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Baby steps to a woman's world

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Baby steps to a woman's world

by Adri-Ann Peters
08 Aug 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

AS part of a practice I suspect has become somewhat routine by now, in a few days time we will once again be paying homage to the women of our country.

But aside from the prospect of enjoying another public holiday, do we really know the reason behind having the day off this Thursday? Why do we celebrate Women's Day?

Maybe the words from a song by pop queen Madonna would help shed some light: "Do you know what it feels like for a girl? Do you know what it feels like in this world?"

The words to the song suggests we put ourselves in a woman's shoes, having to contend with the remnants of a time when our society was very much still a man's world.

I have my doubts as to whether or not we have come so far as to be able to say that we now live in a woman's world.

Just the other day, for instance, I found myself having to conduct a telephonic interview with with a well-known local and successful businessman.

One who, mind you, I thought to be nothing short of arrogant and thus highly annoying.

But for the life of me I couldn't understand why this man, given the professional nature of the conversation we were having at the time, thought he had the right to (very condescendingly, might I add) refer to me as "honey" throughout the conversation.

I really wanted the story. And regretfully at the time I thought it best to rather bite my tongue, at least until I had sourced the relevant information I had wanted from him.

But it turns out I never got the chance to set him straight.

In fact, given his attitude I decided to rather forego using him as a source altogether.

Now I wish I hadn't done that.

And in retrospect I wish I had been woman enough to bite the bullet, right there and then, and that I had confronted him.

I should have cut him down to size and let him know that I did not appreciate him talking down to me in the way that he had.

I suppose now all I can do with the experience is chalk it up as a lesson learnt and do better next time.

To some, my gripe with this businessman might not seem like anything to write home about. And similarly I'm sure that to some it might seem that I am being nothing more than overly sensitive.

But if that is indeed so, then maybe that means those people need to carefully consider their attitudes.

Sexism - particularly towards women - is still part of our daily lives.

Sometimes it's blatantly obvious, other times - as in my case - it's so subtle that we question if it's really even there at all.

The road to transformation is long and arduous. Let's face it, we won't get to the end in a hurry.

But once we make a conscious effort to change our minds and become aware of unfair practises against women, even in very small ways, will we begin to make real progress.

So when Thursday comes along and you're sitting in front of the TV, watching some or other documentary about the role women have played in our past, don't watch if you're not really interested.

Celebrate Women's Day your own way.

Appreciate the strength you see in your mother, sister or grandmother. Bring it closer to home.

It's the little steps that help to make the biggest inroads.

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