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Archive for October 2nd, 2008

A male friend of mind said to me that he understood what I was saying in my post about having lost my voice, but he disagreed about the whole gender thing. He thinks that it is just as common for men in our culture to change from feisty to meek as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood, and that we’re all taught to keep our opinions to ourselves in order to keep the peace.

I still think that it’s more acceptable in society, and probably in many families, for men to have dissenting opinions, and that it’s easier for men to be leaders without the fear of being called any number of the derogatory adjectives usually reserved for strong women that I bolded in my last post. He brought up Margaret Thatcher, and reminded me of some of the shark-like female lawyers that I’ve had a chance to meet recently.

I had to agree that there are examples of strong women in our culture, and that there are more of them in public positions than there were even fifty years ago, but I still think that there is a cultural bias regarding the expectations for behaviour based on gender. I think that even if a man was called a ballbreaker, he would take that as a compliment, because it conforms to the masculine stereotype of men as being powerful, whereas women would be more likely to feel shamed, because women are still “meant” to be kind, conciliatory, and gentle.

He says I’m full of s**t, and while that may have been the case a few decades ago, it isn’t true today.

Any opinions?

What has your experience been?

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The root of the word courage is cor—the Latin word for heart. In one of it’s earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart”.

~ from I Thought It Was Just Me: Telling the Truth about Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power by Brene Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.

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