Posts Tagged With: women

Life As A Decoration


I recently attended an informative and deeply inspiring (read: long) industry conference in Anaheim with my wife. It was held in one of the second-floor ballrooms at the Anaheim Hilton, a hop, skip, and a jump from Disneyland’s front door. There was Magic Kingdom spill over into all of the surrounding stores and buildings that made the whole place feel like an extension of Main Street USA. It’s one of those places where everything feels like a souvenir. 🙂

Anyway, after snaking our way into the parking structure (a process that added at least a good 20 minutes to our overall travel time), we found a parking space and headed toward the venue. We arrived late (because of the crazy parking) and managed to grab a seat in the 5th row from the back. It was a great turn out. All together there were about 350 attendees, with a majority coming from various parts in and around L.A. County, along with a good contingent from Las Vegas I believe, and then a smattering from locations other than the West Coast.

Throughout the program, which lasted from about 8am to 4pm (or as the homeschoolers might call it, first subject to second snack), there were multiple speakers who took to the stage to regale us with their personal stories of triumph over circumstance, the virtues of perseverance, and general advice and suggestions on how to obtain success. All while juggling chainsaws and baking cookies. (Ha! Not really, but it feels like that sometimes.)

In usual fashion, each speaker was given a brief introduction to the audience so that we would have a better understanding of who they were, and would appreciate the experience or level of expertise from which they would be speaking. But in all of what has become very typical of these types of events, there was something that REALLY stood out to me… glaring gender disparity.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not the guy that goes looking for “issues” to champion, or conjures up faux social injustices to expose. But this just sort of nagged at me throughout the day. The part that really puzzled me wasn’t the fact that the disparity was so obvious (at least to me), but that so many people seemed to be completely oblivious to it, or at least indifferent toward it.

Let me explain…

One introduction went something like this, “Mr. such and such is an amazing individual who did X, Y and Z! In addition to being wildly successful, he’s also friendly, humble, and a real go-getter! He lives in a beautiful house in such and such city, has X amount of children, AND AN ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL WIFE. I MEAN, SHE IS DROP DEAD GORGEOUS!

To be fair, in and of itself, there was nothing wrong with that statement. This person was simply offering a compliment to the speaker’s spouse. But there are two very important implications that lie underneath that benign statement…

1) that there was some apparent correlation between the beauty of the speaker’s wife and his success, and,
2) that what was most important to disclose about his wife was how attractive she was.

And these become the ongoing subliminal messages we transmit…

Men, become someone so accomplished that you can snag a drop-dead gorgeous wife.
And women, the most important thing about you, 
and the only thing that anybody really cares about, is how you look.

Now, I must state that there were also several speakers who were female. But not one of their introductions included references to the attractiveness of their husbands. No one mentioned how “stunningly handsome” or “captivatingly good-looking” the men were. It was usually a reference to what he did, such as, “…and her husband is an engineer,” or “…he comes from a military background.”

In an age where being arm candy could easily be the extent of someone’s aspirations, it doesn’t surprise me that no one noticed this pattern of referring primarily to a woman’s appearance, and by contrast, mostly referring to a man’s accomplishments. It seems to happen all the time.

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Illustration by: Zohar Lazar (as it appeared in a Hollywood Reporter article dated June 19, 2015)

Next time you’re out with someone, pay attention to how other people refer to the men and women they know, or how they are introduced. There’s a good chance it’ll fall along the lines of “she’s pretty” and “he’s successful”.

I have one daughter. And it saddens me that she’s growing up in a world that constantly reinforces the idea of beauty over brains. Especially when to me, it is a person’s intelligence that really makes them attractive. So I plan to do everything I can to make sure my daughter understands that being smart isn’t a liability, and that her purpose in life is infinitely bigger than simply being a decoration.

I’m curious what other people think about this.

Do you believe gender disparity exists? And if so, what can we do to eliminate this type of default thinking?

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Categories: commentary, opinion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Anniversary Eve


Tomorrow. August 7th, my wife and I will be celebrating our 9 Year Wedding Anniversary. We dated for 3 years prior to our wedding day, which gives us a good dozen years of being together.

We were talking last night and I said, “You know babe, with everything that has happened in the last 12 years… dating, getting married, having children, buying a house, changing jobs… I can’t even remember my life before you.” The best part about this? I don’t have to. 🙂

Life With Dre

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 9 Comments

FLIRTING: Part II


This is Part II of my series on FLIRTING. To read Part I, please click HERE.

RECAP: Flirting is an art form… There are methods that resemble artistic masterpieces, and others that resemble dirty scribbles on a dinner napkin. This post will help you determine where you fit in, or even IF you fit in.

Do you flirt? Yes, you do… whether you realize it or not. For most people, flirting is autonomic. Whenever you encounter a situation that calls for motivation, influence or even manipulation of some sort, the Flirt AutoPilot takes over and off you go!

So why is it that some people are better at it than others? Let’s explore the many factors…

EXPERIENCE: As a friend once so aptly put it (and I’m paraphrasing), “The more I’m rejected, the better I become.” In essence, this means that if you never try, you’ll never succeed. Being good at flirting is something that you fine-tune over time. You find out what works for you, and you cultivate it… heavily. Some may think its silly, but people who spend time working on themselves, developing their best attributes, often see a significant increase in their success rate.

APPEARANCE: How you present yourself to others can mean the difference between success and failure. There’s an old saying that goes, “A First Impression Is A Lasting One”. You will almost ALWAYS be judged by by your first impression, no matter what you may say or do afterword. Your initial approach is a major factor. You are engaging in shameless self-promotion, so treat it as such. There are 3 KEY POINTS: 1) Wear colors that compliment your complexion… 2) Avoid clothing that emphasizes any part of your body disproportionately… and 3) Remember, “Provocative” and “Sleazy” are two VERY different things. You want to stimulate an interest, not an illness.

INTELLIGENCE: This may be a more difficult issue for some people. But for the rest of you Rhodes Scholars, read on. In addition to your outward appearance, your intelligence is also on display. Some women (and men) have pre-programmed rejection statements. You have to be prepared to offer a counter-statement, and you can’t fumble over your words. Your level of wit is closely related to your level of intelligence. Insecurities can be overcome with knowledge… knowledge of who you are… knowledge of how you look… and knowledge of what you have to offer. This goes hand-in-hand with your self-confidence.

DETERMINATION: You should never throw in the towel as soon as you experience rejection. It WILL happen. I don’t care what anybody says. Everybody, at some point in their life, will be rejected. You can be drop dead gorgeous and still get rejected. Why is this? Because the reality is that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. So you may very well be the apple of one person’s eye, while being totally repulsive to someone else. Well, maybe not that dramatic. But beauty is, and shall always be, subjective. Understand and remember what it is that makes YOU attractive. Confident people project an aura of confidence that is very appealing. A rejection is not always what it seems. Some people need to be approached more than once. Some people play mind games (another tool of some flirts, but perhaps we’ll address that in a subsequent post). Regardless, if you want something bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to make sure you get it (within reason of course… and legally, mind you).

Okay, that’s enough for now. Take this information and keep it for your records… or throw it out. 😛 But who knows… it may prove invaluable some day. 😉 Part III will probably be posted tomorrow, if I’m not at the hospital.

Categories: opinion, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pull Of The Cape


Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to be a HEROcool Not the kind of super hero who foiled the plans of criminal masterminds with my single bound tall building leaps, locomotive power and bullet speed. Not necessarily the kind of hero who safely retrieved POW’s from deep in enemy territory.

No.

I wanted to be a kind of machismo-infused hero, rescuing contemporary “damsels in distress” who, in my limited experience at the age of 16, were so often the victims of relationships gone horribly wrong. The tales I’d hear of betrayal, degradation and distress from some of my female friends angered me, but also filled me with compassion and an overwhelming desire to comfort them in some way.

So it was that I wanted to be that stand-up guy who came along and mended their broken hearts by being to them what other men could or would not. Fulfilling their unrealized expectations. I wanted to fix the traumatized emotions of all the disappointed and disillusioned women I knew.

Ha! As if that were even possible.

As you can probably surmise, this was not at ALL practical or realistic. Still, it took me a long time to realize that, though I had the best of intentions, I simply couldn’t save everyone.

Correction…

I couldn’t save anyone. bummed

Except one.

To that one, I endeavored to define a man who successfully balanced his testosterone-influenced emotions with chivalry, romance and an understanding of authority. I made a silent promise to show her what it meant to be a modern-day hero upon whom she could always rely, trust and rest her confidence. I made a similar promise to my only daughter so that winning her heart would require the power and determination that only a hero possessed.

And yet, even now I will occasionally feel the “pull of the cape” begging to be worn when I talk to my female friends who are miserable and misunderstood. I refrain because I understood a long time ago that trying to be that for more than one woman would actually mean being that for no one. What I mean is that every woman deserves the undivided attention of the man who holds their heart. My divided attention would be both hypocritical and ineffective.

So for those, I simply listen with a sympathetic ear and an encouraging smile. And hope that one day THEIR hero will appear.

Categories: personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Sniff Test and other Male Fashion Incidentals


Almost every morning when I get to work, a group of us congregate in the employee lounge as we concoct our morning potion. For some it’s coffee. For others it’s hot chocolate or tea. The conversations range from current events to family dynamics and are typically entertaining for all involved. However, I’m one of only a small handful of men in this particular office, so the conversations can sometimes take on a gender slant.

When this happens, I’m always amazed at how very different men and women are when it comes to certain discussion topics. For instance, this morning one of my female co-workers brought in a skirt (I’d tell you the color, style and cut but that would require me caring about that kind of stuff ) that she couldn’t fit and thought perhaps she could give it to one of our other female co-workers who might be able to fit in it. The conversation then turned and went into clothing sizes, body types, return policies, teen vs. adult fashion preferences, etc. I always tease them that they lose me when they start discussing clothes.

Women can go on and on about what article of clothing fit or didn’t fit and why. How many times who wore what when. And the reasonable price to pay for genuine vs. knock-offs. It’s all Greek to me. The extent of my interest in clothing is whether or not something is clean and/or ironed. I perfected the Sniff Test my first year of college. I get by having a limited amount of slacks with a small selection of button-up and polo shirts, supplemented by the occasional sweater for the colder months. About the only other thing that changes daily is the tie I might wear. I have a nice selection of gifted/inherited (because what man would ever need to buy…) ties that round out my work wardrobe.

So when the conversation shifts into clothing, that’s my cue to nod, smile, return quietly to my desk and ponder the practicality of a lint roller or that weird little fan thingamajig that people use to remove sweater fuzz.

Categories: personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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