I am a die-hard feminist. A “grew up with the Spice Girls – GIRL POWER,” fight for equal pay, women control their own bodies, pink-hat wearing feminist. But I have a confession – I’m not sure I’m a very good feminist at all.
I’m a woman working in a male dominated industry and there have been times in my career and my life that I’ve used my femininity to my advantage. Here’s a short confessional of the things that I’ve done…
(1) Worn high heels to an interview because I know they make my butt look extra perky
(2) Shown a hint of cleavage in a meeting when trying to close a deal
(3) Used the knowledge that I’m the token woman in a room to my advantage by intentionally standing out more than I normally would
(4) Laughed coquettishly at jokes that weren’t the least bit funny
(5) Used the kind of perfume that sets off just the right combination of pheromones
(6) Batted my eyes at a man to get him to do something menial that I really didn’t want to do
(7) Pretended to not know how to do something characterized as masculine even though I’m completely capable of doing it myself
(8) Made the man drive on work road trips because “I have a terrible sense of direction”
(9) Placed my boobs strategically on the bar to get a drink faster from a male bartender
(10) Played the “You have to explain this to me again” card on something technical just so I could poke holes in a man’s theory but do it in a way that didn’t damage his fragile ego, or make me sound “bitchy”
I’ve done all of these things, and I’m not proud, but I’m not sure that I wouldn’t do them again. It’s hard being a woman in a male-dominated industry – I have to be smarter and more prepared than my male counterparts just to make myself heard. So if I use my femininity to gain a slight edge, does that make me a bad feminist?
“She Speaks” is an anonymous blog series that allows women to share their stories without revealing their identity. It is designed to make sure that all women’s voices are being heard and is not a forum for passive aggressive bullying or anonymous bashing, of a person, group or company. If you want to submit a post to She Speaks, email firstname.lastname@example.org.