lifestyle, parenting, Sunday Confessions, That girl in the red coat, Women

Sunday Confessions

Unless you have been living under a rock, in a coma or seeking seclusion in a Tibetan monastery, you are well aware of the political and cultural climate for women. It is 2018 and although we have made monumental strides towards equality, I am afraid, as of late, we have hit a plateau and in some arenas, we are facing stepping backwards. I listen to my daughter, who at 21 years of age is well in the middle of this mix. I hear her concerns, her fears, her hopes, her dreams. I raised her to be fair, to be kind, to stand up for what is right and to stand up for herself. I wanted to raise her the way I was raised. You see, I was fortunate to be raised by a loving and supportive mother and father. I was especially fortunate to be raised by a father who treated me as his child, not his daughter. It wasn’t until I went to school that I realized the differences between girls and boys. …don’t get me wrong, I knew about our biological differences, that only girls could get pregnant and carry a baby and that boys could pee standing up. Other than that, I thought we were the same, equal. I could double dutch like the best of them and could throw a perfect spiral. I could pretend I was a princess while wearing a pretty dress and imagine I was Babe Ruth whenever I was up to bat.

…before anyone gets on the soap box, I know all too well that girls and women are not the only people dealing with discrimination and adversity. Today’s tale is a focus on women and girls. I promise you, others will get their turn.

It wasn’t until I was 10 years old that I realized I would have to fight to prove I was just as good as a boy. We moved to Winnipeg, I was in grade 5 and my first day at the new school we had gym class. The teacher, a man, told the class it was calisthenics day and to start with push ups. So, I got down, assumed the position and began. The teacher came up to me, said “Oh no, you have to do your push ups like a girl.”. I had no idea what he was talking about. “Like a girl?” I asked. He said “Yes. Like a girl. Bend your knees, like the other girls.”. I looked around and they all bent their knees instead of being in a plank position. I looked at him and said “I’ve never seen that before. I don’t know how to do that. I’m doing it my way.”. To which he responded “Like a boy? Hmmm.”. When spring rolled around, it was time for baseball, my favorite sport at the time. I got up to plate and he placed a t-ball stand in front of me. I asked “What’s that for?”. He told me “Girls are afraid of the ball and can’t hit a pitch.”. I kicked the stand over, looked the him in the eye, and told the pitcher “Pitch it!”. …this is how I know there is a god, I hit that ball out of the park on my first swing. I thanked Jesus all the way around the bases.

Fast forward to high school. In Winnipeg, I was in french immersion for 3 years, so when we moved back to Ontario, I was a little lost in science. I had learned the basics in french. I asked my science teacher, another man, to clarify if I had the theory correct. As I was trying to explain I had learned it in french and wanted to make sure I had it right, I was told “Don’t worry so much. You only need one science credit. Pretty girls don’t need science.”. I was also told by a male teacher in grade 11 that “most girls get bored with computers” when I was getting lost in computer programming, a course I chose as an elective because I thought it was cool when my dad and I programmed our commodore vic 20 when I was 11.

In my sales career, spanning 25 years, men have told me;

  • I ask too many questions and if I can’t answer a customer’s question, just get one of the guys. – while selling cars
  • I should smile more
  • I get too emotional – when a fellow sales person scooped my deal and my commissions and I dared to stand up for myself. I had an appointment booked and the customer was under my name in the system, until the rat changed it.
  • “Wow! You have brains with your beauty”.
  • “Better ask your husband if it’s okay that you have to work late”
  • I wear too much makeup
  • I need to wear more makeup
  • I wear too much jewelry
  • I need to wear more jewelry
  • I am better being the face of the business, not to worry so much about what goes on behind the scenes.

Thanks to my stubborn nature, my need to fight for the underdog, my father raising me that I could do anything anyone else could do, my darling hubby who always has my back and a few good men that stood out from the crowd and fought for me and with me, I never let those remarks define me. Oh they stung and pissed me off to no end. I refused to let them define me. Then and now.

It’s 2018 and the fact that girls and women still hear these phrases (and worse) disgust me. Plain and Simple. Here’s the deal. In my book, you are either a good person or an ass. You either use your words to lift others up or to push them down. You are either kind, or you’re not. I don’t care if you are a man or a woman. I don’t care the color of your skin or if you believe in Christ, Buddha or the smurfs. Treat others as you want to be treated. Plain and simple.

Beauty, Business, communication, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Women, writing

Man in the Mirror

In the age of equality, I feel I must write about this today. Today’s tale is for those who want to like their reflection. For those who want to turn heads. For those who want a compliment on their appearance. For those who feel insecure about the changes in their skin, their hair and their bodies. For those who are trying to find the person they once knew, who don’t recognize that person looking back at them in the mirror. Today’s tale is for all the Gents. Yes, for the Gents.

As of late I have realized two things. First, all gents want to look good. Second, when a gent wants to look good, more often than not, he is teased or cursed for it. …and this needs to stop.

I met a man last week that was concerned about his hairline. He was so embarrassed by it, he wouldn’t remove his hat. I let him know that no one else was in the shop, that he didn’t have to take off his hat, he just had to lift the front a little so I could see his hairline, then I would know what products would be best for him. As he raised his cap, his eyes went directly to the floor. I thanked him, I looked at his hairline and told him to remove his hat, since there was nothing to be worried about. He looked at me and said “…but my wife told me last night that my hairline was receding and I should just shave my head.”. It was then that I got out my Nioxin manual and showed him pictures of receding hair lines and hair loss and asked him “Do you look like that?”. He smirked and said “No.”. I explained that yes, maybe his hair line was finer than it used to be, then I told him so was mine and lifted up my bangs to show him. Finally, consistent eye contact! After a few minutes, we decided an updated cut may be the answer and applying some product in his hair to keep it in place. I told him my secret “Getting my hair to look like this…it’s all smoke and mirrors my friend. Smoke and mirrors!” to which he laughed, then thanked me for my time and my courtesy and for not making him feel silly or vain.

I am about to tell you something so that you will know, and someday your children will know…men want to like their reflection, for themselves. Men feel just as insecure as women about aging. Men want their spouses/partners to find them sexy and attractive and worry that they don’t measure up – no pun intended – get your mind out of the gutter. Men know that their hair line is changing, they do not need it pointed out. Think about it ladies…what would happen if a man pointed out your ever so slightly saggy neck. If you are going to tell a man to “just shave your head” because he is beginning to thin a tad, you better be ready for him to say “just get botox” when a line is spotted.  Those familiar with my blog know I have written of this before, see link below;

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2012/11/02/receding-hairlines-and-muffin-tops/

…and from time to time, I will continue to write about this for making fun of anyone or belittling anyone who is trying to improve themselves is unkind and ugly. Plain and simple. If you want to be treated as an equal, be careful how you treat others, for you get what you give.

ThatGirlx3

 

 

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Forgive me Gloria…

To be clear, I am all for “girl power” and am a firm believer in equality. I am grateful to all the women who burned their bras and for their swollen feet and blisters for the marches they marched in so I can vote and have a library card without my daddy’s signature on it. (yes, up until the 1950’s in Canada a woman could not have a library card unless it had a man’s signature on it…my mother remembers my great grandmother taking her to the library the day women were allowed to have their own library card).This being said, as of late I am not seeing much equality out there. The lack of equality is not for the ladies…but for the gents. That’s right. I said it, for the gents.

Every time, I mean every time a gent comes in for product, the second he leaves some woman makes a snide remark, or pokes fun at him. “Isn’t that cute? He wants to do his hair.”. “Hmmppt…who is he trying to impress?”. “He must be gay.”. Yes, although it is 2012, people still have their head so far up their ass they cannot see daylight.

At least a couple of times a week gentlemen come into the shop for hair product. Sometimes they know exactly what they want…so many gents out there love KMS HairPlay Molding Paste and American Crew Fibre. Sometimes they come in looking for advice. Yes ladies, believe it or not, the gents like to look good too…and not just for us ladies…for themselves as well. Sometimes my male clients are feeling a little insecure because they are going through a divorce and haven’t changed their style in 10 years and just don’t know what to do. Some men come in because some jerk at the office made fun of their gray hair and now they think they have to dye it. On one occasion, a young man had just come out of closet and was celebrating his new cut and wanted the right product for his new style.

As women, we want equality. We want to be treated the same as men. So, if this is the case why is it that we as women can have anxiety but men cannot? Why is it that we as women can show fear but men cannot? Why is it as women we can take time and effort in our appearance for our own pleasure but when a man brushes his hair and teeth it is assumed he is “after something?”.

What astonishes me about this back woods mentality is this…if a man said a woman must be a slut if she does her hair and makeup…well, no one would stand for that. So why is it acceptable for a woman to call a man “vain and a womanizer” because he likes his hair to look good? Equality goes both ways ladies.

Want to be seen as an equal? Treat people as you want to be treated. You want respect? You gotta give it.