Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Baby Fever Side Effects

There are babies EVERYWHERE. So naturally, they're on the brain. I spent an hour this morning reading the biography of a historical figure John and I have talked about naming a boy after someday. Then this afternoon, I read this article on 10 words every young girl should be taught.  We aren't planning on having kids in the next couple years.  So naturally I feel the need to do a lot of research and thinking about it in my free time right now.  Or even my non-free time.  Naturally. But there really are a lot of things to figure out, and the more I think about them the less I know.  For instance, the article above. It's a major topic in business, the whole why is it that men cut women off or repeat their ideas and receive acclaim that wasn't given the first time it was voiced?  Why are CEO's and Partners primarily male?  Why do men get promoted up within a company faster? 

It's actually a thing, guys.  I see it happen all the time.  We have 9 partners at our firm.  And while we have tons of women who work here, guess how many of them are partners?  1. Exactly one.  In fact, we just added three new partners to the leadership team, all of which were men. Meanwhile, I watched several of the strongest leaders in our firm leave because their ideas and creativity weren't being given any room. They weren't asking for credit even - just for their ideas to be heard. Of course I'm taking about women. 

I used to be driven mad as a junior high and high school girl by the fact that certain guys had a habit of sitting next to me, and repeating my ideas louder right after me, and receiving praise/credit without ever feeling the need to so much as say "Actually, Kati just said that." Often, they'd give me a kind nod, like "good idea - glad we could accomplish this together."  And that was okay.  Annoying, but okay. It happened in college too - less often - and they wouldn't care to nod.  But it happened often enough. And in Bible Study too, to me and others. And I don't really want that to happen to my daughters. I don't know the solution, but I don't want it to happen. 

"We socialize girls to take turns, listen more carefully, not curse and resist interrupting in ways we do not expect boys to. Put another way, we generally teach girls subservient habits and boys to exercise dominance."

I'd like to teach my girls to be kind and take turns, but I'd also like them to be heard.  To know how to speak in such a way that people recognize they care, they know, and they have something their audience better listen to. I say "better listen to" because, frankly my work experience is showing me concerning things - for instance, kind people get overlooked. And I'm not talking about myself, I'm talking about my favorite people to work with - the ones who do their job well and treat others with respect and take pride in excellence. See, I don't know.  I don't want my children to be pushy, bossy, jerks who tread on others, but I also recognize a real issue where people don't care and unless you make them care. Be it about the promotion you deserve, the cultural problems you see, or your brilliant idea for how to reach new clients. And I'm not super great at it.  But I want my kids to be.  

Daughters and Sons alike, I want them to be both kind and respectful and influencing and impacting.  I want them to take turns and know how to listen - regardless of the gender, race, religion or reputation of the person speaking. Because none of those things are truth and none of them are clear markers of the ingenuity and creativity our world desperately needs. 

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