Stop calling us devils; we have our horns for a reason

When I told one of my close male friends that I am the editor of the school newspaper and my staff is all women, he groaned, laughed and wished me luck. I have found this to be the response from females as well. Why is it perceived to be a bad thing when there is a room full of strong, educated women? I am excited to work with the variety of women that I chose to support me in delivering a product to the school. I went to see ‘Devil Wears Prada’ this summer after reading the book and was a little upset. When women are in power they are always portrayed as being cold, unfriendly and extremely uptight. Sure these are just characters of a fictional work, however, this is the way that women in power are perceived. Who would come to a CEO’s office and expect to see a woman in jeans with her feet on the desk half watching football, eating brownies and putting the finishing touches on a proposal that could end her career if done improperly and give her any kind of respect. As a child, my mother always taught me that I had to be better than everyone else around me. Being average and the same as everyone wouldn’t work and I would get lost in the shuffle. The two reasons she gave me were because I am a woman and that I am black, double whammy. At the time she told me this I of course rolled my eyes and said that there was no difference between my friends and me, naively thinking that the world is fair. I was probably seven or eight at the time and unfortunately, I have found her words to be true. I slack off just like the next person, but I also have to make up for it if I want that extra edge. Like all the powerful women, I have acquired my ‘horns’ and wear them proudly. I got them from having to bust down a few doors and barriers to get where I am currently. As life and career grows, I am sure my horns will grow as well. I do have many women to look up to. I may not respect all of their programs or opinions, but I respect them as powerful women that have broken through the glass ceiling and saved, changed and had a huge impact on lives. Oprah, we all know who she is and she is the only one of her kind, after all these years. People have tried to replicate what she built and failed. She has over come sexual assaults when she was young and a variety of other issues that people allow to define them and use as something to hide behind. Oprah is now a millionaire and household name. Another woman that I have recently started studying is Eva Peron. She was the subject for the movie ‘Evita,’ which came out in 1996. She started climbing the social ladder at the age of 16 in the 1940s and 50s. She came from a lower class family and her parents weren’t married, which put her on the bottom rung of the ladder and should have kept her there. She had a career as an actress and eventually became the first lady of Argentina. She installed the nation’s first welfare system and swore her life to helping the lower class people. Statues were erected in her honor and petitions sent to make her a saint. Of course she stepped on some toes to do what she did for her country and made some enemies, but what woman of power hasn’t? The thought that women in power are mean, aggressive and slightly masculine is a horrible one and needs to be considered. Women are not the weaker sex at all, but rather the stronger because we have more barriers and issues to deal with to get to the top or even in the same place as our male counterparts. As far as women in power being called bitches, devils, evil and whatever else a quote comes to mind. “It doesn’t matter what you are called, but rather what you respond to.”

Just when you think nothing else could go wrong…

And just that quick, my favorite sunglasses were claimed by the depths. Had I not been so shocked, I really would have plunged in after them. After all, I’d had these for, what, almost a year now? That’s a record for me. Somehow every pair of sunglasses I buy end up scratched, bent or MIA within a couple of months of their purchase. As tragic as the loss of my favorite shades was, there were more traumatic events that took place during my trip to go sailing with some friends in Nebraska this summer. As expected, my car-full of excited sailors-to-be got on the road later than scheduled, but thankfully we finally made it out of the city limits. Ever since I got my car, Jack, he’s been begging me for a road trip, so I was excited to take him out to stretch his legs a little. I enjoy being a passenger on these kind of trips, so I let a couple of my guy friends take turns driving so I wouldn’t have to. Our destination was Johnson Lake, NE, which is about 5 hours from here, give or take. About half way into the trip, we came into Lincoln, as well as a situation that totally caught us offguard. The Low Coolant and Check Engine lights blinked and then stayed on. It was at this point I was breathing a prayer of thanks that one of the guys with us worked at a car shop, because I am your stereotypical clueless girl when it comes to mechanical things. We pulled off the highway, checked everything out, tried to start Jack back up again, but he had other ideas. We weren’t going anywhere. We got there just as the shops closed on a Friday, so the five of us ended up crashing in Lincoln with the brother of the guy we were actually going to stay with. We made arrangements to have my car towed to a shop in the morning, and had our buddy come pick us up and take us the rest of the way. I’ve never had a car break down on me before, so I was spazzing out to say the least, and it never helps to know you’ll have to utter the words, “Daddy, I might need your credit card number…” Luckily I was with some of the most fun people that kept my spirits up, and I have parents who are always there when their little girl needs them, or it could have been a pretty bad situation. As it was, everything was taken care of. We made it to our destination, and eventually onto a sailboat under the purest blue Midwest sky you could imagine. So there I was, sitting on the side of the boat lowest to the water, just enjoying the day, when a rope slipped and the boom flew at my head, skimming my scalp and smacking my sunglasses into the water. Had I been sitting three inches to the left, a piece of metal rigging would have caused some major damage to my face. I mean major. Taking that into consideration, I was thankful my sunglasses took the hit and not my nose. Due to delays at the car shop, we all had to stay there for a few extra days, and believe me I was crying about it as I zipped around the marina on a jet ski for hours. Eventually we made it back home, us with sunburns and Jack with a brand new intake manifold… or something like that. Looking back on an adventure like that, I can only laugh. Sometimes when it seems like nothing else could go wrong, it’s easy to forget how good I really have it. Here’s to good friends, fun memories, loving family and the lack of need for reconstructive surgery.