Today is International Women’s Day. 👩❤️
As a young man, I didn’t get feminism. I wasn’t against it in any way, I just didn’t see the need for it. I was raised by the Spice Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and always admired strong, confident women so in my eyes men and women, girls and boys were 100% equal.
In my twenties, I worked for a number of years in an office of 20 women, and I was the only man. I was also an administrator so I was pretty far down the hierarchy yet I started noticing that certain people (i.e. men) would only come to me with their queries. They would bypass women who were more knowledgeable, qualified and who actually held some authority to come to me.
Then as we got closer as a team, the women started to share their experiences. Stories like going to meetings and having to deal with comments on their appearance, being called “the nice young lady” in a condescending way, assuming women only work as a hobby while the men earn the big bucks! I’m just scratching the surface of some of the stories they told me.
I grew up assuming sexism was something from a bygone era but I couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t understand the reasons why they held these views or acted the way they did and that’s a whole other issue, but writing off an entire gender because of baseless and bizarre preconceived notions always baffled me.
And what I hate most is how these interactions with men seep into women’s belief systems, knock their confidence and stop them for doing things men wouldn’t think twice about doing. Women who won’t put themselves up for jobs because they undervalue their skills, mums who feel guilty working and providing for their families, women who struggle with stress and anxiety trying to balance all the expectations placed upon them. Women are bloody brilliant and this negativity and low self-esteem needs to stop poisoning their potential.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is Balance for Better and I like to think at Spiffy we do our part. Even though we’re two men running our shop, nearly everyone of independent suppliers are women-owned businesses. In fact, I can only think of one which is owned by a man! The talents, knowledge and experience that women bring to the world goes so massively underrated.
The women we have in our lives never fail to inspire us with their hard work, empathy and support and we are proud to call them friends and family. Hopefully as we all learn and grow, society will fully value and appreciate all the amazing things women bring to this world and we’ll finally reach a place of equality that we so desperately need to get to.
And to all fantastic women who follow us, don’t ever let yourself believe you’re worth less than anyone, man or otherwise, because you’re bloody brilliant and deserve all the good things in the world. ❤️