Calling All Women–Time to Raise the Bar!

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


2 Responses to “Calling All Women–Time to Raise the Bar!”

  1. Crystal Marie Says:

    Great post. I agree that women, generally speaking, should raise the standard. I have noticed in my own life that when I expect a certain level of commitment, communication, effort, I either receive it or I don’t, and it makes it easier for me to weed out the nonsense.

    However, just like men, I think it should be clear that all women don’t want the same things. Some women prefer to be the primary caregiver; some women would rather cook delicious meals for their families than lead a Board Meeting. These women shouldn’t be made to feel old-fashioned or behind the times.

    I also believe that while many women do have an “innate tendency to demand less” of men, many of us have a tendency to demand more than we are willing to offer. A debate just as old as the feminist movement is “Should women expect of men what they themselves are unwilling to do?” I believe in a balance of duties. Some people like to take turns taking out the trash; I’d rather not do that when I’m married, however some people would see that as not “raising the bar” but as a traditional view. It’s a tough balance, we often ask men (and ourselves) to strike.

    I try to consider those things in these types of discussion. Thanks for this post; it was inspiring.


  2. LIST Says:

    Great points Crystal! Let me clarify that I am not implying that women who choose to pay for meals or be stay-at-home mothers are not raising the bar for themselves. The “revolution” is for those who do these things when they do not want to–they really do not want to.

    I also agree with your point, which was also raised by a male friend of mine, that women of the twenty-first century tend to demand more than they are willing to offer. I’m not sure if that stems from years of feeling as if men demanded more than they were giving or whether it’s the innate selfishness that is within all of us. We all have to find what’s best for each of us, and like you, I believe in striking the right balance.

    Thanks for your comment.


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