyboard commandos, is you are so brave behind the keyboard, why not channel that bravery and go make your own mark rather than lashing out at women who are making their place in history?! If you took all of your jealousy and hate and channeled it into positive productivity then we would all have a much better world. But wait, you'd have to come out from behind your keyboard.....