I am woman, hear me roarIn numbers too big to ignore And I know too much to go back an' pretend 'cause I've heard it all before And I've been down there on the floor No one's ever gonna keep me down again
~ Helen Reddy
I have had this overwhelming feeling in my belly for the last few days. It is part rage, part frustration, and ALL WOMAN!
It stems from the ongoing discussion of the term 'mompreneur' and 'mommy blogger'. And the subsequent conversations that start with I am 'just' a mom, I 'just' run a small business, I 'just' DO everything.
If there is one thing that makes me feel all stabby and leaves me with an intense need to slap people upside the head, it is this. Women undervaluing themselves in ALL that they do!
Here is the thing. We fight for gender equality, we have been for decades if not centuries, and still it does not exist. Why is that? What is it that keeps us in the role of the 'weaker' sex, the one that does not deserve equal pay for the same job, the ones that are seen as less than their male counter parts in practically every aspect of life?
Now I don't want to get into a big sociological or anthropological debate about feminism and gender roles and all that. What I do want to say is this...
I think WE are the problem.
Yup, I said it.
We are the ones who are putting ourselves down. And if we are constantly doing this to ourselves, how on earth can we expect the rest of the world to see us for what we truly are! And by the way WE ARE AWESOME!
It truly does confuse me as to why we are seen as the weaker sex??!! Especially as mothers. We birth children, we feed them with our bodies, we work out of the home, we work from the home, we raise our children, sometimes alone, sometimes with a partner. We are working 24 hours a day, all day every day! Can someone please tell me how the heck a 'weak' person could do that? And why is it that we do not SEE just how crazy amazing we really are?
I am not saying that women are better than men (well, OK, yes in some things we are, but that is a different post altogether), but what I am saying is that if anyone is holding us back and continuing to perpetuate the perception of women as weaker or less than, it may be that we are doing it to ourselves and to each other.
We use language and words to describe ourselves that don't leave us a whole lot of room for greatness. I recently read a great post by Aly Pain that she wrote for MOMeo Magazine. In it she states that
"...Just is one of the most pervasive and diminishing words that implies a hierarchical value, one that places moms at the bottom."
And I couldn't agree more! And she goes on to echo my thoughts that,
"...we can no longer blame society when we feel made second best or lower than others if our own language confirms it."
I am the first to admit that I have been guilty of using this kind of language and descriptors of myself and what I do. But this is changing. And yet even as I write this, the thoughts in my head are, "Oh, geez, don't write this, people are going to think you are full of yourself and that you think you are so great!" And you know what? I AM doing some really great things that I am extremely proud of in my life and I am not ashamed to admit it! My dear friend, Jennifer Banks introduced me to the concept of the Awesome Train and it is one that I am hopping on board whole-heartily.
As women we need to OWN our awesome more. WE need to be the ones who think and KNOW that we are strong, smart, and savvy in all aspects of our lives and that we are not going to be seen as less than anyone or anything EVER again!
Will some people's feathers get ruffled by this kind of attitude? Likely. Whatever! It is high time that we stop our self-deprecating language and thought habits and let the chips fall where they may! And as hard as this may be to swallow, not everyone has to or will like you or what you say and do and you do not have to like everyone around you too. Radical I know, but trust me ladies, a weight off your shoulders when you realize this.
Another good friend tweeted last night that "It's not always easy doing it all". And she is right! It is not easy being a mom, a business owner, a wife and all the other hats we wear on a daily basis. No one ever said it would be. Yet we all willingly signed up for this gig.
Be what you are Mamas. Be strong, be smart, be AMAZING....and while you are out there walking the walk, talk the talk too and....
...Let me hear you ROAR!!