SUGGESTIONS FOR THE NEW CENTURY – Take it, Leave it, Add to it… but do something different[1].

  1. No high heels. I’m serious. Throw out those three to six-inch pumps now. Ask any podiatrist.
  2. Vote for every other candidate because they are a woman. We’ll call it Voter’s Affirmative Action. We can revisit the practice in 10 years when women are at least 45% of the House and Senate.
  3. Lose the low-cut blouses and tight spandex clothing. Send a message to the clothing manufacturers. We will not put our bits on display any longer.[2]
  4. Play sports. Not softball or volleyball. I mean REAL sports. Baseball, basketball, hell, if you’re a big girl, go ahead and play football. If you are a pre-teen, teen, or early twenties? Take up skateboarding and dirt-biking, heck even boxing and kick-boxing classes will do (as long as they allow sparring!). GET TOUGH. Learn how to take a hit, and give one[3]. Believe it or not, these will teach you those necessary skills you will need later, in your 30’s, when you’re up against some alpha-male at a board meeting.
  5. STOP bad-mouthing each other. I’m serious. Quit the cat-fighting. We need to join forces. Don’t knock a sister down (unless you’re going for the same job). Don’t leave a sister behind. ALWAYS, always, criticize ACTIONS. Not personhood. No straw-woman[4] allowed. And, if, heaven-forbid, you are WRONG? Or make a mistake? Acknowledge it. Apologize. Make-it-Right. There’s dignity in acknowledging it… but NEVER, EVER, feel BAD ABOUT IT. EVERYONE SCREWS UP. Learn from it. MOVE ON.
  6. Learn to separate your-SELF from your-ACTIONS. You are what you do… but what you do is not YOU. Stop wearing your ego on your sleeve. Learn to take criticism without getting personally offended. Sometimes, it IS just business.
  7. TAKE UP FOR YOURSELF. If someone speaks a random micro-aggression? Even if it’s another woman? CALL THEM OUT. Assertive + female ≠ Bitch. It equals ASSERTIVE. Just like the assumed formulae, no matter WHAT the situation is always as such: Male = Assertive. Because really, in truth? Assertive = ASSERTIVE. Period.
  8. IGNORE the haters. If you manage the situation, delegate job duties, and get the job done? Accept that not everyone will like you. Though many things SEEM like a popularity contest… my suggestion? Go for the long haul. Be true. Choose the RIGHT path. Make enemies when you have to… and keep them closer. They may end up being your best friend later. Oh, and remember the late-night-at-the-pub, drunk-guy-argument -rule. When the air from the almost-brawl has cleared… OFFER TO BUY THEM A BEER. (Or chocolate. I will always appreciate chocolate, they will too…[5])
  9. REMEMBER: Gender DOES NOT exist. Gender is an abstract, societal construct. Don’t believe the media marketing frenzy. The manufacturers are just afraid they’ll have to start charging women’s products the same as men’s (aka CHEAPER).
  10. TALK ABOUT POLITICS. With each other, with your significant other… with co-workers (where appropriate). Keep it calm, cool, and learn to recognize a ‘rail-road’ argument. When you hear the train whistle of non-agreement? It’s okay to say, “Fine, I forgive you, let’s talk about something else…” But… for the love of GOD, please TALK about it. Say your piece of mind, even if it is contrary. Then smile and move on…
  11. Mentor a girl. Be a shining example of assertiveness, astuteness, dignity, and self-respect. Along with that? Support girls wherever they need it, even if it’s a smile and wave as they pass you on a skateboard.

[1] The definition of insanity? Doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting different results. You cannot keep expecting men to accept us as equals if we keep making ourselves unequal.

[2] If we want to be taken seriously, we have to first take ourselves seriously. Looking nice, and showing cleavage ARE TWO DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS. Stop the madness now. If heterosexual men start wearing hot-pants and serving coffee at the board meeting… we can revisit this one.

[3] My personal opinion? There’s more wisdom in learning to take a hit, than hitting will EVER, ever teach you. BUT… you should learn BOTH.

[4] “Straw man” – one of the 13 fallacies for debate. Attacking the person rather than the idea. Bad, bad logic. Don’t do it. Plus, it’s just ass-holish.

[5] I have a theory. We’ll call it THE CHOCOLATE THEORY. “If everyone gave gifts of chocolate to their enemies… THERE WOULD BE NO WARS.”