1.12.2006

See, I Don't Write About Poop For Once and It Totally Sucks

Some stereotypes about women:

They are afraid to ask for money.
They are afraid to speak their mind.
They can't say no.

Asking for money. I hate it. From the day I trudged door-to-door as a kindergartner, hawking my Jeanine Kit wares, I have detested sales. The fact that I even remember the name "Jeanine Kit" shows just how mentally scarring the experience was, since I only remember the bad stuff. It was a cardboard suitcase filled with crap that even a 5 year old knew nobody wanted to buy. In junior high, I missed out on more than one field trip because I failed to sell enough candy bars to fund my transportation costs. Girl Scout Cookies? Forget it. The things practically sell themselves and still I could not manage to merit even a badge, let alone the stuffed monkey recognition prize. Now the MOMS Club of which I am a member is looking for ideas to raise cash for our international Mother to Mother Fund and I am starting to twitch.

Speaking one's mind. I'm not one for holding back, myself. However, what I do know something about is how other women, who might not be as outspoken, react to a strongly stated opinion. They get defensive. And they read things into it. And they think that the one who opines is bitchy instead of assertive. In fact, even some women who are, themselves, opinionated, can balk when confronted with an idea that does not mesh with theirs. And instead of dealing with it constructively, they'll go behind backs to talk about it.

Saying No. Okay, this one really doesn't apply to me, since I have never made a habit of doing things I don't want to do. But I guess there are a lot of overacheiving women out there who can't delegate or disassociate or dig a hole in which to crawl when the demanding throngs become too loud. It almost certainly ties into not speaking one's mind, but it's deeper than that. I'm not a sociologist, and I have no desire to play one on the Internet, so I will cut this one off here, leaving you to ponder where you fall on the metaphorical feminine spectrum that goes from "Do Me Now" to "Sorry, Buddy, I Have a Headache."

My point is that I believe in stereotypes, though I know that they could never apply to everyone or be true all the time. It's just that I've never believed something could be discounted purely on the grounds that it generalizes. What's more important is the context in which the stereotype emerges. Maybe women don't always "speak their minds," or bring in the most money for their alma mater, or admit that their plate is a little too full. But we are operating in a world where values are assigned by men. For a woman to embrace her feminine side often means being looked down upon by a society that holds more masculine ideals dear (Say what you mean! Mean what you say!). On the other hand, a woman who makes her way according to "man's" rules might be construed as stabbing her sisters in the back (Why can't you be more diplomatic? Why can't we all just get along?).

I don't know where this is all coming from. I guess I just find it so hard sometimes to get along with other women (mostly new women--it all changes when they become friends) and I want to know why. How much of our day-to-day interactions are clouded by our societally-influenced perceptions of the way things should be, as opposed to an acceptance of the way things innately are?

Okay, this is stupid, rambling and boring. I am so glad that nobody ever comments here because I'm sure there wouldn't be many positive responses. I should stick to writing about poop.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jene said...

i actually enjoyed this post more than the ones about poop. :)

hmmm, yes, i am assertive, but i also somethings think i am just bitchy (i'm sure kevin would agree).

4:48 PM  
Blogger a rose is a rose said...

i enjoyed this post a great deal as well. i too NEVER sold anything as a child. i hated the idea then and i sure as hell hate it now. it bothers me children are expected to sell things. one really cannot send their kids door to door anymore for that matter. we all know the PARENTS are the ones selling the candy bars and the girl scout cookies anyway.
(and i am NOT afraid of speaking my mind so that really doesn't equate with the not wanting to sell aspect of my life)

6:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home