I am choosing to let my feminism shine publicly today. Some [men] have told me it is a bold and risky move to share the things that I am about to share. “It could jeopardize your chances of achieving success in the future,” they say. With total disregard to these comments, I am going to do it anyway. I have nothing left to lose. I have already lost everything at the expense of men.
When I was much younger I lost my voice to a man. This was a man who beat me down and made me feel worthless. This was a man who convinced me that speaking up was not an option. This was a man who told me that I did not deserve the things I desired. This was a man who told me that no one would care or believe me if I spoke out against him. The sad part is that I believed he was right. The sadder part is that I am over a decade removed from this situation and sometimes I still struggle to speak up. I still struggle to believe that I deserve all of the things I desire, and I still struggle with my self-worth on a daily basis. I don’t talk about this often, instead I put on a brave face and I walk out into the world most days exuding confidence and strength. I do this to protect myself from the shame and humiliation I feel from being a woman who once didn’t know she mattered. I do this to show other women that they do not have to accept the harsh reality of being a woman in a man’s world. I do this in effort to change how women are perceived in the world we live in. I spend my days trying to set a positive example for other women. I spend my days educating men about how to treat women. I spend my days trying to be confident despite my struggles. I spend my days trying to be the best version of myself even when it feels like I am slowly sinking in quicksand.
As more time passes and I become further removed from my past, I’ve learned that I do have a voice. I’ve learned that I do deserve to be heard. If a man in the street screams something harsh about my body I will speak out, if a man tells me a women should lead a traditional lifestyle [ by only being a wife and mother] I will speak out, if a less qualified man receives a job I deserve you better believe that I will make that known. I will advocate for myself.
See, I am not stupid and I am quite resourceful. Men underestimate me and other women all the time. Men think we very rarely can see the truth, and maybe at 18 I couldn’t but at [almost] 30 I can. I can see that you [men] think I will settle for less than I deserve while you give the opportunities I do deserve to undeserving men just because they are men. I can see that in business and sports, both industries I have experience working in, you will do all that you can to keep me and other women from rising to the top. You think we should be grateful for anything you deem appropriate to offer us. All these years I’ve thought that it was me. I thought that I wasn’t qualified enough for the jobs I wanted, that I wasn’t smart enough, that I didn’t work hard enough, but the truth is I was wrong. I let one man take my voice away many years ago and then other men just preyed on that by tricking me into thinking I only deserved what I was offered and not what I desired.
Gender discrimination is still very relevant. If you do not believe me please keep reading.
I recently interviewed for a job and I was the most qualified candidate for the job. I did not get the job. A less qualified man got the job. You may wonder how I know this. I know this because I am an intelligent woman….and the person rejecting me from the job provided me with a bit too much information about the candidate that was chosen for the job. I was offered an insulting, made up, lesser position as a consolation prize. My gut tells me that this happened so that this man would be able to thrive while it was my skills and expertise that were actually being utilized. I had two options, I could do the job while being hidden behind a man who would get all the credit….or I could say no and not settle for less than I deserve. I said no.
Each day it is a given that the sun will rise and set & each day it is a given that we shouldn’t settle for less than we deserve–women shouldn’t settle for less than they deserve. I’ll never stop advocating for women & I’ll never stop teaching young girls to defy the odds that are stacked against them. We have a voice, we have rights, and we are more powerful than men realize. To the job who made a poor choice by hiring a less qualified man, good luck. I am the most qualified person you will never have in your corner, and I cannot wait until you realize this.