I am not a daily affirmation type of person. That said, I’ve taken to making my work computer’s password – which I have to change frequently — an affirmation. My most recent password is “Stay Strong” (with a series of upper- and lower-case letters plus numbers and symbols, of course!). At the time I chose the password, my thought was to refocus on healthy eating and getting back to a gym routine. But my password affirmation did much more than serve as a reminder to eat well and exercise.
It is apt that this blog post is going up on International Women’s Day. “Stay Strong” has become my mantra during a time when the difficulties of being female in a male-dominated profession/government/world have been front and center.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why the simple fact that women’s body parts are not the same as men’s causes women to face bias. It seems to me that women have proven that they “belong in all places where decisions are being made.” (Thanks, RBG.) Yet women still face discrimination.
We all know the reasons for this discrimination and I will not address them here, as it would take a Supreme Court-length opinion to do so. I will make just one comment and I will try to keep it noncontroversial. Here goes: Historical gender roles are exactly that – historical.
Typing in “Stay Strong” several times a day helps me when I want to give up the fight. When it feels as if we women are fighting a fight we will never win. When a male opposing counsel thinks I am less intelligent then he is. When a male opposing counsel thinks yelling will help him win. When a man is “asserting his dominance.” When a guy is “mansplaining” an issue that I know better than he does. When I have to politely smile and nod because it is not the time to speak up. When I have to explain that I am an attorney and not an assistant. When I am called an “aggressive female litigator” in a “joking” — but serious — way.
So many women are out there fighting for equality and setting great examples. Be encouraged by them and Stay Strong my fellow females.
Angela Davis Pallozzi is counsel at Offit Kurman P.A. in Baltimore.