the personal fables, Uncategorized

The Dance of Female Assertiveness

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When I was a child, I remember being told that a lady should be “Seen, and not heard.” So, my beauty pageant success soared as I waved perched from convertibles in all the local villages’ parades. I refused to sing along in my beginner ballet classes and when they prodded me, I silently mouthed the words.

Now that I’m an adult, I noticed situations sometimes turn out better for me when I am seen but speak less. I know I’m smart enough so that’s not the problem, so what is? Even males have criticized my behavior in situations where they would have felt comfortable being more brazen, but the truth is that I know better how it would pan out for me if I skip the formalities.

Fascinating behavioral studies covered by Danya Evans quoted Melissa J. Williams in this week’s New York Magazine help us see where the wage gap continues and why asking for a raise often doesn’t work out for women.

“When people see a woman asking for something, they may interpret her act of dominance as inappropriate, as out of bounds for women. Yet when people see a woman stand tall and speak loudly, they tend not to consciously label such behaviors as dominance — so they may not trigger outmoded reactions about how women ‘ought’ to behave.” link to the full article here. 

Below, Hillary celebrates her democratic nomination with a grand gesture. So what can we do to create equality? We need to take a look at the phrase, “asking for it.”

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