“Women need more Appreciation and Respect” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Is it just me, or does this happen to women alot?  Women who are assertive, confident, direct, honest, independent, educated, and who may be single, divorced, and/or widowed are unappreciated and not respected by many men.  Not only are such women unappreciated and not respected by men, but also by other women and the greater society, and others may feel very threatened by their confidence and assertiveness – and blame the women for it due to their own discomfort!  What is it about us?  What is it that people dislike?

I’m not a person who asks for or tends to “need” alot from others.  I try to “handle” and cope with the majority of situations and experiences that I have independently.  I’m not a gossip, though when something is going wrong and could be improved or enhanced, I speak up, making myself and my views known.  What I find is that, for the most part, most people just don’t care.  In fact, I often find that the more I speak up, the worse the situation gets.

Why is that?  Do most people believe that they have enough of their own life situations to deal with?  Do they feel that there is no need to invest anything, emotionally, into someone else’s difficulties, challenges, struggles, or troubles?  Are people afraid to get involved?  Or, is it that they really, simply just don’t care?

It would be interesting to me if a study was performed to research all of these attributes and characteristics of women, and the manner in which men, other women, and even the greater society views and/or treats us.  It would also be interesting to me to ascertain whether or not there are differences in such perspectives and treatment of women across different regions of the country – such as in the north, south, east, and west – in the United States. 

The South is known as the Stroke Belt.  Of course, there are studies that have been completed about why this is so.  I would like to offer my own simple analysis, not based on any research, but based on my own observations and experiences. 

It seems to me that women in the South are often not allowed to be themselves.  In order to be fully accepted into Southern society, women are subtly and silently “required” to speak and behave more like men, be supportive cheerleaders of men, be agreeable and not ask any questions of men, and be submissive to and/or dependent on men.  Additionally, women in the South are required to do all of these things while also remaining “beautiful,” appearing young, and being a great physical, mental, and emotional condition.  Any women who does not seem to “meet” those requirements is not part of the “in” and/or “accepted” crowd.

Perhaps unknowingly, women in other parts of the country do the same, to a certain extent.  Women unconsciously “conform” ourselves to fit in and be more socially acceptable.  How many women do you know believe they have to drink with their boyfriend and/or his buddies at sports games in order to fit in and be acceptable?  How many women do you know pile on the make-up, and spend loads of money for hair and nail treatments, thinking that this makes them more attractive?  How many women do you see at your workplace who are especially kind and friendly to the boss, seeking more favor?

It is not easy to be a woman in today’s society.  Women are “required” to do, say, and “be” so many things, to serve in so many roles.  And, in all this, women are also expected not to become upset, not to complain, not to vent, not to become emotional.  We are expected to be able to handle it all!  Certainly, some of us can be considered superwomen, but after awhile, the stresses, pressures, expectations, and requirements take their toll.  Stroke, cancer, heart disease, and other conditions and/or ailments are a result of the constant, unceasing expectations and requirements that society places upon us. 

Therefore, women need more appreciation and respect in our society – in our families, our homes, our churches, our communities, our nation, our world.  People ought to try to place themselves in another’s shoes and walk in those shoes for awhile.  Rather than overlooking, not appreciating, and not respecting each other’s experiences and who we are as individuals, people must realize that life isn’t always easy for everyone.  Their lack of appreciation, and absence of understanding and respect just makes it that much more difficult for us.  But again, do they really care? 

As a member of a particular group at my church, I was recently overlooked by the male leader of the group.  The leader is about my age, married, and has a family, though he always appeared to take a sort of “flippant” and uncaring attitude toward me.  Today, he realized that he had not included me on any of the group’s e-mails and communications for several months, and that by doing so, I was not informed of a group meeting and photo.  He apologized to me about the situation – by e-mail – though it all just brought tears to my eyes. 

Why am I the person who is regularly overlooked, unappreciated, uncared for, not respected?  Are all of my positive qualities that much of a threat to others that they consciously or unconsciously exclude me from their own thinking?  It is so disppointing and tragic to keep experiencing these types of situations over and over again.  I could change who I am, but then I wouldn’t be “me.”  Maybe most people would like me better if I was more gossipy, untruthful, and fake.  I wouldn’t be true to myself if I behaved like that.  I wonder how many people would truly be able to walk in my shoes?

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30 thoughts on ““Women need more Appreciation and Respect” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

    • Hi Belinda, Thank you, and I think you are correct. I have faced and experienced such reactions throughout my life. People often seem to be more afraid of someone who is genuinely good and kind than someone on a battlefield who is shooting at them. And, God forbid if that good and kind woman also has a sharp tongue. Men appear to be more afraid of someone like that than a war enemy who wants to take their life! What a world that we live in!

    • Hi Simone, Thanks for your comment. It doesn’t make it any easier for us to bear, though it is good to know that I’m not alone in experiencing this. My motto is “When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Take care.

  1. I think that sometimes we put to much importance in what others think of us and it stifles us and hampers us as women. Just be the person you are and those who appreciate you for your honesty and teh person you are will stay with you and those that don’t you will come to find that you don’t need them in your life.

    • Hello 30minutz, Thanks for your comment – it made me laugh! I agree with you about not needing people in our lives who do not believe and/or respect us and our honesty. Even so, however, I find that one must still interact with such people, even if it is disliked. Interestingly, I also find that people who tend to be cold, hard, insensitive, dishonest, unethical, etc. do not like to interact with, work with, associate with those who are their opposite. They tend to use whatever possible against us. Take care.

  2. Michele, it sounds like you live in the south- which means an up hill battle for any woman in all catagories, including if she is married- it makes no difference.
    You could be describing my personality in many ways, except I do not like wearing make-up so I don’t. I lived & worked in the south (deep) – midwest, rockies, NY state & northern NE- so I have wide experience or working personalities in all those areas. I am a professional that has held a variety of positions, some with extensive responsibility. I will not pander to men, or come to that anyone, nor will I tell lies to let them save face, or get away with what they should not be doing.
    I will do just about anything to benefit my patients – for example if it means improvemnts for my patients; I will let anyone take credit for my ideas or for the work I have done, as long as I get the changes made that need to be done. I know I did it, I don’t need a pat on the back- I feel if they are so ‘little’ as to need to take credit from others – so be it. I got what I wanted, so I won!
    I found the Rockies and northern NE to be somewhat better than all the other places, but much is really the same. I am 72 so I have many years of dealing with this, but I believe what my grand mother to taught me has held me in good stead, “Just know we are superior to men, they just like to think they are”. She was ahead of her time!

    • Hi Dawn, Thanks again for your comments, insights, and sharing about your experiences. It really does help to be able to relate with someone such as yourself who knows and understands these things, as well as how I feel. I think too many people feel threatened by and dislike those who are truly and genuinely good, kind, honest, ethical, etc. It is easier for most people to believe and support those who are dishonest and unethical; too many people too easily believe the false and fake things that others promote. I do my best not to buy into such garbage; I wish society would do the same.

  3. I agree, but sadly I think it is probably wishful thinking on our part. For some reason people seem to think it is easier to be nasty than nice, honest and considerate. I haven’t bent to their way & never will. It is refreshing when I find someone of like mind.

    • I agree and don’t understand why so many people behave in such mean-spirited ways toward each other. It is very hurtful and damaging. I also am appreciative of sharing with you of like mind. Take care! 🙂

  4. Michelle,
    You are recognizing that the role of women in our society has not changed as much as we might have hoped. It’s taken me many years to realize this. I, like you, have been on my own for a long time. At first, I felt much as you do- hurt and shunned- excluded from the concern of others. Now that I’m older, I have accepted the fact that being a strong, independent female has separated me from many of my peers, but I don’ t regret it any longer. I have watched how women do pander to men, and it appalls me. I have seen how younger women and some older ones have done disgusting things in order to get attention from men. Many cannot imagine life without being with someone, and they become desperate. At one time, I thought I couldn’t live alone either, but time has taught me much.
    First of all, some women make it possible for men to act as they do. Those who have no qualms about having relationships with married men, and causing marriages to break up, feel justified. The competitive nature of our society encourages such actions. The prettiest, the smartest, the best should win, right? But really, what have they won? Even if everyone followed them and did their bidding- what have they accomplished? They set high standards for looks, achievement, spirituality or whatever so that they can appear to be successful. The truth is, however, that seldom does anyone who lives by such standards (without their own internal conviction), ever feel content. That’s because the Lord has made us to be individuals and to find happiness on the path that He has created for us.
    Since we do not follow the wide path of the majority, our lives cause them to reflect on their own. It’s easier and more convenient for them to either mock us or just lose track that we are there. We, however, continue to grow stronger during this journey and soon throw off the need to have their reassurances of our worthiness. We see the world as it is, and as one of your respondents noted, it no longer matters what they do as long as we accomplish what we know in our hearts must be done. They on the other hand often are left with hands full of ashes as the high standards established in youth become impossible to achieve.
    Now I look at many of the women I know who have decided to be in relationships in a different way- especially those who have never experienced their own independence. I feel sorry for them. It’s truly sad when a person lives life through another person without ever finding out who they are and what they can do. Even women who feel that their life calling is to be a wife and mother, must feel a kind of emptiness when their children leave, their bodies become less than perfect, and their husbands become weak.
    I do believe that women deserve to be respected. I believe it happens as people see our lives over time, but I also believe it comes from within us. We need to appreciate,respect and support our own inner self in order to grow.
    I hope this helps.
    Merridy

    • Merridy,
      I appreciate your comments, insights, wisdom, and the sharing of your experiences very much. Reading your words has been very helpful to me, and has brought tears to my eyes. This is because it does hurt when I’m regularly rejected for being a good person, standing up for the right thing, putting my reputation and even my life (in certain rare situations) at risk for others and/or for the right, moral, ethical thing.
      I guess most of society believes that women really and truly should not be strong, independent, assertive, confident, or intelligent. Most of society wants us to change and “conform” to the way it wants us to be, which in many cases, is as you have described – women pandering to men, behaving in what may be unethical or immoral ways, doing whatever possible – even if it isn’t “right” – to gain men’s and/or society’s “approval” and/or “attention.”
      One can reflect upon the lives of certain politicians and their families and secret families that have been in the spotlight in the past year or so. And, not that I am perfect, but those situations provide a perfect example of how we should not act, what we should not be, how we should not behave, how we should not degrade and diminish ourselves. Yet, it often seems that much of society thrives on such immorality and unethical behavior, and in fact, yearns for more and more and more of it.
      When people do not stand up for and do the right thing, what has our world come to? Is that really what life is all about – being rejected, ostracized, outcast for being good and doing right? I think much of it boils down to the fact that people don’t really respect people, they respect lawyers. And, when it comes to that, the people who stand up for the wrong thing and who have behaved incorrectly are the ones who are left with mud on their faces, even though they try to impose it upon those who good – those who are their nemesis.
      Yet, time and time again, it is often those who are unethical, immoral, disrespectful, and/or inappreciative of others who reap the benefits and rewards in our society. They are often the ones who get ahead, get the promotions. I wonder if they will get ahead with those same behaviors in their next lifetime.

  5. This is soooo true. I guess women with such character seem a threat to society. But you know what, even if this happens to me all the time it makes me even stronger and confident in expressing my piece of mind on certain issues.

  6. Long, long ago in a galaxy far far away, Joe South wrote these still relevant lyrics to close the 60’s. It is followed by a speech written 100 years earlier that remains relevant:

    If I could be you and if you could be me for just one hour.
    If we could find a way to get inside each others mind.
    If you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego,
    I believe you’d be surprised to see that you’ve been blind.
    Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes,
    Hey, before you abuse, criticize and accuse
    Walk a mile in my shoes.

    Now your whole world you see around you is just a reflection.
    And the law of common says “you’re going to reap just what you sow.”
    So unless you’ve lived a life of total perfection
    You’d better be careful of every stone that you should throw.
    And yet we spend the day throwing’ stones at one another.
    ‘Cause I don’t think or wear my hair the same way you do;
    Well, I may be common people but I’m your brother.
    And when you strike out you’re trying’ to hurt me it’s hurting’ you
    Lord, have mercy

    And there are people on reservations and out in the ghettos
    And brother, there, but for the grace of God, go you and I,
    And if I only had wings of a little angel, well
    Don’t you know, I’d fly to the top of a mountain and then I’d cry

    Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes
    Oh, before you abuse, criticize and accuse
    Walk a mile in my shoes…
    …………………………………………………………………………
    Several ministers attended the second day of the 1863 Woman’s Rights Convention, and were not shy in voicing their opinion of man’s superiority over women. One claimed “superior intellect”, one spoke of the “manhood of Christ,” and still another referred to the “sin of our first mother.”

    Suddenly, Sojourner Truth rose from her seat in the corner of the church.
    (“For God’s sake, Mrs.Gage, don’t let her speak!” half a dozen women whispered loudly, fearing that their cause would be mixed up with Abolition).
    Sojourner walked to the podium and slowly took off her sunbonnet. Her six-foot frame towered over the audience. She began to speak in her deep, resonant voice: “Well, children, where there is so much racket, there must be something out of kilter, I think between the Negroes of the South and the women of the North – all talking about rights – the white men will be in a fix pretty soon.

    But what’s all this talking about?”

    Sojourner pointed to one of the ministers. “That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody helps me any best place. And ain’t I a woman?” Sojourner raised herself to her full height. “Look at me! Look at my arm.” She bared her right arm and flexed her powerful muscles. “I have plowed, I have planted and I have gathered into barns. And no man could head me.

    And ain’t I a woman?”

    “I could work as much, and eat as much as man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne 13 children and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain’t I a woman?”

    She pointed to another minister. “He talks about this thing in the head. What’s that they call it?” “Intellect,” whispered a woman nearby. “That’s it, honey. What’s intellect got to do with women’s rights or black folks’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half-measure full?”

    “That little man in black there! He says women can’t have as much rights as men. ‘Cause Christ wasn’t a woman. She stood with outstretched arms and eyes of fire. “Where did your Christ come from?” “Where did your Christ come from?”, she thundered again. “From God and a Woman! Man had nothing to do with him!”

    “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right-side up again. And now that they are asking to do it the men better let them.” “‘Obliged to you for hearin’ on me, and now ole Sojourner han’t got nothin’ more to say.”

    • Amen, Amen, and Amen. I could not agree more with you! The more I live, however, the more I observe and experience societal and institutional injustices, for being an outspoken, intelligent woman. It seems that the world truly cannot cope well with intelligent, outspoken women. More power to us.

  7. Michele,
    Much like we’ve discussed in the past about schools, societial framework in the South is just … different. During an interview not too long ago on a television show one of the questions to the HR person from a large company being interviewed was about accents and does a southern accent negatively affect a person’s chance at a job — and the answer was yes. Our culture, whatever it is, calll it I guess our American culture has developed in such a way that we are assigned value given our gender, ethnicity, age, etc. Of course it is not only our culture, every society has their own, but to effect a change like you describe I believe will happen. I think we are closer today than ever before. A female president would help immensely.

    • I appreciate your comments and insights, Jim. Having visited and traveled in Canada on several occasions throughout my life – and having experienced the culture there – women and “family” in general are much more valued than they are here in the US. The type of culture and society in which I feel comfortable is there, in Canada. I would like to believe that positive change of increased valuation, appreciation, respect, and equality of women will be enjoyed in the US, though I believe I view the situation here worsening. What with all the garbage that’s promoted on TV, in the media, and how women degrade themselves, incorrectly believing this makes them more desirable to the opposite sex, is deplorable. And, men, women, and society who brainwash people into believing such unethical and immoral behaviors are only contributing to diminishing the American culture. Thanks again for commenting on my blog. As you can see, I am quite discouraged about how women – and specifically myself – are viewed and treated – and mistreated.

  8. Michele! One wonders how a person like you can be overlooked and disrespected. You seem to be a very sweet person. It is not that people dislike others. In fact they have their priorities. There was a time when men use to wear two or three sober colours. A woman was always properly dressed and you could never see her without stockings but today many women have preferred to be a commodity or a disposable item and they love being treated so. You are different…. I am sorry you are not different but they are different. You are on the right path but…. There is a big but. I will ask you how many people were loyal to Jesus (Hazrat Eassa Alhe Salam) during his presence in this world. No, doubt his own disciples betrayed him. So you are but only a human being…. You must not expect much from others but keep on doing all the good things you had have being doing.
    Being also a social worker, I learnt the power of “WE”. Do try that. Whenever you confront such men or women always use “we” in your conversation. Even if you have done something independently…. Say we have done it and so on. I promise you will find change in the attitudes of others. May Almighty Allah bless you the wisdom to differentiate between what is in our hands and where we are helpless. Indeed we can move the mountains, if we are blessed ones.

    • Afshain, Thanks for your comments and insights that are filled with such wisdom. Yes, you are correct in that people take more stock and invest more effort and emotion into something if the word “we” is used. However, I often find that when I do that, people feel threatened by it, whether it is due to my genuineness, intellect, confidence, etc., I don’t know. Often I find that the thing is…I am so genuine, kind, warm, giving, caring, confident, assertive, etc. that people have difficulty believing and accepting that I am genuinely and truly that way. I have experienced this from so many people throughout my life. Does that mean that most people are more comfortable with those who are fake, false, and not genuine? Sadly, I think so. Too many people prefer to believe the lies rather than the truth, even if the truth is something they don’t want to hear or don’t like. I would rather do research and discover through my own investigations the truth about matters than be led along by untruths as so many people appear to be comfortable with. Too many people have their own selfish needs in mind. More people must try to place themselves in others’ shoes and feel what others think and feel. Take care.

  9. Michele! You have written “I am so genuine, kind, warm, giving, caring, confident, assertive, etc.” You might be right in your view that you are full of qualities but try to tell people when they remind you of your qualities that this is what you think otherwise I am nothing. This will give other person a chance to work with you under his/her limited capacity and qualities. Always remember in our noble work we should work as team. We have to include even the rejected lot, the incapable and inefficient. I tell one thing which I consider as most important; God likes people who are submissive while arrogance is something that Allah never forgives. I admire all your positive qualities but you are going to loose your power which you have attained over the period of time if you continue rejecting people after comparing with your strong qualities.

    I read this quote somewhere which I must share with you, “One day at a time -this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.” God bless you (Amen).

    • Afshain, I appreciate your comments. You have often commented on certain posts I have made, particularly in LinkedIn, and though we share some commonly-held beliefs and values, for the most part, your views are very opposite of mine. This is another example as I believe you misunderstand or misinterpret my words and explanation. Your understanding really is very much opposite of what I am conveying. My meaning in making the statement that you quoted is to reflect that people often reject ME because of the qualities I identified. Not that I reject others – no, quite the opposite – they reject me BECAUSE of those qualities. I expect that if you were around me and knew me, personally, you would see this for yourself. And, also quite the opposite again, I do not tell people about such qualities, they are naturally and intrinsically present within me. Again, it is often those who are threatened by such qualities that I identified who reject me, due to their own insecurities or lack of valuing the same qualities in themselves or others. As for being submissive, I am quite assertive; if I was submissive, I’d probably be dead or spiritually destroyed by now since that is not my true nature. Your comments are interesting, but, overall, they are a complete reversal of what I have been taught and what I believe. Our different religions, cultures, and societies are also reflective of that. I believe that if I believe what you believe, I would truly be nothing and it would be completely regressive for me and for other American women. Also, my god is a forgiving God as He knows, understands, and expects people to be imperfect. In being human, this comes with our nature. Again, our beliefs and values diverge. With you, I respectfully agree to disagree.

  10. Michele, I have not misunderstood you. I know what exactly you said. But the point is that we often forget that in a four horse driven buggy only front two are pulling the load but all the horses run together. Everyone say that we have the best horses. If someone says we have best two front horses it would not be untrue but seems undesirable. In fact where we will be praising our front horses… at the same time we would be criticizing rear horses. In this world as you have rightly pointed out that good & bad people live together and God will forgive all of us if we seek pardon from the inner core of our hearts.
    The fact remains, we have opportunists & rivals and critics and jealous feeler and so on. To lead a happy and purposeful life one need to ignore them and do the best one can do and accomplish. In fact what I suggested was that your kind of woman of qualities, as you also claim, should not expose her qualities proactively and probably this reason why people with moderate qualities feel threatened.
    I believe there are no religions, cultures, and societies involved between us. As regard to American women is concerned they are second to none. Probably they are one of the best. Religion, culture, and society only change our outer appearances but from inside human emotions, feeling and attitudes are the same. If we listen to each other and remain through in communication this gap would be automatically reduced, if not completely eliminated. It was nice to be on your blog. “No more comments from my side”

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