A guest blog by Minnesota OULAkin Christina Cyrus:
My OULA mantra: Scream lyrics until you BELIEVE them
Sometimes I am tired of playing the game. Sometimes I don’t want to have to think so hard about what I want to say or how to say it. Sometimes the truth from my experience is just the truth for my experience.
I’ve said some things very directly this week professionally. The company I work for has values promoting straightforward and honest communication but I am seeing that is not welcomed.
I wonder if I were a male if my voice would be an issue but I may never know.
After voicing my concerns in a meeting my boss called me and said “Are you OK?”
Would she say this to a man?
Why, as a women, if I directly state what is not going well and ask for clarification is something wrong with me!? Why wasn’t her first question “What can we do to address your concerns”?
Why am I called out for bringing things to light instead of gossiping and complaining with coworkers? This doesn’t bring about change or allow others to bring about change.
Why do I have to add smiley face emojis and flowery language to my emails and say things like “I feel that...” to open communication when my statements are direct facts with supporting evidence?
I know how to play the game in my field. I understand the world I live in I have practiced and used to my advantage phrasing things to be heard and also not “step on toes”. I understand the difference between an attack and a constructive discussion. However, it seems whenever I am direct and strong in my opinions or beliefs it makes people uncomfortable. Again, I wonder if that would be different if I was a man? I live for the day of true equality and level playing fields.
Sometimes I just want to scream “This is not right and you are not hearing me. I have value, I have a voice, and I will not make myself small to make you comfortable.”
I danced Look What We’ve Become by Grace Potter today and it gave me resolve. I am so incredibly thankful to have a space where I can have a voice. I don’t have to minimize myself. I can take up space. I can curse. I can yell. I can scream. I can fill my cup and soothe my soul. I can gain strength and tell myself the things I need to be who I am. I scream the lyrics until I believe them.
“They told you to keep your head down
They told you not to run
They told you we're sorry, you're not the fortunate one
They told me to keep it quiet
Said my day would never come
So I screamed my lungs out and I ran straight for the sun”
“And they told you you don't understand
They told you, let it go
And then they took you by the hand
And led you out the door
Your words don't make a sound
My dreams are on the floor
But you're rising up from underground
And I'm nothing like I was before”
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