HEY WHAT ABOUT ME?! | A Relating to Humans Women’s Issue

HEY WHAT ABOUT ME?!
Exploring the Mind of a Man Who Didn’t Give Me His Card
by pixie

FROM THE WOMEN’S ISSUES ARCHIVE
 
I recently went to a conference with my fiancé – one of those social affairs where everyone is given a name tag and you’re expected to mix and mingle with the crowd. An awkward moment with a stranger got me thinking…

For a brief couple of minutes during the conference coffee break I was left alone. Next to me, I observed a quiet, bashful middle-aged man fumbling through his conference materials and we caught each other’s eye for a moment. I smiled, being polite. He returned the smile and extended his hand to introduce himself.

We went through the usual ice-breaking questions of what we do, why we were there. The banter was friendly and a connection was made. Moments later my fiancé rejoined me. Seeing that I had made a new acquaintance, I introduced him to Mr Bashful and they went on to talk about themselves, dutifully going through similar introductory questions. Mr Bashful at one point reached out for his business cards and gave one to my fiancé, then proceeded to store his business cards back into this pocket.

I was taken aback and thought to myself, “Wait, what about me?!“

So I said to Mr Bashful, teasingly, to remind him of the etiquette faux pas he just committed, “Oh, how come I don’t get a card?“

Alarmed at his own mistake, he immediately made a comeback. “Oh I am so very sorry!“ quickly fumbled through his pockets to get his stack of business cards, and embarrassingly passed one to me with the usual two hands as a gesture of respect.

It was a small incident, but one which demonstrated how we each may have prejudices against certain people. These prejudices are mostly hidden, but occasionally let themselves out the bag through accidental gestures.

I don’t know why Mr Bashful didn’t give me a card and practically ignored me the moment my fiancé stepped in. It could have been a myriad of reasons: his nervousness in front of women, his thoughts that guy to guy conversations are more appropriate, seeing more value in building a relationship with my fiancé instead of me. I don’t know, I can only guess. My guess is that he has certain views about women which inadvertently influenced his behaviour – a small gesture of neglecting to give me his name card, despite me having been the one who first struck up a conversation with him.

I felt a bit brushed off, but forgave the small mistake. It’s not the first time this happened. Not long ago at a wedding an older surgeon similarly extended his business card to my fiancé but not me, despite having spoken to both of us.

I’m not timid and shy – no – that wouldn’t have been the reason why Mr Bashful passed me by. Our conversation before my fiancé arrived was cordial, witty, and appropriate. We had made contact but the conversation quickly shifted to “men only” the moment my fiancé arrived, and I was ceremonially excluded at the business card round. The next time, I should conduct a social experiment: if I presented myself as an independent woman, and was by myself during a similar occasion, speaking to a similar man, would he treat me differently? My hypothesis is I would be given a business card if I were alone!*

In summary, my hunch is that the forgetting to hand me a business card (I was standing right there!) had to do with the following reasons:

  • Mr Bashful perceived me to be taken, someone else’s – he saw my fiancé and I as a single unit, and to give my fiancé a business card would suffice. I was covered.
  • Mr Bashful subconsciously believes that business cards are a male matter.
  • Although he ordinarily tries to be “equal” in giving both men and women his cards, this time he had a slip of the mind and forgot his manners.The fact that he was genuinely embarrassed when he was called out revealed that he too thought the omission was inappropriate.
    It could have been both reasons above. Or Mr Bashful could have simply forgotten – an honest mistake. I can only hypothesize at this point.

Or, I could just email Mr Bashful and ask, since I now have his name card…!

What about you? Have there been instances where you were brushed off, forgotten or neglected because of your sex, gender, race, age, or any other reason?

Have you forgotten to give your business cards to certain persons in a social setting? Or worse, was the omission purposeful?

************************
*it would be hard to come up with scientific conclusions, since it’s hard to control the main variable, i.e. the male subject: Mr Bashful could have been a unique case; another man in the same social situation may have given me a card
 

pixiedustbeach.wordpress.com


All submissions to the Relating to Humans Women’s Issues feature will be profiled on the blog all throughout Women’s History Month. Please share your creative expressions discussing Women’s Issues by submitting them here.

With a Vision to Create a Cinematic Work of Art that both Entertains and Inspires a Discussion for Positive Change, your support will be key to the success in Kurt’s and the Crew’s effort to bring their “Women’s Issues” short film to the screen.

To be notified when their Indigogo Campaign to raise the funds needed to produce the film goes live, please sign up here.

 
 

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Did you ever think it would really happen?

You know, I did. I really did.

I had always believed that eventually the US Congress would open up all combat-related assignments to females.

But I didn’t really think it would happen this soon…

And it was never within the realm of my imagination that it and the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell could have happened in the matter of one presidency.

Damn… I sure am going to miss President Obama.
 


 

G.I. JANE was released in 1997.

Our short film LEAVE is set in 1995, when Congress first opened up some combat-related assignments to females, including assignments to warships, and it is about one warship’s all-male crew’s reaction to the arrival of its first female sailors.

I’m sure you can just imagine exactly what their reaction will be…

Hopefully the brave service women now accepting the first combat and special warfare assignments will receive a much better reaction and reception…

 
 

THE WOMAN IN ME | A Relating to Humans Woman’s Issues Feature

THE WOMAN IN ME
by Debolina Coomar

When I was a daughter, I had dreams,
I learnt that life is not easy, and nothing is what it seems.
When I became a student, I had aspirations,
I learnt that achievements are important, and learnings are an inspiration.
When I became a professional, I had goals,
I learnt that life is full of challenges, and we have to take up different roles.
When I was a wife, I had a duty,
I learnt caring, sharing and trust in a relationship is the real beauty.
When I became a mother, I had responsibilities,
I learnt to take up challenges and fulfill them with my abilities.
When I wear so many different masks everyday,
Each one is different and unique in its own way.
But, when I see myself in the mirror,
I see so many faces, but I cannot find HER.
The woman in me keeps calling me everyday,
I just avoided her as I almost have nothing to say.
But, one day, she saw me back into my eyes,
And wanted to know why I ignored all her cries.
I forgot HER as I was busy being everything else,
But, now I want to be ME and let myself out,
I want to open my heart and let it shout.
I want to start living as MYSELF and let the world see,
The WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE, because that is the best I have in me.

debolinacoomar.wordpress.com


 

Women's History Month

It is my pleasure and honor to kick-off our March-long celebration of Women’s History Month with such a beautiful and inspiring poem by Debolina Coomar.

Thank you for submitting your poetic creativity to our Woman’s Issues feature page, Debolina, thereby allowing us all to enjoy your words.

And I invite and strongly encourage you to visit the Relating to Humans feature and consider sharing with us some of your creative inspiration.

As was Debolina’s, all submissions meeting the editorial standards of yours truly submitted to the Women’s Issues page throughout the month of March will be published to the blog.

And now is a good time to submit your work to all the features, as I am in the process of archiving all submissions received prior to this year, which means each feature page will be empty and the early submissions will receive top billing, so to speak.

Please visit the Relating to Humans page for the Submission Guidelines.

Additionally, I invite you to click on the poster above to learn about some of the things the US Government, via the Small Business Administration and the National Business Women’s Council has planned to celebrate Woman’s History Month in its efforts to raise awareness of Women and Gender Issues.

And lastly, please don’t forget to show your support for our short film, LEAVE, by visiting and following (and spreading the word about) our facebook page at www.facebook.com/leavethemovie.

 
 

Write What You Know, You Know…

They say, Write what you know…

And in response I say, Okay…

So when I began in earnest to write stuff for people to read way back in the early Nineties – what a great decade that was – about all I knew about life outside of my personal life which I didn’t and still don’t have the guts yet to truly explore, was all pretty much navy-related.

Hence, the stories I wrote at the time were all pretty much, well… navy-related.

And therein lies the primary challenge I have when it comes to convincing and conniving folks who look a lot like you to read my writing… and now, to support a film based upon my writing: that even though the stories may be navy-related, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are stories just about the navy.

Some of you, many of you, are probably new to this site so understandably there may be a few things about me that you just aren’t aware of:

Like, even though my undergraduate degree is in English – which probably explains my nerd obsession with arranging and amalgamating morphemes into new and creative and interesting ways for you to read stuff, my graduate degree is in a completely unrelated field (well, maybe it’s a little related) of Human Relations – which probably explains my obsession with trying to understand why it is you think and behave the crazy and unpredictable way you do.

To satisfy my morpheme amalgamating obsession, I began to write; to satisfy my relating-to-humans obsession, I took a few years off from my primary career field in the Intelligence Community (oxymoron, I know…) while in the navy, to become a certified Equal Opportunity Advisor, where I spent much of my time providing counseling and training in diversity management.

And it is this relating to humans-related stuff that I would like to think is what my stories, while even though they may be set in a navy-related world, are all really about…

Like, as explored in my novel The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor, how do our perceptions and stereotypes influence our decisions when confronted with situations like homophobia and harassment and abuse?

 

Or, as explored in the short story and soon to be short film LEAVE, what was the environment really like for that courageous female sailor who took that first assignment to a warship with an all-male crew?

 

While these stories are set on navy ships during the Nineties, it is my belief their underlying themes and messages are relevant even, and especially, today.

Just recently Congress has authorized women to serve in all combat-related duties, not just some of them like back in the Nineties.

Right now there are courageous, pioneering females all throughout the US military – and throughout society in general – who are opening doors that have previously always been closed to them, and setting off on a course that clears the way for many more courageous females to forever follow.

So, yeah, we writers have always been told to Write what you know…

Just as you readers have always been told to Never judge a book by its cover…

Especially mine.
 

Open Books Open Minds…

www.facebook.com/leavethemovie

 
 

While waiting impatiently yet steadfastly for my #shortfilm funding campaign to begin…

I invite you to pass the time checking out the short film funding campaign for a good friend of mine, Jeffrey Stackhouse.

Jeffrey – an award-winning screenwriter and all around talented/good guy – and the rest of his cast and crew, have just launched a fundraising campaign to produce “I Am The Doorway,” a ‪‎film adaption of a Stephen King short story that is endorsed and encouraged by King, himself.

Already there is discussion that Jeff’s film has the makings to be the best cinematic adaptation of King’s work yet.

If you’re a fan of King, ‎horror, independent film-making, or all of the above, please check out Jeff’s work and support him – monetarily and/or socially – if you are able by clicking here.

Thanks, all.
—–
P.s. – In facebook’s never-ending effort to make money (nothing wrong with that, btw) they make it very hard for public pages to be seen unless they pay to promote their posts. It gets very expensive so please share this as both an act of kindness and as an easy, inexpensive way to support The Arts.

Here’s their pitch video from the film’s director:


To sign up to be notified when the funding campaign for my short film begins, please click here.