Gender, make your argument don’t create an excuse

Author
Claire Lewis
CEO | OCD Marketing Ltd
5th September 2017

A couple of months back I read an article about power posing, donning your “CEO”. A compelling article that debated the theory that “power posing” helps you to believe and deliver. Everything was going well until halfway through when it took a turn for the worse. It turned to gender.

“Women start at a disadvantage…”

So here it is the bit that left me speechless.

“Girls and women start at a disadvantage, because from birth, we’re told how we can fix all the ways we’re not perfect.”

This statement implies that men are not told the same whilst growing up? What a load of rubbish.

If men are so confident in their own skin, why are suicide rates higher for men and why are reported male eating disorders on the increase?

There is no doubt that that gender remains an issue in the workplace. Areas where women are very much at a disadvantage for example, doing the same job for less money. However, let’s not risk losing the vital platform to fight these injustices with unfounded and quite frankly insulting arguments.

Sugar & spice and all things nice

Apparently girls being told about their limitations and how they should behave puts them at a greater disadvantage to boys. Again, what a load of rubbish. Boys are also conditioned to think and behave in a a certain way. Boys are taught to "be" confident to fake it, to “power pose”? Whereas girls are taught it is ok to show emotion. Both of which have their pros and cons.

Which gender got the best deal?

Did any of us get the better deal? Women, who have been taught to show our emotions, femininity and maybe our weaknesses so that as we reach working age we must learn to switch them off if we want to get ahead. Or men who have been taught to “power pose” from a young age, so much so that it can be difficult to accept or show any weakness, until for some it becomes simply too much to shoulder.

Build your argument don’t create an excuse

I believe to point the finger at “them” over there that have it easier only goes to accentuate the divide and cause hostility that helps no one. The fact is men and women are different and thank god and sometimes yes we women have to fight the stereotypes of being the weaker sex but do you know what? so what?! It makes us stronger and readies us for the next battle. In all honestly I think I’m pretty lucky that I get to choose who I am today and what side I show? It is no different for men and women, show weakness in certain situations and you will get eaten up.

And come one do we believe that men have it so good? Really?

I am not saying the gender divide doesn’t exist and that we shouldn’t continue to fight for equal rights. Today women are still paid less than men doing the same jobs and we are still being objectified. However, let’s not devalue these key issues by making outrageous claims that men are inherently more confident than women because they are told they are wonderful. Because that just isn’t true or fair and we run the danger of becoming and sounding just like the people we detest. 

Confident, passionate, charismatic and heard

Instead let’s stand together for what is right and fair, see through the simplified gender argument of “oh it’s because I’m a woman and he’s a man”. The danger is it becomes an excuse not an argument and that is when we do lose the battle. Let’s not create excuses but achieve despite the challenges. And when we stand to fight the real battles be prepared, confident, passionate and most importantly heard.

What do you think? Agree or disagree, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject.

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