Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How Women Feel

In China the toughest men go to "Pain Experience Camp."
Want to know how women feel during labor? In Jinan, a city in eastern China, husbands of pregnant women volunteer to have a technician tape four electrodes to their stomachs. The flow of current ranges from a tingle at level one to an excruciating level 10. Men gnash their teeth and their eyes go bloodshot before the simulator reaches its peak. Contractions would actually equal a 12, so I guess they take it easy on the men. Not to mention that what the men are doing lasts a few minutes, not hours on end like real labor.

This is a great idea. Every expectant father should know how women feel while giving birth. There are other kinds of pain women feel that I wish men could experience occasionally, just so they'd understand us a bit better.
  • Men (and other women) question our competency merely because we're women.
  • People call us bossy -- or the other B word -- for being assertive.
  • Men ignore us if we're not beautiful.
  • On the flip side, it's a liability to be beautiful in the boardroom because men (and some other women) assume you can't be beautiful and smart.

These are generalizations. Not all men question our competency. Some strong, authoritative women are well-respected. (Margaret Thatcher, anyone?) Often, once coworkers get to know us, they look past our looks. And I can't blame men too much for the negative assumptions because it's what they've been taught. It's what we've all been taught.

Let's go back to the classroom and start teaching the right stuff. Assume that a woman is just as competent as a man unless you have reason to believe otherwise. Praise girls for being assertive. Don't favor or discriminate against women who are beautiful.

Then men will know what it's like to be a woman because it will be a lot like being a man. We women will still have to birth the babies, though. Having done that once, I thank God for epidurals. I didn't care if my anesthesiologist was male or female, as long as the epidural worked. And it did. Pain Experience Camp was over, and I was one happy camper.

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