Words Are Powerful
Young girls are talked to differently than young boys. Girls are told they are beautiful, and if they aren’t good at something, that is okay, that they should try something else. Boys are advised to keep on trying no matter what. Hence the saying, boys will be boys. Boys tend to learn through physical movement and pictures, while girls tend to learn through communication.
That behavior and words start in childhood, and the impact continues. I have witnessed countless men behave with swagger and confidence even when they have zero idea what they are discussing. Most women ensure they have crossed their ts and dotted their i ss before answering the question or doing the job.
I have written about this since I began writing this blog. The good news is that more women are rising to the top of their fields, men are embracing parental roles, and some even find themselves not being the primary breadwinner. Workplaces have more diversity, although plenty of work still needs to be done. When I look back at historical photos, see old movies, or read history books, there is no doubt that women’s societal roles have changed….although there is always more work to do.
I am a huge puzzle person. I do a handful of puzzles every morning before moving into my day. Recently, I was solving a New Yorker puzzle where the question was “working_.” Working what? The answer was Mom. I was a bit stunned because words do matter.
Why are working women still referred to as working moms? I have heard of working parents but not working dads. I still hear from younger moms with kids in school that there are the full-time working moms, the part-time working moms, or the moms who stay home. Why isn’t that vocabulary used to describe men?
As we start 2024, remember that society might change, but words still matter.