Today and on Friday I was incredibly frustrated with my job. I know we all have these moments and they will eventually pass because well work is work and I have to do it everyday. However, a very profound event happened which I realized not only am I hitting a glass ceiling currently, but I am also in a glass box. I happen to work in a very male dominated industry so I understood full and well what I was probably going to face with regards to "climbing" this corporation's ladder. I have been given some incredible opportunities, I have taken on some amazing projects, and been given a lot of responsibility, but I have also been tossed in the fire with the hopes I don't get burned too badly, I have been put up for failure by colleagues, and I have been asked to sink or swim with all of these I have tried to push through and be as successful as I can. Let me say I have made plenty of mistakes and had to ask for redos, had to confess what happened, and faced the boss. But I always thought if I played my cards right and continued to perform above and beyond that I would be able to move up. That theory for me has worked fairly well. I traveled when asked, I worked late when expected and when not expected, and volunteered to take on just about any project.
And yes there were several times I hit the glass ceiling really hard that it hurt mostly internally, but the pain was real. However, today as I was working and competing in the professional "rat race" I realized that as a young woman I am also in a glass box. Everything about my outward appearance is also being judged by my bosses and colleagues. My male counterparts I don't believe feel this same, will call it, gawking. As women in the office we gossip about each others outfits, weight, hair styles, etc. Men on the other hand look at our bodies, the shape, the "assets", our age, well everything with our outward appearance. I was disgusted maybe even a bit humiliated as I was stared at from my neck down. It was a lingering look that unfortunately happens all to often. But it got me thinking...does this play some role in deciding if I should be promoted as well? Unfortunately, I do believe that women are not only fighting the glass ceiling (which yes thank you to all the women before me who have fought tirelessly has moved up) but also a glass box.
I am curious what do you think?
Media, TV Shows, Movies, Music, etc. is saying that women are to be sexual beings that femininity is wrapped up in our promiscuity, our secret flirty glances, in our feminine sway as we walk past, in the flip of our hair, and in the tight little outfits we wear (well tight little outfits is not in my wardrobe for other reasons...). How many times do you watch a powerful woman in a movie or TV show come in wearing her tailored suit with a slit up the leg and a low cut top or jacket? As she sashays in with her stiletto heals. She may sit on the desk and cross her legs bearing a bit of high thigh which of course catches every male subject in the room or she slowly walks past as the cameras do a shot front and back from head to toe lingering on what are deemed her best features. The reactions show she is powerful, but why is she powerful? Do we see any degrees, certificates, and/or awards hanging on the walls to speak of her educational accomplishments? Not normally. Do we hear of her rise to the top through internships, crappy positions, middle management, sometimes, but then there is the office rumor of she probably slept with so and so...The message is clear this successful, powerful, "media woman" made it to the top by showing herself worthy in the glass box for all to judge, gawk and lust after. This is the role model for today's young women. No wonder they are confused about what is beautiful, what is sexy, and what is feminine.
What do you think?