Nothing angers me more than reading something that tells me a woman cannot be powerful. This is in response to a wonderful lady’s comment on the NYT article, “A Woman’s Path to an MBA at Harvard.” Excuse me. But what the man that doesn’t raise his hand in class? One who listens more than he speaks? Does that mean he is behaving like a woman? What about the woman that does raise her hand more than she “so-called” listens?
Listening is entirely up to the individual’s own learning style. I find it difficult to imagine that a woman or a man who really vyed for an opportunity to learn, would silence themselves unless they were programmed by the “end physical result of powerful social conditioning about sexual roles that begins in infancy” (Listening, End of Page). It is these roles that influence how we perceive a woman’s interactions as “passive” versus a man’s as “aggressive.” In aggression is truly a man’s trait, let me give you some examples of wonderful “women” that are apparently not role models as women, but as men.
She devoted four years of her life to marching band, three to jazz band, and her entire high school career to doing exceptional academically. She was one of the best saxophones, being second alto her first year, and first alto (a la #1 player) in her last two. She still had a social life. She also traveled to Italy, Greece, and Turkey before starting her university career. Where she continued to do marching band in university, despite having her true passions lie elsewhere: Journalism.
An avid blogger, she kept a record of her thoughts and opinions throughout high school. The extra-writing she did was on always her own time. She joined The Standard as a writer, then earning Managing Editor her Jr. year and leading her team as Editor in Chief for her fourth and final year. Her piece covering the Joplin Tornado of May 2012 was published in the USA Today . This summer she turned a family vacation to Gettysburg as another way to follow her dream of writing. Her piece was featured as a guest post in The Joplin Globe. Even when she didn’t get a job out of university, she sought out her own internship to keep her passion moving forward.
She now works at Security Management Magazine in Virginia, where she continues to push herself forward to accomplish her dreams. Her name is Megan Gates, a life long friend, and hopeful accomplice for changing the world. You can believe she’s taking the world by storm.
I am seriously up-in-arms. I just cannot believe that our gender roles and societal expectations of “normality” are clouding the way we see progress! Society changes every day. We as individuals are influenced by and influence the world around us. Here’s another example of a strong woman that was never afraid to raise her hand.
Four years of high school tennis, Four years of intense high school debate, Four years of dedicated weekly piano lessons, Four years of women’s soccer, Four years of foreign extemporaneous speaking, Four years of ADV or Accelerated high school/college level work, Three National debate tournaments in three different events, Too many trophies, and this list just keeps going on. Oh my gosh, can you imagine doing all of these in high school? Sprinkle in some community service, add a dash of founding a Youth Leadership Organization, and you have a really tenacious and devoted individual on your hands.
One girl did all of this. Before University. Without parental pressure–if anything, her mother wished to see more of her! She got fantastic grades academically. And was the first woman from our school to go to California, University of California San Diego specifically. Then, she got accepted into the International House and continued to overexert her academic career each quarter.She wrote and managed Prospect Journal. She belongs to the YAL Chapter at UCSD. She now works as a Marketing Assistant for UCSD’s Recreations’ Department and has a position as an undergraduate at the typically “graduates only” International Affairs Group for USCD.
Her name is Alexsandra J. McMahan and you better believe she’s going places. She doesn’t raise her hand. She raises the bar. She wouldn’t let anyone tell her otherwise.
I’m sorry. But I don’t want to hear about how a woman is acting like a man, because she is going out and accomplishing things. Woman should be owning at life. We can and will take it by storm. And by all, if a woman wants to go to class, sit quietly and say nothing, or go to class and raise her aggressively raise her hand proudly and ask a question, then don’t you backlash her for saying she’s not right.
Don’t anyone ever dare to tell either a man or woman that are anything but what they are at their best–themselves. Gender is not a role. It is not a status. It is not an orientation. It is. Period. End of story. It is what you make it. It is what people see. It is something that is quite arbitrary and has been an issue in the past, I’ll admit, but would be great if we can broaden our perspectives and think, “Hey. Ya’ know. John acts like John, because he’s John. And Jane, acts like Jane, because she’s Jane.”
Normal people never changed the world. And I’m sorry. But if you want to be normal, you go be normal. More power to you for accepting the status quo. But if you really want change. And I mean, really want to see the world change. Then you cannot. You can never accept normalcy, or “normative mentalities.” Because normal, is stagnant. Normal doesn’t care about changing.
In the end, it doesn’t matter who, what, or which way you act. It only matters what you bring to the table. And don’t hold yourself back ladies, because you’re afraid
of acting like a man.
& Same to you too, men. We all deserve an honest chance to own at life.