Difference

Image from stemwomen

There is nothing new about giving voice to the myriad of obstacles facing women each day – women at work, in leadership, in education. The simple fact that I am a woman brings me immense blessing, joy and opportunity. But as history attests it also brings with it considerable challenge, sorrow and disadvantage.

By being a woman I am different to half of the population. 
And by being woman, that difference means I am unconsciously fighting for opportunity and experience every day. 
By being a woman I am working hard to have my voice heard in the midst of the testosterone mumbles and rumbles.
By being a woman I am facing  a strong media force that populates, stereotyped images of what a ‘woman’ should look like everyday.  
And I am battling against a mentality that men do things better  – in the workplace, in the church, in life.

Jared Mauldin, a senior mechanical engineering student at Eastern Washington University wrote an open letter that outlined the reasons why his female colleagues would never be equal. By being a woman in STEM there were disadvantages for her, simply by being a woman.

His intentions appear to be genuine. He wants more men to see the issues and name them. You can read Mauldin’s letter here. In essence he doesn’t say anything new. He just happens to be a man, a young man saying it as it is. This gender thing is complicated. It is a circus and we are all a part of it. I take this young man’s letter to be a small but important part of a journey that we are all in, to make things better, fairer and more equal for everyone.

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Girlfriends and un-wanted advice..

Do you sometimes find yourself talking with others and realise their perspective, experience and practice of childrearing, domestic life, marriage, work and life is radically different to yours?

I am constantly in this quandary. I may be part of conversations and want to jump in and say this is what worked for me/us. Have you tried doing this with your child? Or in other chats I have to stop myself from being judgemental because I would never do x or y.

I found Nancy Wilson’s “Talking Shop” helpful. Sometimes it is best not to say much. And not to say it on Facebook. To exercise control of my tongue and to know that there is room for various responses. Read it and see what you think….