Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Be someone I want to respect.

I am not a big fan of rude, despite the fact that some days, it seems that rude people rule the world. At some point, I thought maybe it would stop. Surely, kindness, consideration and an overall sense of justice would kick in and some kind of decency equilibrium would be restored.

Oh, silly me.

Apparently, even the mentors of the world are allowed to slap on a jersey and ball cap and coach folks into leading their lives backsides first.  The overall message of “Be a horse’s behind, like me!” is the takeaway and I just can’t be a cheerleader for that kind of behavior.  And when the Big Man on Campus makes sexist remarks on a public field? Well, I can’t sit in the stands and not say something.

So, I did.

Be someone I want to respect.  When you open your mouth?  Make me want to look up to you. Earn my respect and anyone else who can hear the sound of your voice.

There was more to that conversation, but to lay it all out on the keyboard is to throw a public figure under the bus and that was not, is not, never will be my intention. I’ve found that people will sully their own reputations eventually.  Bad behavior manages to walk its own way into a dark alley where bad things happen. I don’t need to be karma’s thug.

Words are a powerful thing and just yesterday, a lovely sensitive woman I know said, “You know that old saying about sticks and stones and words can’t hurt you? Some of my worst pain still comes from things that were said to me when I was young.”

Yup. Mightier than the sword is the pen, and the ol’ piehole is like a nuclear weapon.

When you’re young, the things that people say can affect you for a lifetime. When you have the good fortune to meet a brilliant young woman who walked away with a perfect score on her calculus test –she needs to hear how amazing her mind is, not how purty she is. When you have women in the workplace who do a good job representing your company – you need to occasionally acknowledge their efforts, not ask when they might come to the office naked.

Recently, some young men in their 20’s told me that they think it’s an ugly thing that “old guys can say whatever sexist stuff they want and it’s dismissed as old fashioned.”  No-no-no.  I swiftly and loudly corrected them. That’s not old fashioned or quaint or simply a difference in the generations: that’s rude. Unfortunately, the additional truth is that rude comes in all shapes, sizes, ages – and occupations.  Rudeness should not be excusable. It is not acceptable. And? It’s okay to say something when rudeness walks your hallways.

Casual sexism is bullying. You have permission to stand up and say something.  Do not be afraid to speak up against it, even if the guy in charge of the team behaves badly.  When all is said and done and the scores come in… everyone wins.

xo – t.

Be ready to step up and challenge your colleagues when they show sexism in the work place.” – Michael Habib, PhD

#iLookLikeAnEngineer – Isis Anchalee
hat“We can do it!” – Rosie the Riveter