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An unasked question you see in many eyes. A loud question many choose to ignore. Why don’t women get equal recognition?
A conversation with a colleague on gender bias is what led to this thought. “I have completed the projects assigned, brought new ideas to the table, and have client appreciation too. Yet, internally there has never been appreciation or recognition.” she said.
Without a second’s break, she continued, ”Whereas the men in the office are applauded for the smallest of work they do. It’s a pattern, really. Why don’t women get equal recognition?”
Her thoughts were nothing new; these are the thoughts of every working woman, that they think at least once in their work life. Oh hell! ‘Often’ is a better word than ‘at least once’.
My answer always is that patriarchy is the culprit. Subtle, unconscious. or outright direct way of patriarchy. Men are thought to be more smart, more intelligent than woman. So the same work coming from a woman just means it was easy, but a man does it and he’s smart.
Let me explain.
A man, from the time he was a boy, is applauded for everything he does. “Oh! you picked up your toys. Such-a good boy.” “Oh! you helped your sister clean up, such-a wonderful boy.” “Oh! You washed clothes today, such-a lucky person your wife is!” “Oh! You came up with a campaign at work, well done on the great job done.”
Men are used to being applauded and grew up that way. A line that most men and some women use. It’s BULLSHIT! It’s an excuse used by everyone who is patriarchal, and wants to justify their actions.
Bhaiyya, when you all learn to be abusive, drink, smoke as men, which definitely was not “taught” to you growing up. Then why stay patriarchal and refuse to change? Especially when people are showing you the ways in which you are being unfair to men and women alike.
Patriarchy is truly a menace, with it’s teeth sunk into everything. And it has conditioned even us women to accept the status quo.
Women are talented, hardworking and knowledgeable just like men. Yet, why don’t women get equal recognition? Because we don’t stand up for ourselves and instead be manipulated to think we could have done things better.
Hell ya, we deserve the recognition and the appreciation for all the good work we do. But we need to take it.
We tend to accept what is given and choose to feel bad over it. Women are emotional (not generalizing as such) and we need to accept that. There is nothing wrong in how we are. But we are wrong in keeping quiet and accepting what comes our way.
Women often don’t get recognition, because they don’t speak up or stand up when recognition is not given.
This is again a byproduct of patriarchy, where women are taught to be quiet, compromising and not asking for more.
Yes, it is additional work on us again to be more vocal. Why can’t we just get it? Because we won’t, not immediately, not until mindsets are changed. It is too much work, I know. But we have got to do it, for ourselves, for the tribe and for the generations of women ahead.
Here are 5 things you can do.
Stand up for yourself and speak up: Have a talk with your manager on why you were not recognized and appreciated for the work done. Be open to feedback, but be stronger to put your arguments forward.
Stand up for others and speak up: When your women colleagues or friends are not given credit for work. Speak up and give them that credit. Applaud them and ask why she wasn’t given credit for the great job she did.
Talk more about the work you do: One thing you need to learn from men, is to be boastful of the work you do. Don’t overdo it but make sure to do it enough.
Build a small shoutout group: Make a group of friends and family, where you give each other a shoutout on your achievements and support each other on any setbacks. This will boost confidence fir sure.
Believe in yourself: This is number 1 rule but putting it in the last because it will make more sense. None can help you grow than yourself. None can fight for you than yourself. Believe in your talent, your capabilities.
Most importantly, start influencing changes to fight patriarchy around you. At home and work, call out sexism, talk to people around to bring small changes.
Go conquer the world.
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: YouTube
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A dreamer, in love with books and travel. 🙂 A feminist who wishes there are more
whatever you have written in the article….totally agree with you. I want to add one more point along with others…Don’t you feel a woman should support another woman? As you have mentioned about the appreciation and recognition of men…but it is also true that the person who appreciate and recognize the work of men…is mostly women. My mother always appreciates my brother’s work in comparison to me. So I believe a woman should be more supportive of other women, then only the difference in the mindset of people can be noticed in society.
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