Our focus, motivation, attention to a situation is flavored by many sources, often without us realizing it happened. For me mixed signals from a young age about being a girl equaled mixed results.
My schooling and my jobs offered a mixed bag — some bosses/teachers approached the females in their departments with equality and others most definitely did not. One boss told me I had done a great job but I wasn’t getting a good raise because I was married to a lawyer so I didn’t need the money. I was passed over for a promotion because I wasn’t “qualified enough”. I got to train the guy they hired on his first day. These are the “nice” examples of sexism I’ve encountered.
So how did I “attract” some bosses/teachers that deserved awards and others that deserved law suits? Without realizing it, I had taken in the belief that life is generally not fair to women.
MIXED SIGNALS — MIXED FOCUS — MIXED RESULTS
There was no question from my familial upbringing that I would go to college. My parents never told me science wasn’t for girls. This was the non-sexist part. The subtle sexist part: my brother was assigned chores of taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, shoveling the driveway. Me — I did the dishes, laundry, vacuuming… See a pattern?
My dad thought I should know how to change a tire and operate a saw but I wasn’t allowed to touch the tools. These were things I should know just in case a guy wasn’t around.
At dinner at my Grams, my cousin said she envied I was the talented one in the family. I said yeah but you got the brains and your sister the looks. My brother said, “What about me?” Simultaneously we responded, “You’re the boy.” “What’s that supposed to mean?” Again in our response in unison, “In this family it means everything.” Sexism was never overt with my Gram. But somehow both of us females had internalized the fact male is better.
Elementary school the boys had recess on one side of the building the girls on the other (except myself and Mary Jo). We kept at the lunch ladies that it wasn’t fair that the boys got the better play equipment.
I was in the first classes in jr/sr high school that went co-ed for shop, home economics and physical education. I learned quickly in phys ed to sign up for a class with a female phys ed teacher or I wouldn’t get to actually play the sport.
In the physical science classes, the boys outnumbered the girls. I give cyber hugs to the guys in these classes, they treated the girls as equals. The teachers not always. One of my teachers made me take AP chemistry, no excuses allowed, another teacher allowed all five girls to leave class anytime we wanted. Years later a friend commented something like, “You took a class from Mr. *****. How’d that happen. You’re a girl?”
Being raised in the 60s and 70s this could be long. Things were starting to change but it was a tough go to find female role models on TV/movies, in the sciences, heading corporations. It was a great day when Nichelle Nichols walked onto the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. When I interviewed for a particular college, the nice man told me with my grades I should reconsider my major and become a doctor. Why? Because he said, that it was still believed that women only pursued a veterinary science degree to meet and marry rich men and this would hamper me getting accepted. Lucky for me my college science advisor was the only woman in the department. I don’t need to list all the cultures in the world where gross inequalities exist between the treatment of men and women. This information has shaped the lens through which I see the world.
This was a tough one as a kid to realize that no matter how good I was, no matter how knowledgeable, no matter how faithful, no matter how charitable — that due to a different ratio of estrogen to testosterone — I because I am female would never be able to be considered equal to a man.
If you’re going to try to figure out the religion, good luck. Can someone point me to a major religion that is headed by a woman? Especially back in the 60’s.
History is riddled with examples of the suppression of the feminine energy and views and contributions to the world. And you might have to look a bit further with all the suppression of knowledge but a number of women have done some remarkable things in spite of it. Fortunately, there have always been some men to stand alongside women to seek the balance of yin and yang energy in the world.
Growing up I had a plaque in my room, “Women drive like men, except they get blamed for it.” I don’t know the first I heard the quote along the lines, “Women have to work twice as hard as men for half the pay,” but I believed it.
For my masters’ project, I wrote about women in science, specifically the difficulties of being a woman in the field of science. At the time, immersed in all the accomplishments of amazing women, having a female doctor/dentist/accountant, someone mentioned their doctor to me — I immediately pictured the doctor as male.
All of these things and friends and a spouse and … all went into how I perceive the world. In hindsight, I can see how I attracted suffering into my life. The important thing is to use this info to shift my focus to the way I do deserve to be treated as an equal — all of the time.
The great thing about the Law of Attraction is to get what I want I don’t have to go back and fix all the ways I attracted it to myself in the past. AWARENESS is the key to my FOCUS in the PRESENT and ultimately what I attract NOW.
Anger at misogynistic people will get me more anger and more hatred toward women.
Gratitude toward compassionate, inclusive, sensitive people will get me more of all that.
I know which one I want and more importantly which one I deserve.
(to be continued)