Went to a meeting in my apartment building the other day, unusual for me to be able to attend since my work outside the building usually keeps late hours. The man in charge, a very big man with a big voice generally led the discussion. Once in a while, a second man on the panel, spoke up. There were a few long-winded residents, particularly a woman who loved to argue and could not come-to- a conclusion. Inadequate speech is both a passive-aggressive attack on the listener as well as a sign of inadequacy.
What was extremely noticeable was that the elected women on the panel mostly said nothing. One questioned about the cost of some repairs. One spoke of getting a low price on some needed item or construction job. For this she was complimented by the top man. and it’s true she was the most outspoken of the women. But when it came to a discussion of affairs already way or bringing up new matters, from the women, not a peep.
I found their silence very frustrating and also very typical. Women do not take an independent position when men exert their power. It is in our training. In our society (and in many societies) f you speak up you are labeled unfeminine, castrating, a bitch. If you do not speak up, you are labeled passive, unable to take a leadership position. In your learned subservient role. In Nazi Germany under Hitler, it was the 2 K’s for women: Kirche, Kuche and Kinder (Church, cooking and children).
How did this insanity come about and why do we let it continue? Women are more than 50 % of the population. Where do they put their power? Iceland threw out the bankers who were ruining the economy with their risky, self-serving investments and put women in charge. You may not know it but Iceland is considered to have the most intelligent population in the world. It takes brain power to made independent decisions.
I know the feeling of fear, of being afraid you don’t fit in. I wonder at women who take the mike who do not make sense. Sounding incompetent is part of our learned role. We are supposed to sigh in awe when Mr. Man fixes something. Women do not go to the sciences, to math, to physics, to computers, because these are a man’s world. Who decided? How do we distinguish between our innate gifts and the role that was assigned to us?
There is only one way. Go do the forbidden thing, read the topic, learn the skills your interest requires. Work until you get it. Giving in supports having an inadequate image. Most people under estimate the time they take to learn to understand and do something. Don’t listen to anyone tell you how long a project takes. Work at it until it is done to your satisfaction. Abandon assigned roles. Don’t fit in with a woman as dodo image. Celebrate individuality, creativity. Celebrate your life.