I just read Alison Piepmeier's article “Assert Yourself”, and I felt compelled to write in. I must respectfully disagree with Ms. Piepmeier's premise that women do not assert themselves effectively. Although, it is true that women should stand up, be outspoken and yes even at times aggressive, however, do they really need to be “more powerful then men”,Ms. Piepmeier? If we want to live in a truly gender neutral society, don't we have to stop these silly 'I am better then you' games?
Women need to be assertive in today's society, strive to be the best they can be, and work to achieve all that they can. But isn't that true of all people, no matter the gender? As parents we need to reinforce that women are every bit as good as men, and they can achieve anything a man can. However, what we need to avoid is the idea that if they do not achieve a goal, that it may be some outside agencies fault. If we convince our young women that if they do not get promoted at their job, or if they go to an interview and don't get hired, that it may be a 'white males' fault, isn't that just reinforcing a negative stereotype? Isn't it more positive to reflect on how to better yourself in order to become more competitive in the workplace. If we just blame others for our failures then we tend to give up, because lets face it, if society is keeping us down why should we try.
But do we truly live in a land of inequalities? Ms. Piepmeier tells a story about a woman that gets feedback about her work from her boss, where he tells her that she needs to be 'more submissive, less ambitious, less visionary' then the men. Well I don't doubt the validity of this story, there are laws in place to prevent this type of rampant sexism in the workplace. Ms. Piepmeier I think that you should inform your friend that she should perhaps report her boss and demonstrate her assertiveness in that way.
Perhaps, Ms. Piepmeier, we can agree to stop demonizing men. Let's teach our children that it is their responsibility to succeed or fail on their own merit We live in a country where women and men are equal. That is an amazing thing, and almost unique in this world. Something we should all be proud of. So, women and men be proud, be assertive, stand up for yourself and don't let anyone stop you.
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