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Please Don’t Protect Me From Men   Leave a comment

I’ve been in the workplace for 40 years last summer. For most of that time, I’ve worked with a mix of men and women. One or two jobs were all women and there was a construction job where I was the only women. I like men. Most of my close friends have been men … and I do mean “friends”.

Image result for image of men and women working togetherI consider myself a feminist in that I enjoy being female and I don’t consider myself less than men except for not being as tall or as strong and not being able to urinate standing up. I more than make up for those inadequacies with other qualities.

My feminism tells me that us girls are every bit smart enough and tough enough to compete with the boys at work, if that’s what we choose to do. I have noticed since my early days in the workforce that women have worked hard to be taken seriously and be treated as equals in the workplace.

The New York Times article “What The Sharing Economy Really Delivers” didn’t really impress me with its accuracy, but there was one sentence about women and co-working spaces that really irritated me: “Already many women have chosen to bypass the air-hockey subculture of conventional co-working facilities for all-female alternatives like The Wing in New York or Rise Collaborative in St. Louis. They are tired of men and their predations and inefficiencies.”

That irritates me! I get angry when I see women choosing to retreat to some imaginary safe space, segregating themselves in separate office buildings because they are too tender to deal with “difficult” male colleagues. Honey, you’re sending a message to the few sexists left out there that they were indeed right – women can’t cut it in a man’s world. Take a giant step backward into the 1950s, because you’ve just dealt a major blow against true feminism. In fact, you might be a sexist if you, as a woman, choose to segregate yourself from men. Sexism, like racism, is not a narrow definition that applies to only one type of person. Men can be sexists, but women can too.

And we’re harming ourselves when we engage in this stupidity. Although polls say men and women prefer to work in single sex offices, studies reveal that they are more productive when they work together.  Researchers found a higher level of contentment for men if they did not have to ‘walk on eggshells’ around women, while women were happier when not dealing with a ‘testosterone-fulled atmosphere,’ but mixed sex offices posted a 41% higher profit, challenging the concept that a happier workplace leads to greater productivity, but also recognizing benefits gained by the differences in gender interacting with one another.

I’m not a victim. I’ve worked beside men my whole life and I’ve dealt with sexist remarks and sexual advances. I know how to speak up for myself and take credit for my own work rather than let anyone else steal my thunder. I know how to talk to managers if I need to, but really — because I deal with it on my own — I’ve rarely needed to. So, ladies, I implore you — don’t retreat into enclaves of victimhood. Venture out into the real world and win success on your own two feet.

Posted February 16, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in cultural divide, Uncategorized

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Gender Betrayal   3 comments

Image result for image of hillary clinton in defeatThere are all sorts of reasons given for why Hillary Clinton didn’t win the presidency and Trump did. Prior to the election, I was pretty certain that Trump’s disgusting behavior toward women would cost him the election. I was wrong. Trump won white women by 53%.

What?! Yeah! You read that right. White women. by 53%.

Many progressives are venting their spleens on Huffington Post, Slate and elsewhere, claiming these women are traitors to their gender.  I’ve even been told I’m a traitor to my gender for voting for Gary Johnson. How dare a woman vote for a man when there was a woman running!

“White women sold out the sisterhood and the world by voting for Trump.” Slate Headline

A former communications director for the Clinton campaign told MSNBC that “internalized misogyny” led white women to support Trump.

Wow, climb out of your safe spaces and confront reality. If progressives want to blame women for Clinton’s lost, they should start with Hillary Clinton.

Clinton repeatedly misled the public about her off-the-books email system and became the first candidate in history to be under FBI investigation while campaigning to be president. That’s her fault. I didn’t do that. She did!

Clinton positioned herself as the anointed inheritor of President Barack Obama’s third term. She didn’t craft her own identity in an obviously anti-establishment year. She ran on all the policies Republicans opposed in previous elections, policies that led to the GOP winning record numbers of state legislative chambers, governors’ races, and control of Congress. That’s her fault. White women didn’t do that. She did!

Clinton never set foot in the state of Wisconsin, even though it’s home state to the Republican National Committee Chairman, the well-liked GOP speaker of the House and a governor who beat the labor unions in a contentious right-to-work battle. According to NBC News, Trump spent 50% more time in battleground states in the last 100 days of the election. That’s her fault. Nobody else did that.

Clinton ran a misguided campaign filled with miscalculations. Don’t say Clinton was disadvantaged because she was a woman, because as a Clinton she had every advantage possible. She had money, the staff, the ads and institutional support needed for a successful run. She squandered all those advantages and she lost.

Instead of reflexively blaming women, Democrats should ask themselves what they did to make Clinton more competitive.

While, both candidates and their campaigns were deeply flawed, there is a gaping difference between the way Republicans and Democrats.discussed those flaws. You can do a media study to prove this to yourself. Many Republicans spoke out consistently and repeatedly about their candidate’s flaws, using their public platforms to challenge the party to be better. The Democrats didn’t.

Even Clinton’s chief primary rival Bernie Sanders stood on the debate stage and refused to hold Clinton to account for her “damn emails.” And let’s face it – a 70-odd-year-old SOCIALIST senator made a credible run and beat the heavily favored front-runner in critical Midwest states. That should have jolted the Clinton team out of their “it’s my turn” stupor, but it didn’t. The Democratic Party protected Clinton like a fragile butterfly every step of the way. In hindsight, it’s no wonder she didn’t break the highest, hardest glass ceiling. She was treated as if she wasn’t strong enough to do so.

Maybe the Clinton camp honestly believed disgust for Trump would magically propel Republican voters to her. They underestimated conservative voters dislike of Clinton. She was a non-starter with actual conservatives a long time before she announced her candidacy. I knew I wouldn’t vote for her for President when she was still the First Lady. I was never tempted to vote for her just because I didn’t like Trump.

I’ve been asking why some of my friends who disliked Trump voted for him instead of her and this is what they say:

  • Clinton refused to call anything a terror attack even as the murderers yelled, “Allahu Akbar!” while committing heinous acts around the world.
  • She, and the Democrats, kept saying, “Obamacare is working!” while American families were being slammed with huge premiums and deductibles increases along with shrinking networks.
  • She didn’t seem to realize that the US economy has only “recovered” if you’re a member of the elite, really wealthy or a government-benefit recipient. For all the rest of us, the recession is still going on.
  • She refused to enforce US laws by promising amnesty to those who flout them.
  • She promised more taxes, spending and regulation even though our government is awash with debt, waste and bureaucracy.

This election proved that voters had bigger problems than Trump’s sexism, such as genuine fear of the future for themselves and their families. The “suck it up, buttercup” caucus prevailed and yes, our country will survive.

I’m not saying I’m not unsettled by Trump’s treatment toward women and minorities. It bothers me to know that a man who has displayed such disrespect for women in both his personal and professional life will soon be leader of the free world. I worry about my daughter, trying to make her way in this world, with a misogynist at the helm.

On the other hand, politics are full of compromises and ups and down and every 2 to 4 years, we get to correct the direction of the country … if it turns out the collective wisdom of the electorate was wrong. Trump won for reasons other than his misogyny and maybe we just need to wait a while and see. If he’s a sexist whose policies pull the economy out of the eight years of morass it’s been stuck in … all, then sexism is a tolerable flaw. I’m not married to him, after all.

The way I look at it, I’m not a traitor to my gender because I didn’t vote for Clinton. Alaska’s electoral votes wouldn’t have changed the election outcome anyway. I voted the way I voted because I have bigger issues than sexism to deal with. I worry about surviving in the coming economy, about whether my son is going to have to march off to war along with his sister. The black President proved what I already knew. The outside package of a candidate means a whole lot less than their policies do in how they will be as President. We need a President who wants to fix what’s wrong. We need a President who … isn’t Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but we didn’t get that this time, so ….

What will we decide to do in 202o? I hope we’ll be wiser than we are this time, but I doubt it.

Posted December 2, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Political Philosophy

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