Women vs Men

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry.

This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives.” It wasn’t until I read the New York Times Best Seller “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg did it really dawn on me women are not equal. I find this strange since in my family women are very strong and very outspoken and earn respect. I don’t think I ever really thought of woman as not being equal. Even when I was in the military my best friend Shannon Davis-Hoke was doing the same tasks as I was doing and in some cases better. Did that make her stronger because of her gender? No. Did that make me weaker because of mine? No. We were soldiers and she was a damn good one. Lean In is a must read book for not only women but men as well. It’s time to change a conditioned behavior in our society or we will never be truly equal.

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We are a contradictory society right now. We tell women “you can be anything you want to be” but we don’t really mean it. It’s just something nice to say I suppose. These young ladies go to schools earning degrees and scoring higher than their male counterparts only to go into the workforce with lower starting salaries. It seems to be accepted not only by the men leaders and bosses but also by the women themselves. Our society has taught from generation to generation that a balanced home is where a man is the hunter and a woman is the gatherer. Men are supposed to go and be the breadwinner, whereas a respectable woman will stay home to raise the children, have laundry washed, folded and put away only to provide a cocktail at the front door and dinner almost done, when her husband arrives home from work. Most of the men reading that sentence are saying “sign me up”. I can also tell you the women reading that sentence are saying something completely different. People today think if the roles are reversed and women are the breadwinners (note: “In almost a quarter of marriages in the U.S., wives earn more than husbands” – taken from an article written in Time Magazine May 5th 2014 by Belinda Luscombe) and men stayed home to do the day-to-day household & child rearing responsibilities, we are emasculating men. What kind of caveman attitude is that? When you hire a woman do you see her as your next CEO running your company or just an administrative assistant? Better yet are you treating and training her as your next CEO? Or do you consider that to be a position for a man?

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry.

This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives.” It wasn’t until I read the New York Times Best Seller “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg did it really dawn on me women are not equal. I find this strange since in my family women are very strong and very outspoken and earn respect. I don’t think I ever really thought of woman as not being equal. Even when I was in the military my best friend Shannon Davis-Hoke was doing the same tasks as I was doing and in some cases better. Did that make her stronger because of her gender? No. Did that make me weaker because of mine? No. We were soldiers and she was a damn good one. Lean In is a must read book for not only women but men as well. It’s time to change a conditioned behavior in our society or we will never be truly equal.



Thank you to June 2014 New Lawrenceville media sponsors - 
SHOP LOCAL!

We are a contradictory society right now. We tell women “you can be anything you want to be” but we don’t really mean it. It’s just something nice to say I suppose. These young ladies go to schools earning degrees and scoring higher than their male counterparts only to go into the workforce with lower starting salaries. It seems to be accepted not only by the men leaders and bosses but also by the women themselves. Our society has taught from generation to generation that a balanced home is where a man is the hunter and a woman is the gatherer. Men are supposed to go and be the breadwinner, whereas a respectable woman will stay home to raise the children, have laundry washed, folded and put away only to provide a cocktail at the front door and dinner almost done, when her husband arrives home from work. Most of the men reading that sentence are saying “sign me up”. I can also tell you the women reading that sentence are saying something completely different. People today think if the roles are reversed and women are the breadwinners (note: “In almost a quarter of marriages in the U.S., wives earn more than husbands” – taken from an article written in Time Magazine May 5th 2014 by Belinda Luscombe) and men stayed home to do the day-to-day household & child rearing responsibilities, we are emasculating men. What kind of caveman attitude is that? When you hire a woman do you see her as your next CEO running your company or just an administrative assistant? Better yet are you treating and training her as your next CEO? Or do you consider that to be a position for a man?

Are we ready as a society for the upcoming role reversals? Already it has been noticed that there are some men who welcome the idea of being a househusband or a Stay-at-home-dad (SAHD). That whole idea you are only a man if you wear a hat, spit tobacco and talk like John Wayne ~ “well little lady” attitude is hopefully riding off into the sunset. Many children lost their fathers attention to the role of working long hours to be the breadwinners. Today I see men who want to be more present in their children’s lives since they had absentee fathers. It is nice to see dad’s at school functions, picking their kids up in the parent lines, doing the grocery shopping with a child strapped to their back and yes as nasty as it is and sounds going to the family bathrooms to change those dirty diapers. It is time that more men step up and into the role of being a partner and not what the past has engrained into their minds of what a man is supposed to be and do. The actions of being an equal partner in a relationship shouldn’t be defined by the taboo’s and rules of society, it should be based on what the two need in the relationship and how can each spouse elevate and not tear down the other. Unfortunately too many times because of the engrained attitudes of gender role, expectations, our egos and pride get the better of us and eventually our relationship. Too many times a man thinks he is lesser than or a sissy man and God forbid, what will others think of me of being a SAHD? In which, there lies the real problem; we care too much about what others will think of us. That kind of attitude will affect you and your family’s happiness very quickly.

Now, I have laid some blame on the men but if truth be told it’s not all their fault. Women, you too must own up and take some responsibility here. Too many times you have accepted the idea that you are weaker, that you are not up to meet the challenges of whatever roles you desire. You quietly accept the fate that men dictate to be your role based on your gender. In “Lean In” Mrs Sandberg also points out that when women do stand up for what they want or even achieve it many consider these strong woman to be the “B” word. You will have to read her book as I can’t print the actual word in this article. I am sure you can figure it out. It is sad that a strong and opinionated woman has such a derogatory word attached to her when she is reaching to achieve her goals and be the best she can be. It is sadder that a woman will allow it to happen and also buy into that idea. But when you switch the gender he will receive all the praises, glory and accolades for his hard work, drive and determination. One of the other issues women are at fault is having fault with each other. Y’all are more critical of your own sex than anyone else. It is the stay at home mom’s versus the working mom or women. It seems one wants what the others have but resents that one of them have it. Instead women should be encouraging other women and stop tearing each other down. If you want to go to work then go to work and if you want to stay at home then don’t go to work and don’t criticize the other for their choices. Be supportive not only of women but men as well.

It is great to see more and more woman across the country being the 1st woman at CEO positions in many companies across the nation. It even looks like we may have a 1st woman President of the United States in the not too far off distant future. But wouldn’t it be a great world if the 1st woman didn’t have to be part of the title or recognition. In fact, wouldn’t it be great to not have any of those descriptive words whether it is gender, race, sexual orientation, or age to describe someone and their position in a company or government office. In Gwinnett County we are blessed to be led by great elected leaders like Charlotte Nash, Judy Jordan Johnson, Kelly Kautz, Allison Wilkerson, Lynette Howard, Renee Unterman, Valerie Clark, Marie Beiser and many other countless ladies across the county who just happen to be women but are leaders 1st. When I speak or listen to any of them I don’t look at them as “oh they are woman in a position” I see them as human beings and their position is more important, they can lead just like any man can (and many circumstances better than a man) in making the right decisions for our communities.

I also look at our communities small business owners and again see women who run companies just as good as or better than any man. Again, yes they are women but I don’t look at them as a woman business owner but I see them as a business owner 1st. I see Regina Elvis, Mary Blair, Kyle Cave and Donna Powers Cave, I see Meg Earhart, Linda Campbell, Ann-Carol Pence, Holley Calmes, I see Carolyn Bagheri & Auveed Cawthon or Lisa Sherman and Jenny Savoy, I see Carolyn Wright and her sister Sylvia Culberson or Dr. Barbara Serle and Veronica Lamb, all of these women have started a business; they work hard every day to make it successful in this community. They are business people that happen to be women. You are doing business with them because of their integrity not because they are women. You respect them because of their promise to deliver services and goods not because they are women. We must stop referring to them as women leaders or a women business owners, they are equals and deserve the equal titles of “Leaders” and “Business Owners” not distinguishing them because of their gender and until we make that change we will never be equal. 

New-Lvlle-roundThis article is sponsored by New Lawrenceville. New Lawrenceville is a FREE networking organization of businesses and volunteers that are working to bring community together. https://www.facebook.com/NEWLawrenceville?fref=ts

Author Rodney Camren helps to lead New Lawrenceville in an effort to promote buying locally, educate the community on issues that affect our community. Rodney Camren is a Real Estate Agent with Keller Wiliams.