Why is it that when I woman sits across a table and asks for updates and deadlines that she is labeled as “nagging”? Meanwhile a man can sit across and ask the same questions and be considered someone who gets things done.
You might say, “well Erika, what was your tone? Are you sure you weren’t nagging?”. Here’s the thing friends, I’ve spent a lot of my life trying to change the way I react. When I was young I didn’t get to express my thoughts and feelings very well and it overlapped into my teenage years. I never learned to manage my reactions because I wasn’t allowed to react. I was literally called “Mouth” as a family nickname. That has to create some pretty sensitive spots, right?
When I hit college I had to reevaluate everything. I was coming across too strong; intimidating. I learned that I can be wrong and that I can disagree without raising my voice. I had to learn that my expression in my house may be different than during practice or in class. I analyzed myself with a magnifying glass. And it took all of those four years to get it as close to right as possible. So yes, I’m still learning…but I know what nagging is and isn’t.
So when a man sits across the table from me and claims to the other two men in the room (yes he didn’t even say it to me), that I do and will nag…that pushed a couple of buttons. But I took a deep breath and clenched my jaw. I was not going to give him the reaction that he was after. If I would’ve reacted their response would have been, “see women can’t take a joke”. That’s how I know I’ve grown.
I have to wonder, will I continue to ask those same questions if I know I’ll be labeled a nag? And you know what I say? HECK YES. There has to be a line drawn. Those men see it as a joke. Those jokes are the same reason that thousands of women sit at the table and keep their mouths shut.
And let me tell you, I get it. Being the quiet woman is less stress. Especially if you’re already having a less than stellar day. But I’ve never been good at keeping quiet. So I take the challenge head on.
Some days are more discouraging than others. Yesterday definitely was. I did all the improving I could and at the end of the day it didn’t stop the label from being thrown on the table. My job is amazing. The whole company. But it’s a male dominated industry. And yes I knew that before I chose it. I’m not going to let that one fact discourage me from receiving the great experience that everyone else is having at this company.
The only thing left to do is change those men. My success is not a joke. I will not be looked down on simply because I have boobs and pee sitting down. My deadlines are no different than those put in place by the males in your life. But of course, men don’t nag…it’s scientifically impossible, right?