It’s another great day to be ALIVE!
I am not one to get political or religious – not my thing – but an article was shared with me this week that shed some light on how both of these topics are setting women back – and truthfully – it evoked a reaction out of me that writing about helped me to process. So bare with me for today’s Friday Fuel post and hear me out because regardless of your political or religious beliefs this impacts you as a woman.
In this Time Magazine article; the authors comment on how Mike Pence’s outspoken beliefs on marriage hold women back and perpetuates this subtle sexism still present in so many facets of our society. Mike Pence, among other Christians, has been incredibly vocal about his personal “marriage rule” that he will not dine with a woman without his wife present, a form of what evangelicals call the “Billy Graham rule.” Graham, a well-known evangelical minister, famously “refused to meet with a woman alone other than his wife — not even in an elevator — in order to ‘flee youthful lusts’ and avoid ‘appearances of compromise or suspicion.’
Pause for a moment. Let that sink in…
This bullsh*t “rule” is sexism in every sense. I am really struggling to comprehend this perspective…it minimizes women to an object of sexuality and implies that both men and women can’t possible have a platonic relationship; purely grounded in friendship or professionalism. This “rule” continues to give men power and exclude women from opportunities for leadership.
“Tradition”, “religion”, “politics” and “culture” are often used as a scapegoat for sexism. I find this “rule” to be a perfect example of that. As women, I think we need to acknowledge this and stop letting people use these as an excuse for how they treat us – in the workplace, in the home, any damn place; frankly. Men and women should be equals in their personal and professional life; it’s time to move past this notion that men are at the top of the hierarchy and a woman’s role is to be submissive to the patriarchy.
My life would certainly be a lot different today if none of my MALE teachers, doctors, coaches, pastors, friends and colleagues refused to meet with me alone…just writing that out seems pretty ridiculous to comprehend.
Can we please MOVE FORWARD and acknowledge the intelligence, leadership, kindness, complexity and capabilities of EVERY human; regardless of gender. Just a thought…
I’ll stop my rant there and ask that you take five minutes to read the article and see what you think for yourself. For me; it struck a nerve with some of my frustrations with the religious beliefs I was raised on and the current political leadership that is setting women (and other minority groups) back 30+-years. With that said, this article did not discourage me – it empowered me.
This article reinforced my personal beliefs that women must advocate for themselves within their own personal environment. Mike Pence, Bill Graham or any other misogynist isn’t going to impact how I pursue opportunities or build relationships with my male friends and colleagues.
**Eye roll and walk on.
Each of us are in control of our circumstances and can take action in our personal life to overcome gender bias and advocate for ourselves, and other women. We should acknowledge the ways in which our society and certain people perpetuate gender stereotypes and sexism but we should never give them power.
Choose to be positive. Choose to advocate for yourself. Choose to break through the glass ceiling. Choose to speak up. Choose to lean in. Choose progress.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.” – Socrates