FEMININITY in the business world (Part 2) by Paola Gobina
In the next phase, you have to be ACCEPTED. It is very rare to find a man who has to introduce himself as “a man in business” yet, very current with women. Back in secondary school, our teacher once asked us to create a business in groups of five. The groups were formed out of reshuffling the class list and I found myself to be the only girl in the group where I belonged. It was one of the most infuriating experiences I ever had especially when I would give up a great idea but it would only be cheered when, Fouda, one of the group members repeated it. He was speedily made the group leader and was awarded extra marks at the end of the session for his involvement and “his” prodigious concepts. Heavens know it took phenomenal efforts for me not to burst out of indignation in front of the class. I went back home that day completely disorientated and finally blamed it on the probable fact that I had hitches in appropriately expressing my ideas. Maybe he just used better words which helped him get my ideas across better than I did. Today again, I am exposed to the same difficulties but I have refused to keep up with the thoughts that it is a problem of misunderstanding. I have a better lexica and my communication skills are more sophisticated than they were years back. Is it that it is still difficult to accept that a woman can be intelligent? Probably. That is if we were still early men! How often do you hear rumours of an actor having sex with a director to get a role? Or of male secretary to have his job, least again just a male secretary? Very rarely I presume. This is probably because the woman is still more accepted for her physique than for her skills and visions.
The last phase I will comment on is that of the implausible supremacy. Making it to the top today as a woman is hard, definitely, but it doesn’t surprise people as much as it did in the past. What surprises people is if she ever gets genuine respect from her male subordinates without her having “the iron fist”. Generally, they expect the “feminine touch” and if she ever makes the mistake to bring it in, she will be eaten raw! Hence, she has to smile less, be strict on sanctions, look meaner than before and as serious as a heart attack, just to be respected enough. Consequently, she becomes an “evil” woman, as my Cameroonian brothers will say and illegible for marriage if not the case yet. Truth be told, if it were to be a man in her shoes, he would just be…honest and conventional. I was once there, the day I was appointed class prefect in form 2. It may appear to be nothing today but it was a big deal for students back then. I was as strict as my male counterpart when it came to sanctions and writing the name of noise makers, as serious as him and as devoted as him too. Nevertheless I was called “wicked” and him, just square… (To be continued…)
Part 3 comes up shortly follow blog for more
Meanwhile you can check out this amazing video to digest your thoughts || https://youtu.be/kuLSwfh2fEQ