I Have a Gripe

November 13, 2016

The “selling out” of the sisterhood

Filed under: News,Politics,Values — alvb1227 @ 7:59 pm
Tags: , , ,

I have been told I am the worst feminist ever. Guess what? I really don’t care. As the reaction to the presidential election continues, I saw an article that actually referred to Clinton losing as a “sell out” of the sisterhood.

Um, what? Seriously?

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I am not going to vote for someone just because of their gender or someone feels it is “about time” to have a woman as president. I am going to vote for someone based on who I feel will do a better job for this country and their interpretation of the Constitution.

Now, truth be told, I (like many) wasn’t really crazy for either of the candidates from the major parties.

I have posted about what I think feminism should be before and I know many disagree with me. And that’s OK. We are allowed to disagree with each other and still respect each other. I would like to share another example of why I often disagree with “the sisterhood.”

Last week I was in a conference room and was listening to a discussion between a few colleagues. I chose not to participate and just listened. They were talking about a very high-ranking executive and how inspiring she is. And yes, it is laudable she has achieved such success. Then the discussion turned slightly to “encouraging” girls to go into STEM careers, (don’t EVEN get me started on that one), and actively recruiting women for high ranking positions.

It took all my effort not to have what I refer to as a “gumball moment” (brain to the mouth like a gumball machine – absolutely no filter whatsoever). I just kept my mouth shut. I knew my opinions would not be appreciated.

First of all, I HATE STEM. As many of my regular readers know, the lack of the arts in school today has me over the top annoyed.

Yet, I digress.

If girls have an interest in something that happens to be a male-dominated field, such as a STEM field, then fine. If they don’t, that’s fine too. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have spent most of my career in male-dominated fields. First, in prepress and then in IT. Now, I didn’t expect special treatment because I was a woman. You know what I did? I worked. I proved I belonged there. When I worked in prepress, I was one of two women in a prepress role. The other women in the company included the secretary and two customer service reps. When I wanted to learn how to “strip” (film people, get your mind out of the gutter), I was told to “go back up by the computers where I belonged.” You know what I did? I took lunch times, after work, whenever possible, and showed I really wanted to learn. I eventually learned how to run a vertical camera, fix and maintain a film developer, and make bluelines. I showed them with my work ethic that I deserved a spot. I didn’t bitch about being a woman gave me a right or that they were being sexist.

I often tell another story about a man I worked with in the printing realm. He was not a fan of women in the industry and generally wasn’t quiet about it.Again, I just went about doing my job and increasing my knowledge. When a major problem took place he said I should be the one to go fix the problem. That I was the only one who knew what I was doing. That was probably the best compliment I ever received. I won this guy over. Not because I complained that I deserved his respect. I earned his respect.

That’s what I want. To earn someone’s respect. Not demand it because I am a woman. That includes demanding a particular job because there should be more women. All that is just crap.

Now I’m not naive enough to say there is no such thing as sexism. If someone doesn’t respect me just because I’m a woman, then that really isn’t a person I want to be around anyway. Throughout my career, I’ve experienced the “boy’s club” first hand. Yes, I’ve missed promotions and I’m sure it had to go with my gender. And yes, it made me angry. The way I looked at it, they didn’t deserve my respect. I continued to do my job to the best of my ability and ultimately, the joke was on them. They missed out on a great employee that could’ve provided even more of a contribution than the position I was in at the time.

So people ask me “well, what would you tell today’s young girls?” I would tell them the world doesn’t owe you a damn thing. You will come up against adversity in life and you will have to deal with it. Don’t cry sexism and demand respect. Earn it. Don’t feel obligated to go into a STEM career because you are being told to “break the glass ceiling” or some other nonsense. Believe in yourself. Rely on yourself. Know that you can take whatever is thrown at you. Be strong. And don’t feel you need to be what I call a “traditional feminist” because you always need to support “the sisterhood.” Being a feminist should be more than about supporting the sisterhood. It should be about not being afraid to go your own way. Even when it’s not popular with fellow femme fatales.

Advertisements

March 8, 2016

International Women’s Day -Whatever

So this morning when I logged into Facebook, I was welcomed with the following graphic:

intl-womens-day

<insert eye roll here>

I think days like this are completely bogus. And I’m sure I am going to annoy many of my fellow femme fatales. Let me explain why…

First, I don’t need a day to “celebrate” myself. You should value yourself every day. Second, you are lumping me in to a class that require special treatment and quotas. I hate quotas. I shouldn’t get something (a promotion, raise, job etc.) just because I am a woman. I should get something because I deserve it. You are insinuating that I need the help of someone else to make things happen. All it does is create animosity within a workplace.

I’ve worked in male-dominated fields my entire career. I expected nothing but what I deserve. If I didn’t get something, I would go in and fight for it. I never expected anything to be handed to me just because I am a woman. Have I worked harder than my male counterparts in some cases? Yes. Have I dealt with men who felt I didn’t belong there? Yes. Did I care? Absolutely not. I worked hard and let that speak for me.

Let me give you an example.

I worked on a help desk – generally a male-dominated field. One of my counterparts (a man) had obvious issues with me being a woman (the only woman at the time) in the group. I dealt with it for awhile. When I got sick of him, I didn’t complain to HR or cry discrimination. I cornered him and told him “welcome to America, you’re going to work with women – deal with it.” You know what? He came around and we wound up being great partners at the office. I stood up to him and I think he respected it.

That’s exactly what I’ve always done.

Here’s another example. While still working in IT, I used to support publishing processes. I loved it. I was good at it. Others knew it. Except for one male manager. He was known for not being very forward thinking when it came to women in roles of authority. Now, I wasn’t a manager, but I did have some level of authority. Again, I worked hard. I proved I knew what I was doing and had the knowledge to get the job done. One day when there was an issue he said to me “they should listen to you – you know better than anyone.”

Wow. Just wow. I won the guy over. I proved I knew my stuff. And that compliment from him meant more than he ever realized. And I didn’t need someone wagging their finger at him telling him to be fair. I did it on my own.

So what exactly is my point?

If a company has a boss, manager, etc. that has an issue with women, eventually he will be dealt with. He’ll have a hard time finding people to work for him. He’ll get his. Quotas don’t work with this guy. He’ll just resent them and make it even more difficult for those that are part of his team.

Some say “we need days like this for young girls.” I say absolutely not.

Again, what are we teaching them? Because you are a girl you should expect preferential treatment? No. Tough it out. Work hard. Prove yourself and be confident. Don’t rely on a quota – in college; in the workplace; in life.

So what should we as women do? Encourage each other. Support each other. Celebrate success and acknowledge failure. Personally, I have had more issues with women stabbing me in the back at the office than men. Men are good at the game. They help each other out. Generally women are so focused on getting ahead they don’t care who they step on or stab to get there. You want to know why men think women in the office are bitchy? That’s why.

And if you have kids? Don’t expect even more handed to you. You want to know what really grinds my gears – women who expect not only preferential treatment because they are a woman, but preferential treatment because they have kids. The built-in excuse. Can’t work late? Kids. Can’t take on an extra project? Kids. Then especially don’t complain when you get passed over for a raise or promotion. People used to tell me “well you don’t have kids, so you don’t know.” You’re right. I don’t have kids. I made that decision with my husband a long time ago. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have special circumstances. My answer used to be “well my grandmother is sick – should I wheel her in here like you do your kids?” Prepare for children. Yes, things happen, but it shouldn’t be an automatic excuse for everything. You want to be treated special because you are a woman and mother? Then don’t expect me to applaud you when you get something you don’t deserve because of a quota.

Can you tell I hate quotas?

Now are there situations when female-related issues need special attention? Yes. For example, insurance companies should cover reconstructive surgery for women with breast cancer. They should also, as they are now required to, allow women time in the hospital after childbirth. Both men and women should be allowed time home after childbirth. Beyond that? I can’t think of anything else, but I’m sure I’m missing something important along similar lines.

So my advice is simple. Be tough. Be strong. Be a woman. But don’t expect to be treated differently just because you are a woman.

January 18, 2014

My Reality on Reality Shows

I fully admit it – I generally don’t watch reality shows. I’ve never seen an episode of Survivor, American Idol, or any of the “Real Housewives” shows. And I certainly never watched Jersey Shore. I never understood the interest or attraction. Most of these shows seem like nothing but train wrecks. I don’t really care who the Kardashians are and the whole Honey Boo Boo thing is just plain scary. I do watch Duck Dynasty, American Pickers, American Restoration, and Pawn Stars. They are all about successful family businesses. I especially enjoy the love and faith expressed during Duck Dynasty and I always learn something interesting during American Pickers, American Restoration, and Pawn Stars. These are the few I find not a complete waste of time.

So I am sure I am late to this party, but I just learned Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s big claim to fame is that she was on Survivor. And she replaced a person who won Miss America.

This is the best that is out there to anchor a national morning program?

Now I’m going to sound like a cranky old woman…

When I was younger, if someone wanted to be famous they needed a skill. Be an actor. A ground-breaking researcher. An athlete. They needed to do…something.

Now? Make a fool of yourself on a television program. Make a sex tape. Let the entire world see what a train wreck your family is. Pow – you’re famous.

What are we teaching our children? That this is acceptable behavior? Go on a ridiculous reality show and become a millionaire.

Now being famous is the skill.

November 15, 2013

The True Sleeping Dragon – The Band Geek

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”
~Isoroku Yamamoto

While this quote from Yamamoto is referring to the United States after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, today it is referring to the collective community that is the “band geek.”

Yesterday I posted about a shameful event that took place at the final football game of the season at Annandale, Virginia, where a football coach threw a temper tantrum that included shaking the podium of an assistant drum major and yelling at the director to “get the band off the field.” An editorial appeared on the school’s news site about the event and in one resounding voice, proud marching band members, former band members, music educators, and the like have said ENOUGH.

For a long time, those involved in the music department have been disrespected while those who play sports are seen as the school heroes. This terrible event has rallied those of us who have valued their time involved in their music departments to take a stand. I have read comments on this event all over the Internet from Texas to Minnesota to Jersey (including me) aligning themselves with the marching Atoms to show support. I hope the musicians of Annandale know they have the support of music students (and former students) from all over the country.

Additionally, the story has been picked up by The Washington Post, NBC, The Huffington Post, Patch, CBS, and other local Virginia websites.

I say good. Enough is enough!

Today, the principal issued a letter to the parents and an apology to the band for the actions of the football coach and according to reports, an apology from the coach himself to the band and the director is forthcoming.

The principal and the coach owe much more than that.

This was the last game of the season. Senior Night. A special moment in high school to celebrate all they have accomplished. Now, that memory is forever tarnished. They didn’t get to finish their final performance properly.

Now I will say I did read a few comments actually “sort of” defending the situation. My personal favorite comment mentioned how band members should “learn their place” because the band exists “for the entertainment during the foot ball game.”

Um, what?

The music department does not exist simply to be a court jester for school athletes. Playing an instrument AND marching takes skill, practice, and discipline.

Now, let’s look at the other side of this coin. This coach shook the podium of the assistant drum major. Now, I know nothing of law in Virginia, but I would think in New Jersey he could potentially be charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child. And if that student fell, I’m sure a lawsuit would follow and rightfully so.

An apology? Well, that’s a good place to start, but the band and the director are owed much more.

Oh, and don’t think marching band members (and former members) will forget about this until we hear of a final resolution.

#bandgeekforlife!

October 26, 2011

OWS: Open the Way to Socialism

Filed under: Economy,government,Politics — alvb1227 @ 11:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

When I watch the coverage of Occupy Wall Street (also know as OWS), I hear things like “it isn’t fair.” “I am the 99 percent.” “Share the wealth.” OK, I’ve had it with OWS.

First, let’s all face it – life isn’t fair. Is it fair my mother-in-law died from breast cancer in her 50’s after leading a clean life? Is it fair my beloved Uncle Sonny died before he got to retire? Is it fair that people with zero scruples get ahead? No, of course not. Does it bug the bejesus out of me? Absolutely. But life isn’t fair. The sooner you learn that the better of you are.

Second, learn to rely on yourself. If you don’t think you can handle the bills of a fancy private college, then DON’T GO TO THAT COLLEGE. Don’t wait for someone (or the government) to rescue you. Do you know when I finished paying off my college loans? After I was married 10 years. I  moved home with my parents after I graduated college and left a year and a half later when I got married.

Don’t make your happiness reliant on someone’s else punishment or misery. The OWS crew wants to “punish” the “rich” because the protesters have it tough. If all you are doing is waiting for karma to come around to your satisfaction, you’ll be waiting a long damn time. Let’s think about this. They want to punish the rich and the wealthy and redistribute those funds to others. So why would someone want to succeed if all that will happen is the federal government will take that money and give it to someone they feel is more deserving? This will do nothing but create a sea of mediocrity. This is the very definition of socialism.

Finally, yes, the economy is different. Yes, you have to think out of the box. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Wozniak, and the beloved late Steve Jobs everyone is praising as of late all made their own way. They weren’t born into wealth. They were creative. They looked for opportunities. They are examples of the greatness American can provide, regardless of their background.

OWS is really Open the Way to Socialism if you ask me.

September 11, 2011

9-11: Ten Years Later

Today is a cool, cloudy morning here in New Jersey, much different from that fateful day 10 years ago. Each year on this day I have tried to provide stories and impressions of that dark day and the light that came of it. As I sit here watching the reading of the names, I am reminded of every moment of that day. As a friend on Facebook said the other day, I can’t remember what I had for lunch two days ago, but I remember every minute of that day.

I am reminded of the acts of heroism by everyday people at I am sure they never expected to do. They are people who went to work, got on a plane, committed their lives to protect us as fire fighters, police officers and members of the military. They never expected to be tested to that extent.

Last night I saw a television program about two men who worked at the World Trade Center who could have easily survived, but they chose to continue to go up the steps of the North Tower, saving the lives of 77 individuals. Architect Frank De Martini and construction inspector Pablo Ortiz are true heroes that came out of that dark day, showing what the American spirit is all about. What those animals could never take.

Yesterday was the dedication of the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA. Those 40 people took the information they collected, took a vote, knowing full well they would perish, and thwarted the plans of the fourth hijacked plane that was likely headed to the United States Capitol. Again, people put in a position they never expected became heroes and are a shining example of what the American spirit is all about.

These are only a few examples of the heroic actions taken by many on that day and the days following. There are many more we will all come to know as time progresses.

We can all learn from those who lived through – and those who did not – on that day. We can make sure to stay alert, help our service members, fire fighters, police officers, EMS, and other first responders whenever possible.  Most importantly, we can never forget. Never forget what those animals took from us. And what we have gained.

May God continue to bless the United State of America.

August 7, 2011

Bear that Wandered into Stokes Campsite Killed

This week was a mix of lies, stories and excuses on a multiple of fronts. No, I’m not talking about the ongoing nonsense in D.C. – I’m talking about the killing of a black bear in Stokes State Forest.

According to the initial story, a bear attacked two young campers sending them to the hospital with minor injuries. The bear was shot (non kill shot) in the  neck and left the area wounded. A search continued until the bear was caught in a snare and killed.

Later it was learned the counselors jumped to conclusions about the event and the kids lied about being attacked, as doctors that examined the boys and determined their wounds were not fresh. It was also learned that the food at the camp site was not stored properly, which will always bring a bear curiously looking for an easy meal. DEP still classified this as a “Category One” bear, meaning, it displayed “aggressive behavior.”

This was a travesty on multiple fronts. First, the two camp counselors obviously didn’t stress bear safety and food storage properly to their campers. Next, you have two boys who lied about their encounter. You had a representative make an incredibly poor shot that failed to kill the animal the first time, so the bear headed off injured. Finally, the DEP stood by their initial decision, classifying this animal as a category one, setting traps and ultimately killing the bear. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Let’s remember this was an 18-month-old yearling who smelled food and set off looking for an easy meal. It was in a wooded area, not a residential neighborhood. Yearlings are on their own for the first time and are naturally curious about their area and new found independence. If you are in bear country, you need to understand how to store your food, and take important safety measures in order to minimize negative encounters. After all, you are now in their home. My husband and I often fish in bear country and we are always armed with whistles and bear spray and are sure to stay alert and aware of our surroundings. This is just common sense.

These suburbanites need to understand the ramifications of their actions that resulted in the death of a young bear.

Now to clarify, I am not “anti-hunt.” I believe it is important to hunt responsibly, following all safety regulations as a way to control population by “thinning the herd” and avoid starvation by these animals in the winter. Additionally, all hunters I know consume what they harvest, using it as a food source. At the same time, Jersey needs to stop building strip malls in every open space. It is because of the lack of open space that you see more and more wildlife coming into residential areas.

This is a very unfortunate example of ill-prepared counselors, lying kids and over-zealous officials. I hope they all understand the ramifications of their actions.

August 6, 2011

POTUS, Congress and the S&P

It was announced last night after the markets closed that the S&P downgraded America’s “AAA” rating to “AA+,” claiming a variety of issues, including the political tone in D.C. and lack of specific plans to reduce the nation’s debt, to name a few. There was push back from the Obama administration, citing a potential “math mistake” in S&P’s calculations, however, the rating agency still moved ahead with the downgrade.

Now, in my opinion, there is plenty of blame to go around. You have the Congress, which is about as organized as a kindergarten class; you have our “Deflector in Chief,” who is the champ when it comes to blaming and delegating to everyone else; and finally, you have the S&P, who didn’t see the recent recession coming and thought all the questionable mortgages that got us in trouble was a great idea.

Here’s the best part of the whole mess – China took full advantage of this opportunity to lecture us on how we manage our bills. We are borrowing from our enemies and giving money to countries that hate us. Does anyone else see an issue with this?

What we should really do is take a hard look at where our funds are going and make a conscious decision to help our citizens FIRST. We also really need to look at the tax code and both really have everyone “pay their fair share,” to steal a phrase from our President. Right now, 51 percent of all citizens do not pay income taxes of any kind. So, our country is expecting 49 percent of the citizens to carry the load for everyone. This is an impossible task. By moving to a flax tax, everyone is truly part of the solution.

We also need to really address and develop a real immigration policy. Illegal immigration is a huge suck on the economy that is unnecessary.

So, where is everyone right now who should be handling this issue? Well, President Obama is at Camp David and Congress is on summer break. Awesome. Here’s an idea – how about you all come back to work, check your egos at the door and do your job!

July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony Not Guilty…Seriously?

“Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”
~English jurist William Blackstone

Well, one of those 10 guilty persons definitely escaped today when the jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of the most serious charges against her.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect her to be found guilty of first degree murder, but I did expect her to be found guilty of all other charges. Like millions of Americans, I am stunned. I definitely have a gripe.

First, I’m sorry, she killed that poor little girl. Caylee definitely deserved a better mother. If you have a child, your partying days should be over. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in that house for the next Thanksgiving dinner.

Second, if that first police officer had thoroughly checked out the report of remains in a swamp, they might have been able to collect DNA or other evidence that could’ve helped to convict her. That was definitely a lost opportunity.

Third, I absolutely have a beef with the jury. I think part of it might have been that they wanted their lives back. They were tired of being away from their families, their jobs and their homes. When I heard they were back already, I was sure they were going to convict. I almost fell off my chair when I heard “not guilty.” Do you all think that a mother doesn’t report their child as missing for a month while she goes out partying, gets a tattoo, and lies to the police is normal? I’m not surprised that you didn’t want to talk to the press. Did you leave your common sense at home? Shame on you all.

I am disgusted with Casey Anthony’s legal team for their celebrating and Cheney Mason’s lecturing after the verdict. I know many attorneys and respect their work. There are many good lawyers and unfortunately, many ambulance chasers. As I joke often, “So tell me, when you are a defense attorney, do you go straight to Hell? Or do you have to change flights in Albuquerque?”

Finally, I weep for this poor little child who was tossed in a swamp like a common piece of garbage. Caylee Anthony certainly deserved a better mother and better protection. She did not receive justice. This was not some terminally ill child that a mother made an impossible, heart-wrenching decision to end that child’s suffering. She just wanted to party, plain and simple.

The saddest part is that there are children and innocent people killed every day that do not get the attention of this trial, which is just plain sad. It is just a reminder to all of us if you see something, say something. Be part of the solution. Stand up for what is right.

I do believe in Karma and it will definitely be a bitch when it comes around on Casey Anthony. This woman is a sociopath and will certainly do something again that will end her up in jail. I just hope that she only hurts herself and not anyone else. OJ Simpson is a perfect example.

Some day Casey Anthony will meet her Maker and I honestly believe she will need to answer for her sins. And for that she will rot in Hell.

March 3, 2011

Support for Suspended Philly Teacher

Filed under: Education — alvb1227 @ 2:20 pm
Tags: , ,

In a recent post, I shared my opinions about a teacher that was suspended for blogging about her students that are “lazy, whiners.” Well, in an update, this teacher is receiving tons of support! The school system? Not so much.

“Ms. Munroe, by her own actions, has made it impossible for her to teach in this district,” according to a prepared statement read during a school board meeting. “No students should be subjected to such a hostile educational environment.”

Hostile educational environment? Seriously?

Many, however, are coming to the teacher’s side showing support. Paul Carpenter of the The Morning Call, wrote a great editorial and commentary about the entire situation, citing blame all around.

“Nevertheless, commentary that is not soothing to students, no matter how rotten they are, is not well received by the hand-wringers who feel all young people should be lovingly patted on their heads at all times. I’ve never been able to discuss stupid, criminal or lazy students without angry parents and others attacking me for being ‘insensitive’ or ‘insulting.'”

Mr. Carpenter is absolutely correct. More and more teachers, and the school system as a whole, are expected to be both educator and parent. That is, until the educator needs to reprimand the student. Then the parent is all of a sudden involved. Shameful.

Additionally, instead of the school system using this as a way to show parents they need to take a more active role in their child’s education, what are they doing? They are reviewing and establishing policies for teachers that blog. Oh yeah, that makes sense.

I echo Mr. Carpenter’s comments:

“If society does not like the message Munroe’s blog delivered, it should not kill the messenger. It should think about being more demanding and getting a lot tougher on the students who attend public schools.”

Public school goes beyond a “right.” It is a collective responsibility and students and their parents need to take that responsibility seriously if we expect our future generations to be able to lead this country forward.

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: