I'm still a little shell shocked after the American election and I needed some time to digest it. I was saddened at the outcome and that so many people just south of the border were willing to accept the flaws of Donald Trump in order for there to be a shift in power in the White House.
If I was an American citizen, I wouldn't have voted for Trump because I didn't agree with his racist undertones, ability to divide people and the biggest one for me, his sexism. Prior to the election I heard a Canadian broadcast give an example of his disrespect of a female. It was during his show The Apprentice. A female contestant was telling them how she got a certain task done. She said she ended up on her "hands and knees" in order to do this task. Before she could finish her sentence, Donald interrupted her and said "That must have been a pretty sight".
Right then, I was disgusted with that man and knew if I had the choice, would never vote for someone of that character.
I was lucky enough to grow up with a Mother who was
very much borderline feminist. There was never any doubt that I could be "whatever I wanted" when I grew up. Nothing would make my Mother more upset then the saying "The Wife" instead of a man using his spouses name when referring to her. With that great example in my life, it is really not surprising that I grew up to be a confident, out spoken and hopefully successful female business owner.
When I went to University, I was one of only two girls in my class. The rest were males and the girls very quickly got categorized and alienated. I remember not being included in our class club at first because it was "male" only originally. And a teacher even once mentioned how it wasn't surprising that I hadn't done well on a certain test as I was a girl. I just simply wasn't going to do as well as the male students.
Well, that is the wrong thing to say to me. I worked my ass off to prove the professors and male students that I could do every class as good, if not better then them! Plant I.D, mechanics, turf science, golf course construction...I was going to excel. And I did. At graduation I was awarded the best overall student of my class.
I was pretty proud but it was eye opening to begin to see how the world can be so divided between male and female. More so was I first judged on my appearance rather then knowledge or experience. When I came to work at the farm, I started out as a full time Sales Rep. I was excited for this adventure on this new road.
Over and over I was crushed by the lack of respect by some people just because I was of a different gender. I got comments like:
"Oh you'll do well as a sales rep because you're pretty." ---Umm...thanks? But guess what I have a brain too!
"Can the pretty girl be the only one to deliver my product? (instead of the usual guy) I'd rather look at her". ---This was said to Ryan one time. Little did the guy know he was speaking to my husband.
"I'll only buy from you if you go out with me."
Me: "No, I have a boyfriend"
"That doesn't matter. At least let me kiss you." And then he proceeded to try to force a kiss on me. At this point I left the course and never returned, still to this day.
And the worse I ever faced, "Do not come see me. I do not want you as my sales rep. I need a man who know's what he is talking about, not you!" ---I had yet to even speak to him about any information but I was automatically "stupid" because I was a girl.
Over and over, I have to work SO much harder to gain respect not only as a female in a male dominated industry but as a young female employer. I am constantly questioned, not trusted and skipped over to speak with a male business partner. I have to work SO much harder to get a point across and listened to. I am also hard on myself and hate to get something wrong because I know I will be judged for it longer.
I do my make up and hair every morning not because I want to but because I am more harshly judged when I look like I am "letting myself go". Yet, I also wear looser fitting pants and a high tank top under every shirt as I can feel eyes on me, looking at certain body parts when I am trying to have a meeting with a male in the industry.
Sometimes, it sucks to be a girl and last week I was feeling saddened that someone I perceive to be a chauvinist pig and everything I despise about the male gender, is now one of the most powerful leaders in the world. US was SO close to closing the gender gap by electing their first female president.
But I realized I can't change it. My only hope is that one day the wrong with be righted and girls everywhere keep moving forward to be as great and sometimes better then any male out there. That I will raise a son to have as much respect for the females in his life as all the males.
"And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your dreams."
- Hillary Clinton