This is undoubtedly a sensitive subject. And I’d be naive, maybe even ignorant, to think this post won’t ruffle some tail feathers. Fact of the matter is, I’ve got some thoughts on the subject and this is my blog. So here we are.
If you feel strongly about the subject or not, I invite you to stick around. Because this post is about challenging your mindset, not the suppression of women.
First off, I recognize that no matter the laws or rights in place, there ARE issues on the men’s side of this. Today I am not saying that there is not a problem of some level, I am simply talking about OUR REACTION/MINDSET AS WOMEN.
I’ve told this story on podcasts, to clients, and potential bosses. And it’s the basis of today’s point.
I went to school to become a Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach. I got my degree, became a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, worked in college athletics and loved every waking moment of it (even untangling jump ropes at 5:45am as an intern). It was an amazing experience to say the least.
In expanding my knowledge base and possible career paths, I interviewed at a physical therapy clinic with a focus in performance rehab (getting people who “finished” physical therapy to return to play). During the interview I was asked,
Maybe my tunnel vision acted as a blinder, but I had no clue I was in a male dominated field. I kid you not when I say it didn’t cross my mind a single time.
I am sure there were times it was evident, but I chose not to focus on them; because I didn’t give a rat’s ass who “dominated” my field. That had, and has, literally NOTHING to do with my dreams and intentions. In short I responded with,
And the conversation quickly turned course.
I can hear the thoughts now, “see! It’s an issue! Why would he even ask you that!?”
Listen sister, where we pour fuel we feed the flame. By discounting that I had any issue being in a “male dominated field” the issue was no longer an issue. I stripped it of its power.
Even if the field is dominated by males. It’s not dominated by males because males are suppressing women. It’s more likely dominated by males because they’ve been at this longer and quite frankly, more men want to be strength coaches than women. That’s changing, and so will the numbers in this field.
We’ve got to have a mindset shift to move forward and make the impact we have to offer as women.
We have to look at context. How long have men dominated the work force compared to how long women have even been allowed to work? There are generations and generations of damage that need to be undone. That won’t happen over night, and the best way to step up as women is to SHOW OUR WORTH AND CONTRIBUTION, gracefully if we can help it.
Look at my field (strength and conditioning).
There have been complaints in the strength and conditioning world about the lack of women speakers at seminars. Did you know there are women strength summits where you can learn from ONLY WOMEN? Yeah, I know, pretty freaking awesome. To those upset about women being out numbered by male speakers at professional seminars, I ask you two things:
I am so for real right now. I contact podcast hosts and male experts in the field all the time with suggestions of badass women who would make amazing additions to their platform. You want change? STEP UP SISTER.
Yes, I’m pointing the finger at you, and at myself; instead of pointing in every other freaking direction we can think of.
Fact: Men and women have equal rights. Have since 1920. If we level the playing field and all credentials are the same, AND I MEAN ALL, and a woman is making less than a man, then by all means that is an issue (women’s and men’s U.S. soccer teams are a great example). If ANY human, for any reason is discriminated against in the workforce, THAT’S ILLEGAL and the company can be sued, and should be.
But there is a difference between legal rights and the way people treat people in society. There always will be and you might be considered a naive idealist if you think otherwise. Fact is, people are broken and life is not fair.
In saying that, it doesn’t mean we can’t make the world a better place and strive to love one another. I’m down with that. I just have a challenge for you (and me) today.
What we choose to surround ourselves by will inevitably shape our thoughts and therefore our actions. What we choose to view, to read, to listen to, to engage with, and to share with others has an effect on our choices. Can ya dig it?
And quite frankly, it’s not a good look for us.
Instead of talking about the suppression of women and giving more fuel to the fire, how about you get off your punani pedestal (yes, I said that) and start taking some action (possibly even in silence).
Show the world what women have to offer in ALL aspects of life. In the home and the workforce alike.
Because I am willing to bet that if you focus on your gifts, passions and what you have to offer this world, you’ll have very little time or space for giving life to naysayers and suppressors.
I am not saying women or any other group of humans is not suppressed on a daily basis. That was never my point. I hope I made that clear up front.
There will always be prejudice and power issues in this world. I am simply suggesting that we focus on being a part of the solution instead of continuously funding the problem.
I don’t have it all figured out. But for every Chauvinistic pig in the world, there’s probably a conniving and deceitful bitch to match and raise him two.
That we would be able to stand up for ourselves in a manner that creates positive change. And that this change would come from a place of growth rather than tearing down others (or just complaining about the issue for that matter).
At the end of the day we get to choose our actions, what we view, what we share, and how we shape our life. So how about we simply lift women up and applaud them when they make a step in the right direction for us all?
Kelsey Martinez said it THE BEST when she became the first female strength coach for the Raiders and second in NFL history (Lee Brandon was first in 1990), “Don’t create limits on yourself,” Martinez said. “There’s many excuses or whatever that can be made, but at the end of the day, what do you love to do? I was able to find what I love to do, and that’s working for Jon Gruden every day. Why limit yourself?” – read the full article here
May we all strive for her level of passion and focus.
Her accomplishment speaks louder than any naysayer ever could.
Don’t let your mindset about being a woman hold you back from the woman you were meant to be. Because fact of the matter is:
I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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