In light of women’s month and Women’s Day, I’ve considered what it means to respect women. I was inspired to do this post after I had the opportunity to witness injustices that opened my eyes to many things.
Sadly some men and women think nothing of showing a level of disrespect to other strong and beautiful women. This article is for you: if you think you aren’t judgmental or you know that you are but continue to be because it clothes you with a (false) sense of authority and power, take a moment to remember these truths so you can rid yourself of that trait.
Respect our choices: It may not be the route you opt for but take a step back and observe how gracefully we handle the success and failure that result from our choices. Thought is given to each decision and when we don’t get the results we eagerly awaited for, we dust ourselves off, get back up again and take a different route. Don’t think for a moment we require your input (unless we ask 😉 ).
Equality, equality, equality: In the workplace it’s all too easy to pass off the promotion of a male counterpart or the appointment of a new post to a male as being the “right” choice due to skills and experience. We are not fooled: we know when it truly is the case and when it isn’t. Being female does not put us at a disadvantage and you need to realise that before it may become the reason for your failure.
Freedom to be ourselves: Never ask a woman why. Don’t ask why is she single (why can’t we be?), don’t ask why she isn’t yet married to her partner (are you offering to sponsor the wedding?), don’t ask why she’s working while she’s pregnant (who said mums can’t have careers?), and don’t ask why she eats as much/little as she does (oh my, can you be more inquisitive?). We aren’t answerable to people. Ever.
Overdressed or underdressed: Not impressed with what we’re wearing? Think it’s inappropriate or unnecessary? Is our religious or cultural dress code hurting your eyes? That’s okay. You are entitled to your own opinion, regardless of how crass; it just doesn’t need to reach our ears (or anybody else’s).
Education: Whether it’s science or the arts, we can and we will make a name for ourselves in the industry. Contrary to what you may believe, we actually aren’t seeking approval or support from fellow colleagues. Bullying in a place where intellectuals meet and engage is counter-productive to the true goal of education.
To all the amazing men and women out there who are intelligent enough to know the true worth of a woman and are fearless in treating us right, you are a legend!