I’ve frequently been disgruntled about the double standard between raising boys and girls. A girl is shushed, while a boy gets away with being rowdy because that’s just how boys are. Because of this video, the hypocrisy of it all has really hit me personally.
I was shy and insecure as a child. In adulthood I’ve found a few niches in which I felt comfortable and confident, but I’ve come to realize those niches can be precarious. The recent changes in my life have all but wiped out my comfort zones. I’m sure in the long run I’ll grow into a stronger person. In the meantime, I have days where I struggle to cling onto scraps of confidence.
I don’t remember being told I run or throw like a girl, but I do remember being told not to cry like a girl, or don’t be such a princess. I still have to consciously stop myself from cringing when I hear someone call their little girl a princess, even though I know they mean it as a term of endearment.
These seemingly innocent comments settled into my subconscious, taunting me when I faced a new opportunity. Somehow they morphed into, “You can’t do that, you’re not good enough.” Listening to that negative self-talk for so many years conditioned me to listen to everyone else who told me, “You can’t do that, you don’t have what it takes.” Oddly enough, the other side of that coin is inability to believe those who tried to encourage me along the way.
Just over a year and half ago, I re-entered the workforce as a part time receptionist. I was nervous when I first started, but the first time I got called on making a mistake I was terrified. My heart raced half way up my throat as I followed my manager into the office for what was the kindest reproach I had ever received. It just about unglued me; I didn’t know how to handle someone saying “This is what you did wrong, this is why it was wrong and here’s what I’d like you to do instead.”
I’m grateful I was finally to a point in my life that I started to question the status quo my life had fallen into. What if what I thought was my reality, really wasn’t? Maybe I deserved to be treated with love and compassion. That was the beginning of the emergence to my new outlook. I’ll let you know how it turns out.