Any Given Sunday
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Any Given Sunday

Women Should Stop Trying To Walk Shoulder To Shoulder With Men (Part 3)

The real & hard truth that has been hidden from women all this while. A radical perspective that has never been spoken about before.

Image Credit — Gina Janosch from Pixabay

This is the third part of the main article. If you have missed reading the first and second parts, you can read those first and then come over here, since Part 1 and Part 2 sets the context for Part 3.

Women Can Eat Men For Breakfast, Even For Lunch

In the professional world too, where women rub their shoulders with men on a daily basis; it's even worse. Not only do women have to excel at the task at hand — be it cracking a deal, or executing a critical client project, or putting in long hours, entertaining clients, traveling across multiple cities and many other things that are required as part of their professional life, they also have to keep an eye on the glass ceiling and figure out ways to breakthrough.

They end up doing more things than are actually required as part of their professional demands.

They are always expected to do more than what is required, to prove that they are better than men. Men, on the other hand, have no such side distractions or expectations of them. They just have to get the task done and put in their performance numbers. (just like showing up at their wedding in a suit)

Women on the other hand are required to absolutely demonstrate that they can rub shoulder to shoulder with men — that they can stay long hours (even if it's not really required), or take clients out for a drink, or walk-in walk-out of multiple airports during a week, or prove their commitment to their work by showing up at work on the weekends.

So not only they have to put in their performance numbers, but they are also required to do other things to prove that they are better than men. For men, these other things are not a factor of consideration when promotions and salary hikes are due.

But for a woman, it is tracked and bought forward when it's time for appraisals, and they are measured against these more critically than men are.

So to think of it, in a professional environment also women end up doing more than men, they give more thought on how to navigate the office politics, they have to sacrifice more than men, they have to prove themselves every day that they are worthy of a promotion or a hike.

All through the year, women are doing much more than men.

Image Credit — ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

Research from McKinsey has found that firms that outpace their peers on the number of women in top management see a financial performance benefit of up to 15% over the industry median.

So, where does the question arise that a woman has to try to walk shoulder to shoulder with a man?

Women Puff Away To Get Into The Inner Circle

When men take an office break and go out for a smoke, it is mostly done for 2 main reasons — to satisfy the urge of smoking and importantly to bond with their managers/superiors, so that when the time comes for a promotion or get access to a large client or project, they are first in line.

Over the years, I have seen many women take up smoking (am not against women smoking. Women have equal rights to satisfy their nicotine urges), just because they want to be part of the inner circle. Not being part of the inner-circle cuts them off when it comes to big promotions or salary raises or office politics.

Men can get away with all this. But for a woman it becomes a necessity, it becomes a must, that if she has any aspiration to break through the glass ceiling then she should be able to puff away with the men.

It's important to remember that most men take up smoking because they enjoy it, but most women take up smoking because it provides them access to the privileged corporate inner-circle.

Image Credit — DavidRockDesign from Pixabay

Crisis Management Best Handled by Women

Let us come to politics and running governments — a subject on which I am not very good at. So bear with me if while I try to get across some important points.

There are far fewer female-led countries in the world when compared to male-led. In a recent study done of 194 sample countries, just 10 percent have women as national leaders.

But these women leaders who are responsible for their governments, have performed much better than countries led by male leaders, adjusting for population, GDP growth, socio-demographics, and other economic characteristics.

Even during humanity’s worst crisis of Covid-19, it is well researched and documented that countries that have been led by women leaders have fared much better in controlling the spread of Covid-19 and managing their economies, as compared to male-led countries. Case in point — Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, and Taiwan.

This brings me back to the earlier point about office politics. If women are so capable of managing the politics of their countries and come out shining during humanitarian’s worst crises, then in a way it just demonstrates that they are much better managers and leaders than men when it comes to handling crisis situations and politics.

History is proof that wars and battles are mostly triggered by men when they are faced with any crisis situation. Women on the other hand are never known for triggering any major wars.

It may seem a very simple extrapolation, but you cannot ignore the fact that women are able to manage a crisis better and take logical decisions to navigate their countries during extreme economic stress.

Their strength lies in thinking rationally about the larger decisions that have to be made and able to apply common sense instead of massaging their egos, and because they are more inclusive in nature, they are able to effectively carry everyone along for the betterment of the state and its people.

Image Credit — Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Don’t Read Up Too Much Into Genetic Differences

There are indeed some genetic differences that make men different from women in how they do certain things or behave differently in various situations. But the issue is, this genetic difference is more often than not twisted to favor men.

I have not yet read the book — Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. And I don’t intend to as well. Maybe there are some components of truth to Mars and Venus analogies, but today show me one single thing that a man can do, but a woman cannot.

If she sets her mind to something, she will get it done and even better, without making too much fuss about it. The same thing cannot be said of a man.

Men and Women operate on two different emotional levels, which is also the reason sometimes they come together as partners or get married. It's the combination of this emotional mix that creates this illusion of Men being from Mars and Women from Venus. But apart from that there really is no significant difference when it comes to capabilities and competence.

So where does the question arise that a woman should be the one to walk shoulder to shoulder with a man?

This conditioning of our brains over the decades has driven each gender to build very hardened notions about what a man is supposed to do and what a woman is supposed to do. Especially for a man, who has never been coached or made to sit down by his father/mother to sensitize him about the man-woman equation.

Over the years, his observations and experiences shape the belief system that he carries along in all aspects of his life, both personal and professional. It then becomes part of his personality and DNA.

And because women have been conditioned, both knowingly and at a subconscious level all their lives (and even now), it becomes really important for them to consciously stop falling for these traps, and avoid getting brainwashed by what other men and the media is wanting to make them believe.

It has become quite fashionable to blame everything on the genetic makeup of men and women. The problem is that men try to shield themselves more often than not by using the gene card. Remember I mentioned to you they have plenty of such cards. And women also keep reminding men that its acceptable to play the gene card. That’s got to stop.

Biggest Sham Of The 21st Century — Women’s Day

Do you even know what the objective and the origin of International Women’s Day is in the first place? For starters, it was not to celebrate anything, unlike how it is made to believe in present times. It was a movement, it had a purpose to bring about a change.

Fast forward. Women’s Day in the 21st century has now been made to associate with flowers, cake, shopping, spa, dinner, and dessert (not necessarily in that specific order). Am I missing anything else?

Today the women’s day has been twisted by the media and global brands in such a way, that it has become more of a celebration and a shopping festival. And everyone is falling for it, both women and men.

So for the sake of an argument (it's fun sometimes), let's just go with this “New & Improved” version of Women’s day, and that it should be celebrated, and that men should do everything possible on that day to make women feel special.

Now, are we saying that a woman is supposed to feel special or made to feel special only on 1 Day? What about the rest of the 364 days? Isn’t she special on all the other days? Why single out just 1 day?

Actually, a women’s day of the 21st-century affects women more negatively in the long term than they actually believe it to be. By accepting and even celebrating a women’s day in a way it is being done these days, women unknowingly are accepting and giving permission to men that it's fine to be not treated special on 364 days. And that only 1 day in a year is good enough to feel special or made to feel special.

Are you surprised, that the man is happy to comply?

The question that I have is, why does a woman accept Women’s Day at all in its present avatar? By accepting a Women’s Day, aren’t you actually in a way signaling to the man — “Make me feel special on 1 day of the year, and take the rest of the year off?” and that “Its OK if you are not around for 364 days when needed most, but you can make it up for being there for 1 Day with some flowers and a cake”. How sweet is that?

Really, can 1 day compensate for the entire year? It's a short-term gain for a long-term loss.

Image Credit — LJNovaScotia from Pixabay

Some women may put forward the view, that they celebrate Women’s Day to make themselves feel special and that they don’t need their partners or husbands or any other man to make them feel special. Sure, they are absolutely right in saying that. After all, everyone deserves to feel special without having to depend upon another one to trigger that feeling.

But the real question to be asked is, why reserve only 1 day to feel ultra special and the next day come back to the harsh reality of the imbalance at your workplace and home environments? Instead, wouldn’t you want the men to take the effort to fix this imbalance and make you feel special all year round?

Has a woman thought about, why there is no frenzy around Men’s Day and why it is not celebrated with so much fanfare, or why the media does not put so much fuel behind it?

Why doesn’t Google put up a Doodle for Men’s Day? Why don’t you see a stream of tweets on your Twitter feed celebrating Men’s Day? Why don’t you see Facebook algorithms showing post after post of men wishing each other Men’s Day? Why don’t you see hoardings across the city wishing men on Men’s Day? Why don’t you see any store decorations for Men’s Day? Why don’t Global brands put up large discount sales for Men’s Day?

If you haven’t thought about it so far, I urge you to pause here and think about it hard. Real hard.

Fact is — Men don’t celebrate it, because they don’t even know it. It's not on their radar at all. And they don’t really care if it comes and goes without anyone wishing them. Truth be told, they know very well what they are getting and how much they are getting for all 364 days of the year.

Fun Fact — Men’s Day falls on Nov 19th. So does the World Toilet Day. Yes, there is something known as World Toilet Day founded by The WHO, and it falls on Nov 19th as well.

Do you think men are going to be bothered with this coincidence and lose their minds about “their” special day being hosted on the same as World Toilet Day? I bet my manhood that they don’t even know that Men’s Day and World Toilet Day take place on the same day. (Well, one of my dearest friends does. He is the one who bought it to my attention). Damn, there goes my manhood.

Now if the same thing would have happened to women, by god they would have been up in arms by now and rallied and forced Women’s Organizations all over the world, the UN, Human Rights organizations, The WHO, etc to change the date of the World Toilet Day.

I can only shudder to imagine the Social Media and Twitter storms that would have erupted all over the world. And Media would have added gazillions gallons of fuel to it to stoke the fire even more. And yes by end of all, women would have won that war for sure.

But really, are we that blinded by these singular special days that the balance 364 days of the year are ignored? Do women want to win the war for 1 day, and lose the battle for the rest of the year?

So do yourself a favor and for the sake of all women across the world, stop falling for the media hype around the over-sized celebrations of the 21st century Women’s Day, and start doing what you are truly great at.

Your actions, your thoughts, your resilience, your persistence, your ability to shape your dreams are much more powerful than the feelings that you want to derive from a Women’s Day.

If you still want to celebrate it, by all means, go ahead to throw that party, go shopping, get a spa, make yourself feel special. You have earned it and absolutely deserve it.

But don’t do it just because you want those pretty flowers, a spa, a cake, and a candlelight dinner. It's 1-day attention. It's a trap.

Image Credit — Clker-Free-Vector-Images

Final Thoughts & Way Forward

There are certain laws (or no laws) of attraction that make men and women come together despite the tremendous historical baggage. One also can’t deny the fact that there exists certain chemistry why women and men decide to live together, work together, and raise families.

Even though, the man-woman relationship is a complex system and a flaming cocktail of good and bad experiences, romance, love, security, insecurity, disappointments, anger, sadness, etc; ultimately they both figure out ways to make things work (hell, sometimes it doesn’t work) and keep the wheels in motion.

It's important to also remember that the world is not all dark and gloomy. There are indeed many men out there who understand the dynamics of the man-woman imbalance and biases and work towards setting it right.

Some men are rising up to the challenges that come with being married and maintaining relationships, some are sweating out to raise their sons and daughters without biases, some are making efforts to remove the glass ceilings from the work environment, and some are putting together reforms to make a positive impact to the lives of women.

Agreed, the process is slow and can be sped up quite a bit.

It's never too easy when you have to unlearn the conditioning that has taken place over thousands of years. Biases that deep are never too easy to remove. It takes years of active scrubbing and daily conscious actions to change the picture that has been implanted by their ancestors.

It is no surprise that women are far more capable than what they are usually given credit for. To think of it, there is practically nothing that a man does, and a woman cannot do the same.

Surely there are certain glass ceilings that exist in the professional world which are created by men, to make it difficult for women to rise to the top. It does not mean, that women can’t or won’t. It just means that some men make it more difficult or sometimes impossible for women to sit on the same oval table. It has no reflection on the capability or intelligence of women.

But despite all the hurdles and challenges that are thrown at women in their professional careers, in corporate boardrooms, while raising children, while leading governments, in sports, in crossing the frontiers of space or diving deep into the ocean abyss; women have already proven that they can do everything. The only thing that limits their progress is the barrier created by men.

So pause for a moment and ask yourself this question — why should you even fall into the clutches of what other people or the media makes you believe?

In my personal opinion, women have to expect more, demand more, because they deserve more. It’s not about beating the man down to a pulp and extracting every ounce of their blood, but that they understand that it’s no longer a man’s world anymore. (And am not referring to participating in feminist movements to do that.)

Remember, people, become better versions of themselves only when they are expected to become better. Otherwise, they continue to be who they are for their entire lives.

And for that to happen, women have to stop accepting and believing the statement — “A woman should strive to walk shoulder to shoulder with a man”.

So the next time you hear something like this, turn it around and shoot it back with — “A man should strive to walk shoulder to shoulder with a woman

A final note to all my male friends — Maybe its not possible to fully bring about some of the changes that are required to balance out the man-woman equation, but what each one of us must absolutely do is to coach our sons to be a better man than we are or we are ever going to be, and mentor our daughters to expect and demand a better man in their lives.

I think we owe it to our kids. We owe it ourselves. We owe it to the women in our lives.

Finally, do keep in mind that if you have a daughter, she will someday be at the receiving end of all this. And if you have a son, then most likely he will turn out to be just like you.

Inspired by the Al Pacino movie, Any Given Sunday is a unique publication that brings to its readers well-curated personal experiences and captivating stories on motivation, positivity, mental strength, deep thinking and winning. After all, life is a contact sport.

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Rupesh N. Bhambwani

Rupesh N. Bhambwani

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