I was sitting and thinking recently about when I was in the work force in the 90s, many of the older men in a world of construction were supportive of women. The men that were supportive were the ones with daughters who were struggling to find their way in the world. The men that drove me crazy either had boys or no children at all. They were less than supportive and their idea of helping a gal was buying her dinner and possibly schooling her in bed. I was lucky to have a Christian boss that believe us gals could do anything the guys could with proper education and determination. He didn’t tolerate harassment and it was immediate dismissal.
Then there were the middle aged men who were still finding their own way in the world. They had families to support and most had wives at home or working part time jobs. Many of these women were educated but never used their degree. I grew up with some of these men’s children and it was difficult for me to see them at the same level as myself, but I learned from them. I learned that the world was changing and they were struggling to keep up with women in the work force. Women, in their eyes were taking many of the sustained living jobs that men had previously held. One man once told me that change was coming to the world and that the man’s place as provider was being eliminated.
Fast forward 25 years, most of those men have passed or retired. Many who helped teach me and shape my perspective on business. Men who KNEW that women have choices. I’m not talking pro life choices, I’m talking pro family or pro work force choices. My boss was fully supportive when I decided to give up a 60 hour a week job to care for my family. After my 6 weeks of maternity leave, I looked into my tiny daughter’s face and I couldn’t leave her at a day care.
With the #MeToo movement going full speed ahead there are stories of sexual abuse, abuse of power, and the new one dangling the carrot of what you want in front of you with the idea you’ll get the prize. Men are trying to control how far, how well, and how much we will be because they don’t know how to work with us instead of against, and for us. Work against us because they want to keep their stature and position. For us because they want the cute little wife, with a perfect house, and children. They also want to keep their virility, their youth, and their ego.
As women, I think we can help men evolve, we need to teach them that what was accepted 25 years ago and longer wasn’t right and how to move forward. We need to teach men how to treat us. Not every many has grown up knowing that we are the stronger sex and why. They are jealous of all of the choices we have and make. Where do we start? With our own sons!