Are you being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved?

“We had 11 truly joyful years of the deepest love, happiest marriage, and truest partnership that I could imagine … He gave me the experience of being deeply understood, truly supported and completely and utterly loved – and I will carry that with me always. Most importantly, he gave me the two most amazing children in the world…

Dave was my rock. When I got upset, he stayed calm. When I was worried, he said it would be ok. When I wasn’t sure what to do, he figured it out…” wrote Sheryl Sandberg in a moving tribute to her husband.

 

How many women are lucky to have such amazing, empowering and supportive men in their lives? Men, who empower them to achieve their full potential in life and do share the load of less glamorous family chores to support them. Men, who hear women’s voice and treat women’s choices with respect. Men who recognise that “if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our collective performance would improve… the achievements will extend beyond those individuals to benefit us all”.

Respect, Give It To Get It

As Sheryl Sandberg points out in her book Lean In, “women still face real obstacles in the professional world, including blatant and subtle sexism… Too few workplaces offer the flexibility and access to child care and parental leave that are necessary for pursuing a career while raising children. Plus, women have to prove themselves to a far greater extent than men do… A 2011 McKinsey report noted that men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on past accomplishments.”

discrimination against women in the workplace

Sheryl also notes that “in addition to the external barriers erected by society women are hindered by barriers that exist within ourselves. We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising out hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in. We internalize the negative messages we get throughout our lives… We lower our own expectations of what we can achieve.”

So true. I’ve observed that so often during my University years. While the majority of male students were charging in the exam rooms totally unprepared but still full of confidence, the best female students were spending days and nights preparing for exams, however were still trembling with fear of a failure.

After the exams male students often credited their success to their own innate qualities and skills, while female students often attributed success to good luck.  Interestingly enough, after a failed exam male students were often blaming bad luck, while female students were more likely to believe it was due to an inherent lack of ability.

While some women are happy to stay at home looking after their family and children, others might want to pursue career. In both cases they need to have a choice.

Unfortunately, as Sheryl Sandberg points out, while “professional ambition is expected of men” it is “optional – or worse, sometimes even negative – for women. “She is very ambitious” is not a compliment…

Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same traits often pay a social penalty. Female accomplishments come at a cost….

The stereotype of a working woman is rarely attractive. Popular culture has long portrayed successful working women as so consumed by their careers that they have no personal life. If a female character divides her time between wok ad family, she is almost always harried and guilt ridden…”

While acknowledging biological and some psychological difference between men and women, it is important to recognise that, as Sheryl puts it, “in today’s world, where we no longer have to hunt in the wild for our food”, both men and women should be given a fair chance to make their own choices. ”

However “until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice. And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential. …

Men's New Role as Househusband Challenges Chinese Tradition

We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us. If more children see fathers at school pickups and mothers who are busy at jobs, both girls and boys will envision more options for themselves. Expectations will not be set by gender but by personal passion, talents, and interests…

My greatest hope is that my son and my daughter will be able to choose what to do with their lives without external or internal obstacles slowing them down or making them question their choices.”

Thanks Dave and Sheryl for giving us a real example of the deepest love, happiest marriage, and truest partnership in which you both were supporting each other in making your choices in life and reaching your full potential.

A photo of Dave Goldberg, the Facebook executive, who died suddenly on May 2, 2015. He is pictured with his wife Sheryl Sandberg. Photo posted by Sheryl Sandberg on facebook.

Are you being deeply understood, truly supported and
completely and utterly loved?

THE END

Image 1: from http://img-hd.com/dave-goldberg/
Image 2: from http://dailytechwhip.com
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mage 3: from http://unitedtruthseekers.com/
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mage 4: from Are You Discriminating Against Women Employees Without Even Knowing It?
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mage 5: from http://what3words.tumblr.com
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mage 6: from http://247moms.com
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mage 7: from http://www.womenofchina.cn
Image 8: from https://queerguesscode.files.wordpress.com
Image 9: from http://www.theguardian.com

Let’s look for way forward, not who to blame…

From http://off-campus.weebly.com/

As Michael Straczynski once said, “People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”

Considering this general tendency, it does not come as a surprise when we see men being blamed for all problems affecting women.

image

From http://terry73.wordpress.com

Women do have lots of problems. As Sheryl Sandberg points out in her book Lean In, “the blunt truth is that men still run the world. This means that when it comes to making the decision that most affect us all, women’s voices are not heard equally…”

There are lots of reasons for this. “Women face real obstacles in the professional world, including blatant and subtle sexism… Too few workplaces offer the flexibility and access to child care and parental leave that are necessary for pursuing a career while raising children…”

Embedded image permalink

From https://twitter.com/workingmothers1

As the result, the whole society suffers: “The laws of economics and many studies of diversity tell us that if we tapped the entire pool of human resources and talent, our collective performance would improve. Legendary investor Warren Buffett has stated generously that one of the reasons for his great success was that he was competing with only half of the population. The Warren Buffetts of my generation are still largely enjoying this advantage. When more people get in the race, more records will be broken. And the achievements will extend beyond those individuals to benefit us all.”

Men in a boardroomFrom http://www.wemadeit.ca

When asked how American women could help those who experienced the horrors and mass rapes of war in places like Liberia, Leymah Gbowee (Liberian peace activist who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize) responded with four simple words: “More women in power.” We do need more strong women in power who don’t play victim, who don’t make themselves look pitiful, who don’t point fingers but stand firmly and deal with the problems.

Quote

From http://www.pinterest.com

We do need more women in leadership roles to improve conditions not only for all women and children, but for men as well.

“Why improving conditions for men?” one may ask.

As Sheryl Sandberg points out. “Today, despite all of the gains we have made, neither men nor women have real choice. Until women have supportive employers and colleagues as well as partners who share family responsibilities, they don’t have real choice. And until men are fully respected for contributing inside the home, they don’t have real choice either. Equal opportunity is not equal unless everyone receives the encouragement that makes seizing those opportunities possible. Only then can both men and women achieve their full potential. …

We all want the same thing: to feel comfortable with our choices and to feel validated by those around us. If more children see fathers at school pickups and mothers who are busy at jobs, both girls and boys will envision more options for themselves. Expectations will not be set by gender but by personal passion, talents, and interests.”

From http://cdn2.thegrindstone.com

Like Sheryl Sandberg, I hope my children will be able to choose what to do with their lives without external or internal obstacles slowing them down or making them question their choices. If they want to do the important work of raising children full-time, I hope they will be respected and supported by the society disregarding their gender. If they want to work full-time and pursue their professional aspirations, I hope they will also be respected and supported by the society disregarding their gender.

From http://d.gr-assets.com/

Let’s look for way forward, not who to blame…

😉

THE END

Filling Empty Minds

Teach your children
From Motivational and Inspirational Quotes

Each one of us starts empty,
Just waiting to be filled,
With love and words
And things we learn;
The empty space is killed.

Displaced with all the good things,
And sometimes with the bad,
We learn from
Those around us
And the special times we’ve had.

When we are still quite empty,
In our younger years,
It’s easy for us,
To fill up,
With love and hope and fears.

It means the young are easy led,
And learn things very fast,
But bad times leave,
A dirty mark,
Even when long passed.

When spending time with young friends,
We need to think about,
The lessons that
We’re teaching them:
They’re quicker in than out.

There’s positives within this,
Because those younger minds,
Will grow and flourish
Happily
When watered with good times.

by Pooky H

THE END

Negative portrayal of women and men in mass media

“Mass media became one of the main sources of popular culture in modern capitalist society. Media, however, not only entertains and offers news to people, but also transfers the stereotypes, beliefs and values of the society to reproduce the existing order of social life.”

Lily Gataullina

Mass Media

Mass media exert extraordinarily powerful influences upon the way we think. For a number of years women has drawn attention to and fought against stereotypical and sexist portrayals of women in mass media. Unfortunately sexism against women remains, as pointed out in the recent documentary called Miss Representation:

What about men? Are they being treated nicer by the media?

As Jim Macnamara points out in “Dissing’ men: the new gender war”, “Until recently, gender theorists and media researchers have argued or assumed that media representations of men are predominantly positive, or at least unproblematic. Men have allegedly been shown in mass media as powerful, dominant, heroic, successful, respected, independent and in other positive ways conducive to men and boys maintaining a healthy self-identity and self-esteem.

However, this view has come under challenge over the past few years. John Beynon, a Welsh cultural studies academic, examined how masculinity was portrayed in the British quality press including The Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Times over a three-year period from 1999-2001 and in books such as Susan Faludi’s 2000 best-seller Stiffed: The Betrayal of Modern Man. Beynon concluded in his 2002 book, Masculinities and Culture, that men and masculinity were overwhelmingly presented negatively and as “something dangerous to be contained, attacked, denigrated or ridiculed, little else”.

Canadian authors, Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young in a controversial 2001 book, Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture reported widespread examples of “laughing at men, looking down on men, blaming men, de-humanising men, and demonising men” in modern mass media…

An extensive content analysis of mass media portrayals of men and male identity undertaken for a PhD completed in 2005 through the University of Western Sydney focusing on news, features, current affairs, talk shows and lifestyle media found that men are widely demonised, marginalised, trivialised and objectified in non-fiction media content that allegedly presents facts, reality and “truth”…”

The most disturbing is the difference in the way some people react to negative portrayal of women and men, especially when it comes to depiction of violence – see a few examples provided below:

The negative portrayal of women and female identity is not only a matter of concern for women, but also for men. What is happening to women has an impact on men who live and work with them and who care about the health, welfare and happiness of their wives, partners, sisters, female friends and their daughters.

In the same way, the negative portrayal of men and male identity is not only a matter of concern for men, but also for women. What is happening to men has an impact on women who live and work with them and who care about the health, welfare and happiness of their husbands, partners, brothers, male friends and their sons.

Let’s free our minds from the negative stereotypes promoted by mass media and support each other in finding our true nature – who we really are.

Man Woman

Fighting misogyny and misandry with positive empowerment

Empowerment

In all cultures and in all time periods there are/were good honest people (men and women) who care/d about other people and there are/were nasty ones. Societies with a high level of misogyny usually also have a very high level of misandry, gender-based prejudices and violence. That’s why we need to be very careful in the way we address such issues and write about them to make sure that good, honest, caring men and women don’t get insulted or upset; that traditions that protect people in a certain environment do not get broken by notions, evolved in a totally different environment.

Unfortunately there is a lot of violence in some places on this planet where streets are not safe for either women or men.  Unfortunately, police in some places is totally useless and justice system is totally dysfunctional – and it might be outside of our control to get that changed in the nearest future.  As women are generally physically weaker than men, they tend to be targeted by criminals as an easier prey. Therefore in a violent environment they might require more protection from men and might need to adopt certain style of behaviour for the sake of survival. Is that misogyny? Or is that misandry? Should we ‘empower’ women in such violent environment to go alone on the street in the middle of the night? Should we ‘empower’ women to use provocative clothing to look ‘cool’ and ‘independent’? Should we ‘empower’ women to drink alcohol or take drugs that will totally incapacitate them and make them an easy prey?

Often such risk-minimisation measures are confused with ‘victim blaming’ (Scott Williams provides one of the most recent examples of such victim blaming on his blog). I do not support victim blaming and feel very angry when I come across victim-blaming strategies and statements, no matter whether the victim is male or female. However at the same time I also get very angry when I see risk-minimisation messages being distorted and blocked by some dubious campaigns such as SlutWalk that do not take into consideration the complex nature of the inter-personal violence issues. Until all people learn non-violent conflict resolution strategies and until this planet is free of rapists, murderers, robbers, certain risk-preventative measures might be required to keep people safe and alive. Any campaign that puts women’s lives at risk is as misogynous as ‘victim blaming’ and denying women basic human rights.

Let’s empower both women and men in a positive way. Let’s empower them to get a better understanding of the world around them, to ‘write’ their own life stories without someone else holding the pen, to be happy. However let’s not empower them to display the nasty side of human nature, let’s not empower them to be led by their violent biological instincts, let’s not empower them to be cruel to other human beings on this planet. A few examples of the results of such ‘negative’ empowerment can be found in Theodore Dalrymple’s writings . BroadBlogs provides a more recent example of such ‘negative’ empowerment or abuse of personal ‘freedom’ and ‘freedom of speech’ granted to people in Western societies.

Let’s also remember that men need positive empowerment as much as women. Let’s stop generalising and judging all men by some nasty examples that appear on the front pages of the newspaper or feature in the historical books. Unfortunately, men got a bad reputation in history as only powerful men usually get depicted in the history books. And powerful men are usually the nastiest ones. As the results, there are lots of prejudices against men in this world which make their life a real hell.

Let’s stop fighting misandry by spreading misogyny and let’s stop fighting misogyny by spreading misandry. Instead let’s empower both women and men to have a happy, fulfilling life journey caring about each other.

merging_gender