Why Do Women Stay Silent?

Why do women stay silent? 

I've wondered about this for awhile. I still struggle against it. Yesterday I had the perfect opportunity to speak up and didn't, then later wrestled with why I'd stayed silent. I know at times it's fear ~ of what others will think, of not knowing the right words, or of looking stupid. Sometimes it may be because of what we were taught about being ladylike. 

Things like:
*It's not ladylike to dominate the conversation.
*It's not ladylike to interrupt.
*It's not ladylike to share your opinions unless someone asks.

I don't know that I actually heard these things being said as much as I felt the expectations. I knew instinctively that it was more okay for the boys in class to share their opinion than the girls. I knew that I would be considered brazen in Sunday School to question the teacher and the lesson. 

I knew that being sweet was a girl's superpower and standing up for others didn't always look sweet.

Awhile ago I read Cheryl Sandburg's book, Lean In, where she observed women in meetings sitting in chairs around the room instead of sitting at the table. Meanwhile, the men took all the seats around the table. She addressed the gravity of this and how we need to learn to lean-in and lead for there to be changes in the future.

I identified immensely with her example. I had unknowingly done that many times. I think it was partly my lack of self-confidence to have anything significant to say, but it was also an underlying belief that those people sitting at the table were more important than me and anything they said would be more important than my words.

This is such a grave problem because if we as women don't step up and become leaders of today, our daughters, nieces  and friends will not know it's okay to do that tomorrow.

I recently read an article about Iceland women who all rallied together one day and walked off their jobs, whether in the work force or at home. It completely shut Iceland down. Businesses couldn't operate, schools couldn't function, and transportation couldn't run. Because of that one day and the significance it showed of life without women, they garnered pay increases and were the first democratic country to bring in a female president.

They not only spoke up, they walked out on their own security. They took a huge risk. I'm sure it was intimidating and terrifying to participate in something that might not have been encouraged by their bosses and families. 

But with their actions they spoke, and the country heard.

And while I may want to berate myself for not speaking up when the opportunity was there, I realize how much more aware I am of my silence. I'm learning to recognize when I'm quiet and question the reasons so I can get to the root of my fears. I have learned to speak much more than I used to and this skill will only grow with more awareness.

Let's encourage each other to stop being silent. Let's join together and speak up!

Much Love Monday

I've been enjoying homemade granola bars topped with whipped coconut cream (no sweetener) // Love this design my sister sharpied one year for Christmas on a coffee mug // This log book is the best diary I've ever kept! Quick and to the point, it's easier to keep track of for collecting a fun record of my days // Raggedy Ann has traveled with me from a long time ago. My kids think she's a little frightening but I find her sweet. She reminds me of childhood. // And who could resist these eyelashes?! He's the sweetest little guy. //

What are you loving today?

29 Gifts

I found this book in a used bookstore stuffed between hundreds of biographies and memoirs. Something about the cover caught my attention. Not because of the cover (although it is cute) but because I couldn't help wondering why the number twenty-nine and why would they be giving gifts. I'd recently read a book about gratitude with thank-you notes, so this seemed to compliment that.

I set a goal to read a memoir this month and in the spirit of minimalism I wanted to read something I already owned. This book had been sitting on my shelf for over two months and it caught my eye as I worked at my desk one day. I pulled it out and cracked open the cover to skim the first page. If a book can't grab me on the first page, then it's not going to keep my attention. As I skimmed I found myself sitting there thirty minutes later still reading ~ it was a keeper.

It's the story of a woman who was diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) and who is feeling suicidal. She calls her spiritual director who gives her a "prescription". The prescription is to give away 29 gifts in 29 days. The gifts don't have to be expensive or even materialistic things ~ time and attention could count.

I won't spoil the story for you, but through her process and the simple act of giving, her entire life begins to change. It has inspired me to consider taking the challenge myself.

Have you ever done something like that? Has giving ever changed your perspective?

For the Love of Color

Color is something that often takes my breath away. I saw a video the other day for glasses that allow color-blind people to see colors they've never experienced before. I teared up watching their responses upon seeing green and red for the first time. The privilege of seeing color is something I often take for granted. But when I come across something beautiful, like artistic walls on a random building, I'm reminded what a pleasure it is. Something so simple and yet so moving.

Wishing you a color filled day today!

Spring Break

We hopped over to Oklahoma City during our Spring Break and had a fantastic time. It's always fun to get away from routine and enjoy new surroundings with your favorite people.

We went to the zoo first. We saw a huge brown bear scratching his back on a tree. My favorite part was the baby elephant. We couldn't get very close to her but here is a fuzzy shot because I couldn't leave without a photo.

Sooo cute. And I especially loved the butterfly exhibit. ;)

Afterwards we went to the OKC Bombing Memorial. Obviously emotional and invoking of deep thoughts. We like to sober our kids on vacation. Then to end on a happier note, we went to an Escape Game. 

They lock you in a room with clues everywhere and you have an hour to figure out the code to the door to get out. We knew we would either conquer the code or kill each other trying, ha. It turned out to be a fantastic team-building experience. We had so much fun and finished with fifteen minutes to spare! Which apparently is good because only 38% actually crack the code. Yay Team Denton!

I love taking little trips like this, and fortunately my husband is the best at planning unique, interesting adventures for us.

What's your favorite kind of getaway?