How many times have you heard women apologise today? Not for making a mistake, or causing offence, but just because she spoke her mind. Now, how many times did men do that today?
I’m not saying that all women are scared to speak their minds. Actually, it’s very much the opposite.
Women are unleashing their inner Beyoncé’s, fuelled by the backing of seeing the change coming from current feminist movements. However, powerful, accomplished women still make these subtle remarks towards their worth and unconsciously question why they are in the room.
I don’t think you will be shocked to learn that this stems from childhood. Whether we are aware of it or not, our treatment between our daughters and sons is very different. It’s not as simple as a pink toy for the girl and a blue toy for the boy, gender norms are systematically built into the way we treat children.
We teach our girls to be kind but not too forward, polite but don’t pull focus. We brought them up like the dolls they play with, controlled.
However, we teach our boys to be outgoing, if they come home dirty or play a little rough it’s waved away by the apologetic voice of a mother “boys will be boys”. If that’s not a vicious cycle, I don’t know what is.
This treatment has left an impression on women’s behavioural patterns while widening the power dynamics between the sexes.
We need to teach our girls that they are worthy, that they have the same right to not be perfect, to be loud and to explore. But above all else, they must know their voices matter, that they belong in any room there in and they do not have to apologise for being there or being themselves.
Featured image: European Parliament