Being an advocate requires a great amount of perseverance. While the rewards are numerous, and I can honestly say that the benefits outweigh the risks, it can be very challenging to maintain integrity and motivation to continue fighting the good fight.
My husband was attempting to help a family member deal with a crisis. He was advocating for this 2 children. While speaking on their behalf, he angered his brother greatly. “You’re just one of those know-it-alls who don’t know nothing,” he said. When you spend up and defend those who cannot defend themselves, then you become a know-it-all.
Advocacy is a Challenge
I realize that many of the challenges I have experienced throughout my life, especially those in my early nursing career (lateral violence), have been because I am often interpreted as arrogant and a know-it-all. In reality, I am very much aware that I don’t know everything. I thirst for knowledge, and despite the fact that I do not enjoy school, I will likely be pursuing some form of higher education for the rest of my life. It’s that hunger for knowledge, and the desire to share it with the world, that make me a good advocate. But to those that don’t understand this about it, it makes me an arrogant know-it-all. And the fact that I’m a woman… well that’s just icing on the cake.
Strong Passionate Woman
A very good friend of mine has 3 masters degrees, supports herself, helps her family pay their mortgages, donates to charity, and is currently putting 16 of her cousins,nieces, and nephews through college. She is an advocate for many things. She is passionate, strong, bold and opinionated. She has worked hard for her position in life and I wonder just how often someone tries to disparage her for it. How often is she called a know-it-all? Despite all the great deeds she does, all the humanity she has, how giving of herself she is, I know that people still try to find the tiniest flaw and pick it apart.
Boy, I’m Glad to Have a Boy
I sometimes wonder if I would have less difficulties with this if I were a man. I find myself telling people, half-jokingly, “I’m so glad I had a a boy. Can you imagine what a many in this world with my drive will be able to accomplish?” And I know I can’t live vicariously through Ty, and that the boundaries for women are more open than ever, but I still always question if I would be treated the same in regards to my passion and advocacy if I were a male. Would I have more opportunities? Would I be taken more seriously? Would I be treated with more respect?
Father Knows Best?
I question this often when my father tells me I need to “Know my place in this world.” I question it when he tells me “You make more money than me, you don’t need any help.” I question it when he want fights me for the home my mother left me. Would it be any different if I were a man? Would he make less remarks about my spouse staying home and raising our son if I were a male, the traditional breadwinner, and my husband was a female? Would he stop making me feel like the path we have chosen is the wrong one?
The Vanishing Ceiling of Glass
The glass ceiling is slowly disappearing. Men ages 18-34 have a higher unemployment rate now than ever. It is not uncommon for them to stay at home with the children when the wife can earn an income that can support the family. In fact there are quire a few SAHD bloggers, my husband included, who write about the challenges they face as males taking on this traditional female roles. It’s interesting to see their perspective on the challenges of raising children. Stay at home parents have the hardest job of anyone, and the deserve the utmost respect for raising our future. Not to disrespect working parents, but there is a reason why child care is so expensive, and it’s because its HARD work.
Strong Ladies in Technology
Women have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. I have many powerful and passionate female friends who are advocates, thought leaders, and positive influences on society. @GirlMeetsGeeks and @Jenna_ice are just a couple of the inspiring women I know. They motivate me to refrain from thinking about the hurdles and think about the finish line. I am so glad to know them and thankful for their passion.
To the advocates of this world, especially the women, it’s a hard road to walk. Thank you for walking it and walking it hard.