Friday, September 18, 2009

I See Your Card and I Raise It

Ironically, it is Hollywood that gave us, "You can't handle the truth."

I hate the race card. In my opinion, it is 1 of the easiest cards to play. It is just like me playing the, "It's because I am a woman/glass ceiling card." Except that "The Man" wastes no time in telling it to me straight, "If you believe in the glass ceiling, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy." Thanks a lot Mr. Man for that piece of sage career advice. :)

I recognize that right now "The Man" is a little bit scared. He is scared of losing the "Man's World." I recently told one of His representatives not to worry because it is still a Man's World, and it will ALWAYS BE THAT WAY. It is funny that You tell us that we have the power, yet we keep selling short. Apparently YOU are a GOOD Negotiator. You SOB.

Now that this is out of my hormonal system, let me express my gratitude. I graduated College WITHOUT my MRS degree. I was trained to do NOTHING. Yet You were interested about how many words I could type and how that might help you. I took typing in 7th grade and I glossed over the numbers and symbols; I could manage and I could add stuff on the calculator. You were intrigued. You gave me chances. There was a side of You that thought (admit it) it was a bit cool that I had actually graduated college. (BTW, my Daddy paid for it.) I could live on my own. I could pay my bills. I was grateful to even be a player.

So that puts me in the ring with opportunity both equal and unequal. Yet I always tell my boss that you cannot have it both ways. So how does this help me get along in this world?

Well I think it makes me able to raise the stakes at this point. I accept judgement on my exterior appearance and on who I am everyday. For example, your hair is blond so you must be dumb. You are a woman, so you must be good at menial tasks. You graduated from that college, you must be smart. You like nice clothing, you must be costing your husband a lot of money. We're paying you that much, but you are not worth it. You are an over-educated bitch, how can you possibly help us with the workload? You are of German descent, you are loud and hard to get along with. You have gained weight, you are no longer attractive. Your hair is turning gray, you are a hag. You are so aggressive with the men at work, you must not be getting any. Your boobs are big, that's why you get the attention.

You know what? Thank you for taking the time to offend my sensibilities. That means you are not treating me differently because of who I am. Maybe that means you think I can play with the hand I was dealt and perhaps win a few rounds based on what I have to offer. You are seeing me when I play my cards. You are calling my bluff. You are taking me at face value. You are making me stronger.

If we all want to operate in the diverse hood of life, we must accept that we will be challenged. We must accept that we are not entitled because of who we are. We must accept that not everyone will agree with what we feel we deserve or what we want. We must be prepared to handle the truth about the world and our places in it. We must accept that some negotiations need to be conducted and some dialogue exchanged or things will remain as they are. Can we handle the truth?

Or are we just playing our trump cards in hopes of winning something, anything that won't help us or that we have not earned? Frankly, I don't want "The Man" to give it up in this way.

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