Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Money, Power, Superwoman - All That and a Lifetime of Free Massages? I Think NOT!

If having money, being powerful, snatching up that promotion, and imitating Superman was all that and a lifetime of free massages we (women) would have gone up, up and away through that so called glass ceiling, scattering glass across corporate America and the blogospere. They're even talking about a glass ceiling for women bloggers, a topic at the Blogher conference. I'm not going to categorize all women together, but humor me while I generalize about this subject.

Let's go back to the 1943. World War II had taken away much of the manufacturing workforce needed to produce goods for the war. Rosie the Riveter was born out of the government's desire to summons women's patriotism. Women answered the call, "We Can Do It!" On average these woman worked for $31.41 per week, while men doing the same work earned $54.65. After the war most were told, "Thanks for your patriotism, now go back to your homes and let the men do their work."

Their act of patriotism probably did open many doors for women in the workforce, but I would have been fuming mad if I had been treated that way. I know exactly what I would have done with that energy. Set out to prove myself, which women have done and almost to a fault. I would say that today we misinterpret this icon to mean "We Can Do It All, with a baby on our hip, while running the household,while blah blah and blah blah blahing.

Rosie the Riveter, a believable strong women, has morphed into Superwoman, an unrealistic super hero. I love this iconic poster, but I am rethinking what it means to me and I hope you can look at it and find your own definition of being a strong successful women, whether you are in corporate America, run your own business or orchestrate a somewhat smooth running household.

Here's my Believe Act Go challenge to you today. Don't be a Yes lady and pile one more layer of Kryptonite on top of your Superwomen mentality. Be your own, Lois Lane, and try a few of these strategies.

  1. Learn some lessons from our "sometimes" smarter halves - Men usually do not ask permission to engage in male bounding time. Schedule downtime to be with yourself or girlfriend(s) without asking permission. PUT IT ON YOUR SCHEDULE JUST LIKE TIMMY'S BASEBALL SCHEDULE. If we don't "schedule" this time we will fill it with more chores.
  2. Success List - Write down what is really important to you. Maybe categorize them by your roles. Write down your typical actions. Connect the lists. Will your actions help you achieve the things that are important to you? Select an action that doesn't line up and stop doing it.
  3. Can You Believe She... - Your BAG (Believe Act Go) is not her BAG. Her BAG is not your BAG. Women have a tendency to be hard on each other. This can add to our guilt because we value other women's opinion. Often we are reflecting our own fears onto other women. Next time you start to say, "Can you believe that so and so........STOP and think why you care. Replace with, I can't believe I .....
  4. Ask for Help - Asking for help is not, I repeat, IS NOT a sign of weakness. Many times we hesitate to ask for help and before we know it we are in over our heads and reach a state of being overwhelmed. Overwhelmed? Ask for help.
  5. Balance Your Roles - When you're not fulfilled in one role we tend to over compensate in another. Re-balance your roles and energy spent in each worthwhile role.
  6. Take your own best advise.
I have found that when you have spent 15 years working towards a somewhat borrowed belief that success = a new home, new cars, promotions and buying your children pretty much anything they want, it takes a little time letting go of that false sense of security.
A wise women once told me (in not so many words) that it is not our beauty that gives us our strength. It is our strength that give us our beauty.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Great post! Excellent advice and I love that beauty/strength line. You know, I can't believe how many of us out there are finding our voices in such wise and humorous ways. I mean, I know we're out there, I'm just amazed out how many are finding ways to share those strong, beautiful voices.