Today I came across this article and it got me thinking.
Over the years, I often heard my mother speak about ‘feeling invisible’. Of course, what she meant was that when you reach a certain age – people stop ‘seeing’ you. You become that older ‘person’ that is past there prime and no longer a head turner or someone to be noticed.
In my 20’s, I couldn’t really understand the concept. In my 30’s, I kind of could but thought that if you’re in a committed, loving relationship why would I care who else looks at me? Now that I am in my 50’s, I am pleased to say that I still don’t care whether I am invisible to those that I don’t know or care what they do or don’t think of me. I’m loving being in a place where such things don’t matter.
But, clearly I am in the minority as I did a bit more looking around and found tonnes of articles about ‘Women over 50’. Why not men over 50?
Knowing What’s Important?
I am the first to acknowledge the glass ceilings and sexual bias that is in the workplace. Any woman that works has seen it. It doesn’t matter if that is in corporate offices or women building houses. It is all the same. There will always be a gender bias whilst there are men and women on the planet.
Admittedly (for most people) the divide isn’t as big as it used to be. More and more women are taking their spots in the Boardroom and doing better than a lot of other men in the workplace. I’m proud to say that in a lot of cases we are showing men up – in a good way. Taking our power back.
But, then I read articles like this about how we’re (women) not invisible and am reminded about how much and how often the smallest slights hold women back. In a lot of cases, stopping women from using their voice to find their place!
I know that it sounds like I’m mad. But I’m not. I’m not even sad about it. But I do acknowledge it.
I acknowledge that there is still a lot of sexual discrimination in the world with women taking the brunt of the negative side affects. All of us women should stand up to protect each other when we see it (and should but usually don’t) but we can also choose a different path.
I may not be sad or mad but I am also choosing how I react to this over 50 bullocks. I’m choosing to focus on what’s important. And that’s living my life my way and not getting dragged down or aged before my time because the media or society decrees it’s a ‘thing’.
Having The Confidence To Shine At Any Age!
Unlike my 20’s, in my 50’s I am more confident, bolder, less likely to take shit, more financially secure, more in control of my life and how I choose to feel – not all the time but far from my self indulgent 20’s! It would have been nice to feel like this my whole life but the truth is – most of us never achieve that. We spend our whole lives trying to find that missing piece or trying to be someone we’re not.
My plan is to make sure that I spend the rest of my life shining – irrespective of what my age is! I don’t believe that the opinion of others or social barriers placed on our societies (and ourselves subconsciously or otherwise) have any hold on me.
There is no doubt that one of my main drivers to escape the corporate world was because of glass ceilings and men thinking that they can do a better job simply because they are men. But, I have to say that these days – women can be just as bad. Some women in the workplace have decided it’s a good idea to emulate the behaviours of men. But, how does that benefit the global consciousness or anyone for that matter? Trying to be more masculine because it seems to be the way to get ahead is as inauthentic as it gets and harmful to self.
I spend more time online now than I ever have. I read, listen to audios, belong to forums, belong to groups and participate in a lot of group training. It’s scary how there seems to be a common theme. Women having to support other women (and ourselves) to use our voices more. To be all that we were meant to be.
There is no denying that most of us (in this generation) have been conditioned (to a degree) to kow tow to men. Conditioned to believe that we are invisible when we get to a certain age. That our opinion doesn’t count. But, it’s all BRULE’s!
BRULE’s – Bullshit Rule’s
Vishen Lakhiani – Code of the Extraordinary Mind
See the Brules article here.Vishen Lakhiani – Code of the Extraordinary Mind
It’s time to stop copying the behaviours of men (or anyone else for that matter) and use our own voices to be authentic and be vulnerable when we need to be – without fear.
Don’t Get Me Wrong. I Love Men!
Seriously. I don’t want to be seen as that man hating liberalist female that refuses to shave my armpits or step through doors when a man opens it for me. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s not for me.
Men are awesome and have held a very strong and valuable place in our lives, in our societies – building our cities, staving off invaders, hunting and gathering, helping to care for our families – being great men!
The stereotypical qualities of men have been needed. Men (and women) have needed these qualities to survive. I’m just not sure that we should try to be more like the ‘stereotypical’ men. There’s a reason we are different and women will shine the brightest when we do it our way.
Maybe, we just need to try and rub off on the stereotypical men folk a bit more, lead more and voice more.
Lead by doing and being vulnerable. Let the world know it’s safe.
I follow so many great men and women online as I am sure everyone does. But, as in everything there are stereotypical men and stereotypical women that will fight hard to keep the status quo because they don’t know any other way.
We in the know need to step up. We need to find a balance as our most authentic selves. Stop competing and realise that we can all choose the path we want to be on.
No more glass ceilings, sexist jokes or barriers for me!