Boys Club: No Girls Allowed

Where do women fit into a male-dominated workplace?

I have been reading various articles of female discrimination in the workplace and couldn’t figure out how to best capture these stories and summarize them all for you. They are such personal, compelling, maddening stories and I feared I wouldn’t be able to properly capture each lady’s tales. After toying with the idea of telling my own story for quite some time, I decided honesty and full disclosure is the best policy. My story may not run as deep or be as severe as many of the articles I read, but it my own. I hesitated to write about my struggles in a past workplace that I truly loved so many things about; I learned a lot about myself, developed strong professional and personal relationships, and had opportunities to showcase my professional abilities. This workplace also became my family. That being said, I’ll share some of the challenges I faced that perhaps shows subtleties of gender discrimination against women. Am I being too sensitive and complaining, or did I have a legitimate reason to feel ostracized? You decide.

Why Yes, My KMart Blazer IS From Bebe

It happened yesterday. One of those great, fulfilling, I-am-a-rock-star kind of moments that left me beaming on the inside, yet acting nonchalantly cool.

Let me preface this with a bit about me- I am a high school teacher, meaning not only do I have the all-important job of shaping the minds of the next generation, but more significantly, it means I am judged by hundreds of teenagers a day. What I wear matters more than it really should in my profession, but hey, I aim to please. Also, I’m not too interested in being on the worst-dressed teachers’ list in the minds of our youth.

So when I heard my female students whispering and gasping at my (admittedly) adorable blazer, I couldn’t help but perk up. And maybe when they asked if it was a Bebe blazer, I cooly replied “yes.” Who am I to call them on their error and let them know my high-end looking “Bebe” blazer is really from…gasp…K-Mart? http://bit.ly/1oJx88a

Open Your Eyes: Gender discrepancies in America- an issue for everyone

Over the summer I got really into Netflix documentaries and was so happy to have “Miss Representation” recommended to me. This 2011 documentary delves into America’s society of under-represented women in dominant, influential roles while pointing out the media’s limited, yet powerful, portrayal of women. Clearly these notions about inadequate and controlled depictions of women is nothing new, but I didn’t realize just how deep this issue runs. As you know, this is a topic I am very passionate about, and I was very troubled after watching this and urge all of you to watch it with your friends, family, boys, girls, and men alike.

Change will only occur from awareness, and awareness is only effective if everyone cares about this issue.

This film becomes really personal and connects to the viewer through intertwined footage of teenage girls’ stories along with interviews with women such as Katie Couric (love her), Condoleezza Rice, Gloria Steinem, and Rosario Dawson. All of these women enforce the message that “you can’t beat what you can’t see,” and isn’t that so true? Why are people comfortable talking about racial discrimination productively yet gender issues are not taken so seriously? You can’t beat what you can’t see.

So open your eyes.

Why I Kept My Surname After Marriage

Girls begin doodling their names with their prospective husband’s names long before they actually ever really know a man, usually in elementary school (or was that just me?). I had perfected my loopy cursive signature “Lindsay Morris” (after adorable heartthrob Zach Morris), and covered my Lisa Frank folders with a slew of other intended future names.

When a woman gets married, her last name changes. In order to promote a single family unit, carry on the American tradition, and show allegiance to your husband, women change their names. It’s a very nice sentiment and certainly one I will not criticize- every woman is entitled to her choice. However, since this is the most widely accepted behavior, I will not spend time promoting nor defending this tradition- society and my uber conventional family forcefully advocate this tradition enough.

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