“A man walks into a boardroom…”
Sounds like a bad joke right? Well, sadly it is. It’s about our perceptions of men in general. It’s about our perception of ourselves, as women, as we relate to men.
What did you envision in your mind’s eye about that man walking into the boardroom? Was he in a suit? What about well-groomed? What about race, was he white? That’s what I saw too. . .
“A woman walks into a boardroom…”
We know how this one ends. She’s not as strong as the man. As a matter of fact, you probably went to a very dark and dismal place with that opening.
What did this woman look like? What punchline were you envisioning? Was she strong? What about race, was she white? What I saw has evolved over the years. A little like the riddle about the doctor and the dying son. . .
A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies at the scene and the son is rushed to the hospital. At the hospital the surgeon looks at the boy and says “I can’t operate on this boy, he is my son.” How can this be?
It’s a riddle because most people immediately think the doctor was the dead father, but how? Why? Our programming let’s us see men & women in specific roles. When challenged, there’s conflict.
Visions of Yourself
Let’s take a minute and think about that woman who walked into the boardroom. Think about how you pictured her versus how you pictured the man. Then take a moment to really examine why you think you saw what you saw.
If the woman looked like you, why do you think that was? What if she didn’t look like you? What if she looked like the total opposite of what you consider yourself to be?
When I was young, in my fantasies I was always white. You may look at that and say “you wanted to be white?” No, I wanted the romance I saw portrayed in movies, on TV and in magazines. The people who had that romance where white. So that was what I saw in my mind’s eye.
When I say representation matters I’m not only talking about race, but also gender & orientation. If you’re not seeing what you want to see in your mind’s eye as it relates to any part of your life, you need to ask yourself why and begin changing that.
Having a vision of yourself starts with being able to see images of who you want to be, around you. It also means looking beyond those images and putting yourself in the place you want to be.
You’re a badass business owner so it’s time for you to see yourself that way. It’s time to stop discounting your abilities and move in your power. When you hear the intro “A woman walks into a boardroom..” you should see yourself and all that makes you strong and unique, giving the most amazing presentation ever. . . or at least you should see that woman as strong.
Changing our Perceptions
As women we need to change our perception of ourselves. We need to start writing a new script that says “I have the ability to be someone’s true love and save them!” “Don’t save me, love and support me in my passions.” “I can do this!”
I want my daughter to see me doing this and know she can too!
Until we change our own perceptions, we’ll be stuck living the images and visions of others. It does my heart good to see that in recent years there have been movies where the woman doesn’t need saving by a man. My daughter is a strong girl, I want her to know she doesn’t need saving by a man, she needs to be loved, respected and supported in whatever she chooses to do. I want to be that representation for her so she’ll look for it in the books, movies & tv shows she’ll eventually watch.
What did you see when you read “a woman walks into a boardroom…” share below what your vision was and how you may want to keep it, or alter it.