They are lying to you
I now you are in a precarious situation, being a woman in leadership, or at least one that aspires to take on the mantle of leadership. You are playing by someone else’s’ rules and your primary agenda is survival and if you are lucky, some modicum of success. But I am sorry to have to tell you this, you are being lied to.
They are lying to you when they tell you if you don’t talk about equality, demand for rights, speak out or in other words, act like a shrill unpleasant woman altogether that you will be okay. That you have a special place in this community because you are a woman, a mother and the gatekeeper of our traditions, all true of course but it is a smoke screen! You will find out if you decide to be anything other than the good girl they tell you to be. Better wake up now sister and pave your own path before it is done for you. Better wake up now and stand loud and proud, talk back!
They are lying to you when they imply that if you play by their rules, you will succeed. There is no success where you have to compromise your identity, who you are and what you need. Success sister is when you can let your femininity shine in and hear them applaud for your power, your choice, and your identity. How can you succeed when you play a quasi man at work and run, toil and sweat to catch up with your reproductive mandate at home? What? No! Say no to these lies! That is not success!
They are lying to you when each time you compromise your integrity, your dignity and principles; you are labeled a good girl, a good woman. What good is a good girl without her own choices? What good is a good woman without integrity? What good is good without dignity? Say no! They are lying to you.
They are robbing you of your voice. They are denying your humanity. They are stealing your potential. What is worse? They will do it to your daughter too. They will do it to your son if he does not join the folds of patriarchal hegemony.
You may have been convinced that gender equality does not affect you- I am sorry to have to tell you over and over again, it does. It has passed your doorstep, stepped on your threshold and lives within your sacred home. It is every promotion you are overlooked for, it is every inappropriate advances by someone more powerful, it is each time you are undermined and every single extra responsibility, drudgery and toil you are never thanked for. It is every time you are underestimated. Get out of these endless lies and misinformation. Get out and find your voice. Dare to disagree, dare to have an opinion. Test your courage! Defy! Shine!