I am frustrated.
You have to be frustrated to aptly title your entry, “Do women have to be competent?”
This is because I feel that there’s less pressure being a woman than it is for a man.
Sure, we do have pressure if you can count a) marrying well, and b) birthing children before your biological clock runs out, but seriously, EVERY girl has this pressure. No woman is exempt of these pressures.
This is different from men’s pressure of being ideally the primary breadwinner of the family. Of leading the household, emotionally and financially (at least in the olden days). Of being a success in society.
Sure, it would be nice to be that woman who is the primary family breadwinner and household leader, and be of certain stature of society. BUT, it is not a requirement.
In today’s society, it’s still the men who holds most of these burdens.
For women, all it seems that is asked of us is to be pretty, be quiet (or at least, not create a ruckus) and be pleasant to be with.
Ha, and if most of you are up in arms on how dare I make such a bold encompassing statement, don’t forget that I myself is a woman and hell, I can criticize my gender if I want to. It is my blog after all.
And even if we are successful and competent, guys would not think of these as assets if you are not pretty, unpleasant to be with and aggressive. In fact, you are criticized to have “a strong personality,” “intimidating,” and “scary,” as if these things are what a woman should not be despite these are the very qualities that most people find respectable in men.
Now, I am in no way as competent as I toot my horn to be.
I am just an ordinary woman — happy wearing my skirts and makeup, making family life as pleasant as possible, and hopefully finding a decent husband. Oh, and my biological clock is ticking too (though it doesn’t bother me as much as the regular woman).
But oh. my. lordie.
Can women be more competent?!
Yes, there are a lot of competent women out there. I have the greatest of blessings to be friends with many of these esteemed creatures.
But my gosh, can we expect women to be more competent — at least, raise the bar a little?!
It seems to me that if women are successful, great. But if they’re regular, boring, unproductive folks, that’s good too. The less they get out of your (man’s) way, the better.
Can’t we have higher standards for my sex?! 🙁
Case in point, my friend is dating this cute pretty woman who is quite fun to hang out with. She is the type of person you can play video games with and watch movies together. She knows the latest useless gossip (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and is the person you go to relax.
Video games, dining out, drinking, shopping — she’s the gal to approach.
But when it comes to anything productive like starting a business, my gosh. She’s all over the place.
Put it this way, around HKD100,000 is invested (not big money especially as monthly salary in the Philippines is already HKD2,000) in products that were brought in November.
Six months later, they managed to sell 10 units out of 600 units thanks to the grace and helpfulness of family members and immediate friends.
Now, they want to bring in even more products from China even though they have 590 units to sell from.
The question was, given that the exercise was done to help the woman learn more about business, has she really learnt anything about the business? Or is she being dangerously taught that HKD100,000 mistakes are okay and should be green-lighted to create even more mistakes?
If you cannot sell 590 units, do you usually declare yourself a loss and move on to the next? Or do you try your darnest to dispose of the items you cannot sell and hopefully minimize your losses.
As someone who had closely monitored the proceedings, I believe it is not the fault of the product or the employee that has caused this ruckus. In fact, it is all down to the manager herself.
If the manager is usually absent or comes at 4pm in the afternoon to see whether her units are selling, could you fault the employee for being slow? If the manager is not even there, how can you sell?
Anyway, fact being — this makes her a bad manager.
The more important question is, if she is a bad manager, would it be safe to say that she operates life the same way? In a way, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that how a person is in a specific part of her life, is the same way that she would act elsewhere?
Hence, a person who is bad on the weekdays cannot claim himself to be a good Christian on Sundays. Or, a person who cheats on a boyfriend once would have the potential to cheat again in the future.
People are pretty consistent. A tiger doesn’t change his/her strips.
Hence, if this person cannot even manage to get some goods rolling, would it be safe to say that this person may potentially be a liability from a life partner perspective?
And if this is the case, would you marry the person?
Again, I dare say these things but it is not me who is the partner. It is my friend.
But as a friend and observer, it brings to light the question on what really makes a good partner.
Is this someone who is fun to be with, that you can hee and haw through life?
Or is it someone you can depend on in many aspects of your life — not just the fun times.
So do woman have to be competent?
It seems not.
But I do think we need to set a higher standard for women.
It’s not enough for me that women of my gender be incompetent. And if we are incompetent, we should improve. Being just someone fun to be with is not enough.
Then again, do you think I am right to ask for a higher standard?