Posts Tagged ‘glass ceilings’

Damn.

Damn.

So in our continuing chronicles of the communication gap between the genders and trying to close such gap, I have made the magnamonious step of asking two of my esteemed female colleagues to give their take on a pressing issue, and boy did they ever deliver! Enjoy and comment!

Today’s Rat Race: Competing with More Than Just the Boss’ Son
D. M. Hill & C. A. Peyton

When you’re as social as we are, you hear things.  One of the arguments we hear the most is that us women are making it hard for men out on the dating scene.  We want you to know, that while we may not agree with that particular assertion, we do understand.  We get it, fellas.  You’re trying to get your career on track. You’ve busted your tail to get some fancy degree to help you get that shiny gig that’s sure to bring all the girls to the yard.  But what you don’t talk about a lot, is that you can’t shake the feeling that while you’ve been working so hard to establish a foundation to attract the woman you’d like to call wife and mother to your children, your effort and achievement don’t match up.  You’ve invested a lot into a formula that is not paying the expected dividends in a timely fashion.  You have the degrees, now where’s the $120k+ gig?  Worse, your female counterparts are surviving and (in many cases) winning the race up the corporate ladder (granted, she’ll likely hit the glass ceiling soon, and you’ll be in pole position again).

Running the rat race is perfectly normal and to be expected, but running it against your potential significant other is a ball game that our parents didn’t have to play.  It may not be that literally you are competing against your future Miss (though maybe you are), but rather that Monday through Friday you are competing against the same women you’re trying to love up on in the club on Saturday (not that you’ll meet your wife while grinding from behind in the club, but if you do, hey…no judgment here).  A little healthy competition never hurt anyone, but it becomes problematic when the tension of the rat race, or the feeling of losing it, more specifically, spills over into men’s friendships and relationships with women.

Men work hard much of their adult life just to have the opportunity to get a look from a young woman they’d be interested in courting, and yet without the achievements he wants that will provide the stability she desires (which are one in the same: career and money), he doesn’t stand a chance in the dating race, either!  *Cue the resentment and anger.*  It seems reasonable that a young man may resent a young woman who has such archaic gender roles in mind for the living room while enjoying a very modern life in the boardroom.  It’s the whole idea that the very ladies men are busting it for are beating them at their own game while still demanding pseudo-traditional courting standards.  Talk about making the cake and eating it too!

I mean damn, if I’m clockin’ 60+ hours a week to keep up with her, and she’s makin’ that shit look easy, I’d be pissed too if on top of all of that, she expected me to pay for her steak and lobster, will settle for no less than 2 carats, and wants the option on keeping her last name.  But keep in mind that with guys scoffing at traditional courting while still desiring domestic gender roles, yet not committing to their lady, women have decided to go forth and build their kingdom solo.  Our pride in being self-reliant is directly related to not having a willing partner to build with (before anyone starts hollering about a man shortage, let’s save it for later – mainly because we’re of the belief that it just doesn’t exist).  Women have adapted and learned not to ‘rely’ on men as providers, but what we make-up for in mortgages, cars, and Tiffany’s crap we miss in emotional support – and that cuts both ways across the gender line.

We realize the knee jerk reaction to reading this may be to point the finger across the way to the nearest male or female but neither would be the wiser.  Instead, we’re imploring you to take a moment and let this blog entry marinate, to respond thoughtfully, and to let go of your handy gender scripts of “she should pay if she makes the same amount” or “women always want to cherry-pick which parts of traditionalism they adhere to” or “men lack empathy” or “men, never listen” or well…you get the idea.

Instead, of continuing to do what hasn’t worked, relying on your gender scripts, let’s all unplug and be still periodically.  Logoff Twitter, shut down the iPhone and Blackberry Messenger and men, think about why you may be resentful and angry with women and the unintended backlash that accompanies it.  The snide remarks about gold diggers, independent women and a whole host of other passive aggressive behavior aimed at taking women down a notch is part of the backlash we experience.  And while we try to act tough, as though your words don’t hurt us, the quiet reality is — they do.  They hurt us a lot, but expressing the hurt makes us “emotional” and “irrational” so instead, we just try to hurt you back.  The common denominator for us single folks is that we’re all on the same team here; searching for our better half.  Even friendly fire still leaves a wound, so watch where you point that gun.  Better yet, talk to someone – your boy, your homegirl, or your therapist (intentional plug).  In the end, introspection and understanding may be the only things that disarm both genders and allow us to heal each other.