There are some things in this life that you won’t understand as a member of the opposite sex. A big reason men and women get into some of the biggest arguments you’ve ever heard of is because guys just don’t understand us. And face it, some men kind of suck at empathizing about things that have never actually happened to them directly.
BOOBS & BRAS
Starting off as a young girl, you worry that you are developing too early or even too late. Holy hell will break out if your boobs grow bigger than every other girl in your 5th grade class, it’s embarrassing- trust me! And I am assuming the same embarrassment if they don’t grow fast enough. From training bras to old lady bras, they are annoying. It’s always hard to find good ones that fit and when you do they never keep their shape that long. Guys will never experience the utter horror of side boob, or worse, a nip slip. And let’s not even get into under boob sweat-ugh. Dealing with boobs is something men will never understand but I know you women understand the relief of removing a bra after a long tiring day.
PERIODS, CRAMPS & PMS
This is the ultimate mystery for men. In fact, it is known that all men (if they are smart) stay far away from a woman who is PMSing. And yes, most men do their best to be considerate when asking questions, trying not to ask the wrong thing, but as soon as you start explaining to them how everything works, they start to shut down and no longer want to listen. I don’t blame them, it’s a little yucky and complicated. But just know this, “I’m fine,” it often means she’s not at all fine. Just buy her chocolate and all should be fine.
OB/GYN VISITS & CHILDBIRTH
First off, going to a gynecologist as a young woman is one of the scariest things a female will ever have to do. And it is not that it is scary at all, but more of the unknown adult world you are now officially entering.
Being pregnant is a wonderful, yet at the same time, terrifying experience. You have this human that is growing inside you. The baby moves around beating the crap out of your insides regardless of the hour of day. You now must buy maternity clothes because nothing fits you, you get pains often and worry about them constantly, your hormones and emotions are cra-cra, you crave the craziest things to eat. You start falling in love with this alien invading your body, then you remember you must push this huge object out of your vagina-greeeeat. And then you have a beautiful child and all will be forgotten, until next pregnancy.
Wearing Spanx. No explanation necessary.
Walking in heels. We must learn to walk in them. Yes, they can be as dangerous as they look. Yes, our feet hurt like hell if we wear them for more than an hour. And yes, we might even use them as weapons if the need arises. But we know we look extremely hot wearing them and that’s why we’ll never stop.
Being catcalled. Because guys think that this is a compliment, and they’d be happy to hear such things whistled from random women on the streets. Guys NEVER understand how this girl problem is just creepy.
Long bathroom lines. Women need to use bathrooms more often and for longer periods of time, there needs to be more women’s restrooms added per restroom locations. When are they going to be smart enough to figure this out?
Bathing suit season. Most women dread this part of the summer season. All women’s bodies are entirely different and shopping for a swimsuit sucks.
Waxing & Shaving. Rashes, ingrown hairs, itchy stubble, cuts. All in the pursuit of feeling and being felt silky smooth.
Putting on Makeup. Everyday Women are bombarded on every side about how they should look. Do you really think it’s possible for us to look this good all the time without putting in any effort? We go through hell. And if we go one day without makeup people ask, “are you sick?” “is everything ok?”. UGH!
Nail polish. Yes, my fingernails and toenails must match. And if they do not, I am mortified-don’t judge.
Proms & Special Occasions. Finding the right dress for a special occasion is a taxing task that requires hours and hours of shopping. And it is NOT the fun type of shopping we live for either. We also worry that another person may be wearing the same exact dress. And what if they look better!
Wage gaps. And yes, the wage gap continues. See last week’s blog.
This is just a few problems men will ever understand about being female. All we need is a little bit of understanding, a little bit of respect, a little bit of support, a little bit of love and lots of chocolate and wine, if you are of age. We are not that complicated..lol….ok, yes we are. But we are kind and lovable and never boring.
Mary Beth Iannarella
Girl Talk Marlton
Equal pay for equal work. It might sound like common sense, but unfortunately, it’s not reality. On April 4th, a day known as Equal Pay Day, people gathered in various cities to speak out against the various barriers women encounter in the workplace.
In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act (EPA) into law, making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform equal work. At the time the EPA was made a law, women earned only 59 cents to every dollar earned by men. Today, women make, on average, only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men which tells us that significant differences remain and need to be addressed. The EPA started to help move the pay gap, but a lot still needs to be done.
Women have made tremendous strides taking jobs and occupations previously held exclusively by men. But women are still segregated into minimum-wage working jobs, according to an AAUW report. Based on their analysis of Department of Education data, 40 percent of women work in historically female occupations like social work, teaching and nursing, but only five percent of men were employed in these fields as of 2013. American women who work full time all year are paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men — and for women of color, the wage gap is even larger. That is a gender wage gap of 20 percent! This means it took 44 years for the wage gap to close just 18 cents — a rate of less than half a penny a year.
On average, women receive more college and graduate degrees than men do. Yet, women continue to earn considerably less than men. The pay gap was the smallest in New York, the largest gap was in Wyoming, where women were paid 64 percent of what men were paid. The pay gap affects women from all backgrounds, at all ages, and of all levels of educational achievement. The pay gap is even worse for women of color.
In Pennsylvania, workers are on track to get the same pay for the same work in 2068. That is 51 years from now, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported. In New Jersey, equal pay is projected to happen in 2054. Overall, the U.S. is expected to have equal pay by 2059.
What can we do? Let’s help support raising the wage to promote fair pay for women. Equal pay for equal work shouldn’t be an idea. It should be reality. We need to make pay equitable. The Legislature can create paid leave and child-care policies allowing mothers to keep their jobs, avoiding long gaps in employment that drive down wages. And we need to raise the minimum wage — two-thirds of minimum-wage earners are women — and enact other policies to raise wages. We need to rally to combat wage discrimination and get our voices heard. Here are some dates in 2017 to support equal pay. Get out there and show your support!
2017 Equal Pay Days
March 7, 2017-Asian American Women’s Equal Pay Day
April 4, 2017-All Women’s Equal Pay Day
May 23, 2017-Mothers’ Equal Pay Day
July 31, 2017-Black Women’s Equal Pay Day
September 25, 2017-Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day
November 2, 2017-Latinas’ Equal Pay Day
Mary Beth Iannarella
Girl Talk Marlton
“When I joined four teammates in filing a wage-discrimination complaint against U.S. Soccer late last month, it had nothing to do with how much I love to play for my country. It had everything to do with what’s right and what’s fair and with upholding a fundamental American concept: Equal pay for equal play.” —Carli Lloyd, in a New York Times article from March 2016
“If fighting for equal pay and paid family leave is playing the gender card, then deal me in!” —Hillary Clinton, in Harlem at the Apollo Theater in March 2016
“Without women’s groups knocking on doors, I wouldn’t have gotten where I am. We need women to support each other. We still don’t have equal pay.” —Sonia Sotomayor, at an event organized by Watermark in 2013
Last week actress and doctor, Mayim Bialik from the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory released a video on her social media that went viral. In this video, she implored both men and women to stop referring to women as “girls”. The actress explains that the language we use matters, particularly when it comes to gender and equality. When we use words to describe adult women that are typically used to describe children, it changes the way we view women”, says Bialik, who also has a ph.d in neuroscience. It implies that adult women are inferior to men. While most of it is not intentional, it doesn’t make it less demeaning. We never refer to a grown man as a “boy” because it would come across as emasculating. When “boy” is used to dismiss a man, it is an insult and should be taken as one. As should the word “girl.”
She directs viewers to Google the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis — a theory that says, according to Dictionary.com, that the ‘structure of a language determines or greatly influences the modes of thought and behavior characteristic of the culture in which it is spoken.’ Clearly, language determines thought and can influence our decisions. So, if the words we use have a massive impact on how we see the world, then we should be more careful about the words we use for the benefit of ourselves and those around us. As for the people who call women girls, she says: ‘I know your intentions are probably good, but I hope you can learn to see the unintended and negative impact.
Our language matters, because when we say “girls,” we are using a word that implies a lack of experience. There are a lot of words used for women, not all of them are flattering. Truthfully, as a woman, “girl” doesn’t bother me as much as “ma’am” or “honey”, to me they are worse! My mom always called me “honey” and I knew it was a term of endearment but coming out of the mouth of a stranger takes on a completely different meaning. To me, they are insults disguised as compliments. It gives a false sense of intimacy to a total non-relationship. We are not friends, we are not a couple, you probably don’t even know my name. It’s demeaning and insulting even if you say it with a smile. If you do not know my name-ask. If you do know my name-use it when addressing me.
YES-words have power. Negative or positive-You can lift someone up or you can bring someone down with just one word. Always try to think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Also, the context matters, how you say it and what you’re talking about makes a difference. Even if you don’t totally agree with Mayim, it might be good to try and change things and show all women the respect and basic rights that are deserved.
You can view her video here:
Mary Beth Iannarella
Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation