On any given day, you will find me trying to empower the young women I meet. Yesterday, while having lunch, a young woman apologized to a man for eating in front of him. Now the backstory is that this young woman was on her lunch break, and he came up to her. She apologized for eating. Before I could even stop myself, I told her in my stern mom voice ‘don’t do that.’ She looked at me quite confused, and I reiterated my message. At no point in your life should you apologize unless it is valid and warrented.
I could see the confusion, but then the man said, ‘Yeah, eating is nothing to be sorry for.’
We are so ingrained sometimes, to smooth things over, or to make light o a situation. Or in this case, just because there may be some perceived injustice that somehow we must be at fault for. I see it at work all the time. If a man and a woman are walking down the same length of the production floor, she will almost always cast her eyes down, and step to her right or left, allowing him the right of way.
But that’s being polite, right? Let’s go with that. It happens every single day, all day. I have a co-worker who is immune to this phenomenon. I don’t even know if she’s aware of it, but she walks with a straight spine, eyes ahead, and confidence in her worth. People part like the red seas. I want to walk with that confidence when I grow up.
Every single day women are faced with our own guilded cages. These are things we do because our mothers did them, or their mothers before them. We have no real reason anymore. Most men don’t even notice these daily neuances. It truly isn’t a matter of sexism in my mind, it’s our own walls build up over generations and we’ve forgotten how to tear them down.
Women – get your sledgehammers, a woman is about to become President of the United States.
It’s time for those damn walls to come down.