Saturday, April 14, 2018

We Can Do It

Lately, some women at my job have been organizing a Women's Leadership Program. I'm not actively involved for a number of reasons.


The word "program" implies we need to be trained and mentored into leadership. I don't like that word. No one else seems to see it that way from what I can tell. I would imagine the very male leadership has no problem with a program. It's not a threatening thing. It's like on the job training that doesn't promise you anything but a better skill set. But what do these women do with their newfound skills once they've graduated from the program? Probably not a whole lot.

Sorry for the cynicism, but truly; not a whole lot.

Playing into Stereotypes

I think "program" feels stereotypical. As if most women need to know how to lead. Women do the heavy lifting just as much as men. We make the important decisions. We mentor men. We problem solve. We have broad skill sets that make a difference. However, we're women. So we allow ourselves to believe we need a program to teach us how to be leaders. So stereotypical to allow men that fantasy.

We host parties and set up fun contests around sporting events. We discuss self-care and stress relief activities. We solidify that idea that women are best as caregivers.

The dudes dismiss us again.  ...but thanks for the cookies and massage.

We seek mentorship from men. (Because no one knows better than a man how to give a girl a leg up?) Are we perhaps intimidated by powerful women who might tell us something we're not ready to hear?

Work Like a Man

That doesn't mean men work harder. In my experience, they're slower and less capable of multi-tasking. So, work like a woman when it comes to the act of actually working. However, do a man's job and do it well. 

Maybe that sets up an antagonistic atmosphere. I don't know. And definitely it won't guarantee a woman equal pay. So think of it this way.

Become self sufficient in ways typically applied to men. Then work within a woman economy and support network. This blog is all about teaching women to do things that have typically been reserved for men.

Any woman can do the things I write about. Any woman can figure out how to create a solar power system, or build a structure, or negotiate with a contractor. Women just have to do it.

Try it Like This

I heard a woman say to another woman something that is so very correct and valuable. She said,
"I know it's hard to do, but you just have to start doing it. It will open up new pathways, and you'll change the way think and master something you can teach to others."

I knew nothing about solar power; much less the basics of electricity. I mastered it. 
I'm not a mechanic or plumber, but I mastered installing a water pump on my rainwater tank. I also mastered on-demand hot water, and effectively created an off the grid cabin that has electricity and water for free.

I share these things with you. You're with me as I open new pathways, and you get to try it for yourself.

Maybe off-the-grid doesn't mean anything to you. Just don't forget we're about to start natural disaster season. When the lights go out for a few day, my blog entries will be here. The men in your neighborhood probably won't be able to help you create a small solar power system.

Confidence Builder

Although much of what I write about may seem useless to you, think of these subjects as confidence builders that don't require a program to master. 

Years ago, I thought about starting a non-profit that taught women who had left violent relationships how to do the the things they thought they needed a man to do for them. Things like changing the oil in their car, using a chainsaw, replacing a toilet, replacing a light fixture, building a campfire, catching a fish, etc. I'm older and wiser now, and I don't want that responsibility. However, I must subconsciously want to build on that theme. 

So, browse through all the entries and try something new and useful. I'll have new entries pretty soon that discuss how I set up my rainwater catchment system, as well as the inevitable struggles I'll have keeping our country place comfortable on a budget. I'll do my best to encourage Tammy to create some entries on "How to Lay a Laminate Floor" since she's doing that right now.

Think of this blog as place where girls do "boy" things because there's really no such thing as "boy" things.

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