Starting with Stacie to share this mini-project of mine holds a special place in my heart. Our friendship (sister-ship? as I stole her brother) over the years held many differences of opinion, but because of her I've learned to better stop and listen to others; to realize that differences of opinion don't have to get in the way of relationships. That listening to each other helps us understand the other, and that we are capable of standing up strongly for anything that convicts + compels us.
She's been open about things in her various jobs that looking at as an outsider I wouldn't ever have been aware of. Mind you, nothing ground breaking or earth shattering, but I think we get so caught up in our own lives that the things that impact others don't register in our conscious brains until having these conversations.
She told me this when I asked if she sees anything in her new job that may be unique to women, as she's previously discussed with prior professions:
"I work in a fairly female-dominated profession, so I don't deal with some of the challenges I've seen in other professions (or that I've dealt with myself in previous jobs).
Both in my current job and my previous career in nonprofit helping services, I have experienced some things that I think are directly related to my female identity-- I have lost out to male applicants to jobs because I'm not perceived of as strong, but I've also been called "bitchy" or "too strong" when I advocate for myself or others.
People often feel very comfortable commenting on my physical appearance, whether in a positive or negative way, and I've been pressured to do stereotypically female things, even though I'm terrible at them, like baking something for an event, participating in "party planning" committees, mediating between people who have issues... Well, that last one might be more related to my identity as a counselor more than my identity as a woman!"
----- Stacie, Part 2.