Thursday, June 4, 2009

Eureka Moment #3

Recently I realized how I act when I feel pressured by someone in conversation to respond a certain way. I was conversing with a possible roommate about when he could visit my house. He wanted to see the apartment when he was available, as any person would want to, which was this week. I knew I really had little to no free time this week, along with a couple of other deterrents to keep me from showing him my place. However, because he was persistent, and a bit pushy, I easily caved and said that I would meet with him soon. I believe many women may communicate similarly in which they do whatever they can to preserve the peace in conversations, as well as to keep the other party happy and content while sacrificing their needs. I realize sometimes I value being nice over being honest and doing what is best for myself. Women are taught, since birth, to be sweet, gentle, loving, and to not create conflict. By calling a girl "precious", "sugar", and other names we could unconsciously make her believe that she needs to act "perfect" in order to receive compliments, or being "nice" makes her a good person. This fact was also apparent in a radio show that I listened to while in the car. The announcer was talking about a female artist named Jas Stone. The female announcer said that this artist "used to be such a nice girl" and that the artist's new push away from her recording label somehow took away from her nice demeanor. The radio announcer then went on to talk about another artist, Bruce Springsteen, and described him using stronger words such as "Bruce and his rocking music" and did not reveal details about his character. This is because society believes that it is more important for a woman to be nice, and a guy to be strong and/or cool. I was outraged at how this female artist was being depicted, simply because she was showing assertion. Through these realizations, I decided to call the possible renter back, and better express my needs. Next time I will be more aware of the "nice girl" stereotype, and I will work harder to defy it.

1 comment:

  1. Maria,

    It is amazing how when we are more aware, we realize that we are constantly being bombarded by negative portrayals of women. I can totally identify with your experience, but I am a man – so am I being feminine or is this more about personality than it is about gender? Here is my point, like you I almost always put others needs over my own. I am a “people pleaser” almost to a fault, and I will admit that a lot of it stems from my own insecurities and the insatiable desire to be liked – no matter what. This started very early in my life, growing up as a bi-racial child and never really being accepted by anyone (blacks or whites) and my entire purpose became one of making sure you liked me and that you thought that I was a “nice guy”. So for me it wasn’t about society’s view of how I should act, but more about being validated and accepted. What was the outcome of your call with the renter? Did you detect any animosity from him indicating that you were not “acting like a girl” by being a little more assertive and taking a little control? Thanks for sharing this, I too need to start putting myself on the top of the list (right now just making the list would be a good start!).