Lot 48: Feminism

January 3, 2013


Lets discuss feminism for a moment.

I have come to the realization that I been blind my whole life.  I really wasn't aware that there were people who think women are inferior to men and think they are less intelligent/capable/respectable, etc. I wasn't aware of this. I have never felt anyone around me felt this way. Or I just never noticed.

I have three sisters and my dad and mom raised us to believe we can accomplish anything and do anything we choose. My sisters are intelligent and accomplished and have all had very successful careers, as have I. My sisters were the breadwinners while their husbands went to school and one is a microbiologist (I'm not even going to pretend I know what that involves), the other a big shot business woman and the other was such a good paralegal that her boss relentlessly encouraged her to go to law school. My mom was a nurse my aunt was a nurse my cousin is a nurse, my best friend is an accountant. All my sisters' husbands are supportive of my sisters' careers and treat them as the intellectual and capable women that they are.  My dad treats my mom this way, my brothers in law treat my sisters that way, so how was I to know that there were guys out there who didn't treat women this way?  I guess that was naiive of me.  I am just surrounded by, and have always been surrounded by, intelligent and successful women who are treated as intelligent and successful that it never occurred to me that anyone would ever think we aren't as capable as men.

At work, we have a Women In Business organization with a sole purpose of promoting and encouraging women in the workplace. A member of that organization was helping me pick out pictures to put on a banner and after we had picked out a few, she said "let's get some pictures of women on there." Huh. That didn't even occur to me. I didn't notice the pictures I chose were all of men. I seriously didn't even notice. At all.

When I worked in Los Angeles in the entertainment industry, I was surrounded by successful women as well.  It was a pretty equal men to women ratio.  At the web development firm I worked at this past year, management was made up of mostly women, myself included.   It wasn't until my girlfriends shared stories with me about comments men have made regarding their abilities that I realized this is a problem for some people.  That some women do feel belittled and inferior to men.  I've never really thought about it and I kind of feel bad that I haven't.  I feel I have a responsibility as a woman to stand up for other women and do what I can to ensure that we are all treated equally.  So I guess I should start paying more attention.

To be honest, when someone would tell me a story about a comment some guy made or something that happened at work or school to make them feel inferior, I would always think "oh, you're overreacting.  That doesn't happen.  This is 2013, not 1920."  And I would get kind of annoyed by these women who were complaining that men didn't treat them the same or give them the same opportunities.  I would just kind of think "everybody knows we are as equally awesome as men.  Why are you complaining about something that isn't an issue?"  But then I decided to stop getting annoyed and actually listen.  And I saw they had a point.  I have never experienced this feeling of inferiority so I don't really understand, but I am going to make a goal to be more aware and stop cringing every time a woman tells a story of how she feels a man treated her unfairly because she is a woman.

What are your thoughts?

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