This topic comes up in my life regularly. This topic is discussed at least weekly in our Soulcraft Cohort, as well as at school, and on twitter. And as I continue to grow older, I see it more and more.
Our culture simply does not "allow" women to hold the same stature or status as men.
I'm not talking about the paycheck. We all know that women make less than men for the same jobs, right? I see the headlines and I shake my head. "Not in my world," I usually mumble to myself. I would never put up with that.
But isn't that exactly what we put up with?
You speak up too much as a woman and you're labeled. Bossy. Pushy. Not flexible enough. Can't work with others. Bitch.
So, because I advocate for what I believe is right, I suddenly don't play well with others? I know a few people who would disagree.
Because I advocate and get what my students need, I'm pushy. I'm bossy. I've overstepped. I know a few parents of kids with special needs who would disagree.
But, the boys can fix the computers. The men can do the tech job. The new man in the corner office who has never even been to my school can now block my access to the iTunes Store even though I will use my own money on my own account.
A #soulco friend told me that she was approached by a male colleague after speaking up at a staff meeting. Isn't she worried how she'll be viewed in the district? Isn't she concerned about her reputation? What about her credibility? he implied through his callous comments.
This past week, there was a technology conference run through WVIZ. I looked through the pictures because some of my friends and members of my PLN would be there. Sean, our soulco co-founder did the keynote and I heard he killed it. Check him out at @mrwheeler and @teachinghumans. Did he deserve to be the keynote speaker? Hell yes.
Could his wife and her co-teacher also have rocked as presenters? Yep.
I noticed some of my other colleagues then, both as presenters and as attendees. All men. Did they deserve to be there? Are they hard working and ambitious? Hell yes.
But aren't there also some hard working and ambitious females in the field of ed tech, progressive learning and teaching, in education?!?!
The truth is, there are. But some have been silenced. Some have to jump through too many hoops. Some are so concerned about making sure that that kid in their class gets to eat breakfast when he gets there that they don't have the time or energy to be a leader in the field. Some are focused on school, work, AND their own kids. Some simply don't want to...
But shouldn't we at least have an equal opportunity?
My work at Soulcraft these past 10 weeks has been consistently eye opening. I'm learning about myself, my perceptions, my learning style, and the Maker movement while applying all of it to what I can do better for kids.
Why is that marginalized?
Why is it not enough?
Since when is it wrong to do what's right and speak up?
In my world, it's not.
"You appear to be more of an advocate for the parents than for the district," I heard loudly last school year. "No," I thought, "I'm an advocate for kids."
I'm not bossy. Or pushy. Or loud mouthed. Or difficult. Or a bitch.
Because if a man did the same things, he be lauded and applauded.
In fact, he is. Daily.
While I continue to search for those like me...
At places like Soulcraft...
Where it's okay to be a woman in a "traditionally male" universe.
Did you hear that Barbie can't even restart her own computer now?
As my friend @stacyhaw said "Women aren't big in the education field... Oh wait."
Who can you name that could become a teacher leader or education leader? Go.
Here's the start of my list: