If you don’t have haters, you are not pushing your issues hard enough. I learned that golden nugget from one of my mentors, Roy Williams at the Wizard Academy. And if you are going to have an opinion about something, you should make an effort to learn about other viewpoints. Otherwise, the applicable term is “close-minded.” For example, while you may disagree with how women “feel” because you “think” we should feel somehow different, both sides bring important components to the table.
As the author of Happy Woman Happy World, I am all for women empowerment, leadership balance (which means 50-50 in case you were wondering), and gender equality. As my message spreads, some of my viewpoints have attracted a few men here and there who seem personally offended by their perceptions of my feminism. (Case and point: my LinkedIn account.) Between comments on my articles and what I am hearing during this election, I put together a quick list of five turn-offs for women.
But first, let’s be PC: Not all men turn women off, and not all women take offense to these five points. This is an example of me expressing my viewpoint.
- Women are not a minority. We are actually half of the population of the world. Again, that’s half. Fifty percent. Don’t treat us like we don’t matter. We make two-thirds of household financial decisions. As a gender, we have paid our dues and we continue to pay them. We have earned the right to sit at the table.
- Don’t speak on behalf of women or our issues. We have voices of our own, so please listen up. In my articles about women leadership, I discuss how women have different leadership attributes than men. Not better, not worse—just different. Do not belittle our contributions or viewpoints.
- Don’t turn my opinion into your personal issue, and don’t use a woman’s relationship status as an argument. Women have valid opinions whether or not we are single, attached, married, divorced, have biological children, adopted children, or no children or partner at all. If you don’t agree with the issue, simply disagree with the issue. No need to make it personal.
- Don’t critique us for our body shapes, hair styles, our faces, or the way we age. I dare say not all men are a perfect 10, either! Our physical features never need to be a topic of discussion, not even when it’s just the bros hanging out. Many of us suffer from poor body image and a lack of confidence even without your help. No need to pour salt in the wound. Every woman matters.
- Stop encouraging catfights between women. While nothing gets more media attention than two women going at each other, it is not conducive to a good work environment. We have a Women’s Code now and we have each other’s back. Please do the same.
As I write this I cannot help but let out a sigh. It is mind-boggling that in the year 2015 any of this even has to even be discussed! Ultimately, most women want to be considered as equals, and we are getting very, very tired of discussing the same issues over and over and over again.
There is an entire planet that needs saving, economies that have to be built for the purpose of supporting all people, wars that need to stop, religious and personal freedoms that have to be defended…. Why are we wasting our time on something as obvious as equality for 50% of the world’s population?
There are many important issues we should address TOGETHER. So please, let’s stop getting sidetracked with no-brainer issues that should have been resolved long ago. Let’s get over it and on with it.