Watch Your Actions
The other day I was scrolling through social media when I came across a reel that totally underscored the subtle (and not so subtle) ways women get pressured out of their authenticity and power, starting at a very young age.
The story went something like this...
A young schoolboy made a valentine for one of the girls in his class. When he tried to give it to her, she politely refused. Because it occurred in public, the school felt bad for the boy. How embarrassing. So, they created a poster on his behalf, rallying behind him, and got people to give him valentines.
Great for the boy, right?
Here's the problem...
By publicly supporting the boy, these well-meaning adults
Stripped the girl of her right to say no
Publicly called her out and shamed her for her refusal
Taught the boy the girl was wrong to say no
Taught the girl she should say yes, even when she doesn't want to, or there will be negative consequences
Enforced this lesson on the other students
This is exactly the type of thing that buries women's authenticity, strips them of their power, forces them into compliance, and disconnects them from their soul.
It can be overt or subtle, but it happens all the time!!!
It's pervasive because this type of thinking has gotten built into our norms and beliefs, and we may not even recognize it.
We forget the Law of Cause and Effect. We send, and receive, messages that are detrimental to women and, like this, it may be unintentional, but still profoundly powerful on the female psyche.
Nothing occurs in a vacuum. Every action causes a reaction.
In this scenario, a better response would have been to pull the boy aside and explain that disappointment and rejection are part of life. (Doesn't that prepare him better for what he will encounter as he grows up?)
Instead of feeling sorry for him, the adults around him should have used it as a teaching moment, then he would recognize these things are not the end of the world.
He would have learned an important life lesson, and the girl would not have been shamed for speaking her truth.