Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just a girl

Sometimes it sucks to be a girl. More people in the US are sexist when it comes to voting than I'd like to admit, perhaps leading to the disproportional representation in our government; men are perceived as stronger in a variety of leadership characteristics, even by women, which may explain disproportionally small number women in top corporate leadership positions. Even after the women's movement, we've not quite achieved the equality the feminists fought (and still fight) for.

Knowing all of this has led me to have a bit of a chip on my shoulder and feel like I have something to prove. I analyze, then re-analyze, how I handle almost every situation. I think about how I can phrase my emails more authoritatively (I read once that women tend to use more qualifiers in their communication, like "I think" or "I feel," that can dilute the strength of the message), I examine my wardrobe choices for every meeting--too much cleavage? Skirt too short? Shirt too tight? I have gone out of my way to watch more ESPN and CNN than I probably would have otherwise, and I'm seriously considering taking up golf.

I do all of these things to minimize the fact that I was born with a vagina instead of a penis. It seems silly, really. I'm taking a vow now: I will not use my lack of a penis as an excuse for failure. I refuse to let my accomplishments be qualified by my gender.

Now, don't get me started on agism...

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