What would happen if we all raised the bar? When I say we, I’m referring to women. More and more I have conversations, read articles, and listen to women discuss issues that illustrate the manners in which they are selling themselves short of true happiness. In the workplace, in the home, in our relationships with our friends, you name it we have an innate tendency to demand less than our male counterparts. I won’t get into the various historical theories and events as to why that is (i.e., pre-women’s suffrage, the mammies, etc.); rather, I want to focus on what could should be.
I’m a strong proponent of equal opportunity and at times I happily accept the title as feminist. However, why have women stopped expecting a man to open the door for them? Why do some women rationalize away the expectations they have of the man they date or marry? Some may say the answer to these questions is this is a man’s world (in my James Brown voice) therefore, as women we have to be happy with what we get.
As Evelyn Cunningham once said, “Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors.” I think it is time to start a new revolution–I call it women raising the bar. Instead of complaining about what we aren’t receiving from others in our lives, or lowering our standard of what we think we deserve, as women, we need to raise the bar. Don’t pay for a man’s meal when we really hope that he would pay for it. Don’t pick up the phone and call him because you know if you don’t he won’t. Don’t allow him to disrespect you and tell yourself, I know he doesn’t mean it. Don’t stay at home with the kids because you think it’s your motherly/wifely duty when your real desire is to be leading board room meetings. Don’t accept the job working for the male project manager when you know you can lead the group better than he can. Raise the bar!
I know there are a few women out there who will send me an e-mail saying that this blog post does not apply to them because they have always maintained a high standard for themselves–they are the alpha women of the world. Maybe these women have been lucky and maybe they have beaten the odds. However, women could effect change for all women around the world if we all decided to raise the bar and not settle for less–because settling for less not only harms themselves, but also limits the opportunities for other women of the world, and their daughters and granddaughters to come. If men change the manner in which they treat women and recognize that dimming our light and disrespecting us is never an option, imagine how different the world would be. Some changes can’t occur without changes in the laws however, this revolution could occur if all women of the world decide to take a stand and RAISE THE BAR starting now!
“Women really do rule the world. They just haven’t figured it out yet. When they do, and they will, we’re all in big big trouble.”
In honor of March’s Women’s History Month