Over the last years with the new wave of feminism I’ve heard it so many times about how difficult it is to be acknowledged for being good at what you’re doing when you’re a woman. I heard that today watching Girlboss, a show on Netflix, where one said “you work twice as hard as these men” (side note, I can barely recommend it, for the most part it was cringy but the last episode gave me a bit of a motivational kick). And there’s a little bit of truth in it.
Once a friend of mine told me I’m one of the most hard-working people he knows. I laughed it off saying “me? hard-working? I’m fucking lazy all the time”. But it stuck with me. I heard similar things in “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes, where she mentioned how women have hard time accepting complements and just shrug it off, and never take the credit. Here I was doing exactly that thing. And I also heard about the subconscious beliefs and acknowledgements we need to tell ourselves to get rid of false truths from “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero, by far my favorite book that always gives me a kick in the butt to go do stuff.
Throughout majority of my life I’ve been told by my mother how lazy I am, how I’m always wasting time playing games or watching anime, and always waiting with things to do them last minute. But I always manage, and I always reach my quality bar (which is pretty high). So naturally, having heard it so many times, that’s what I subconsciously believe.
When I got into Umeå Institute of Design after a hectic week of making my application (because I got know about it too late), I thought I was lucky. I always assign my success to luck. While in reality each part of that application took me at least 3 hours, and one that maybe wasn’t the most important, but I enjoyed it the most – 8 hours. But no, it’s luck that someone liked it and let me in.
While in the school I heard it a couple of times about how I’m lazy and always leave thing until the last moment, from my peers, not teachers, peers that I wasn’t even working with. Sounds familiar? Yup, that’s right, I’ve been hearing that from my mother all the time. That pushed me to take a break from the school. Because in reality I was working my ass off, trying to do everything, dealing with the project I didn’t enjoy but had to do, and even less pleasant group meetings, trying to manage organising a big-ass party, teaching Japanese on weekends, editing the school magazine, making my first (and only, to date) cosplay after hours, staying up until 3 AM, preparing another Global Game Jam promo material and all that. And yet, I was telling myself I’m lazy, I was telling myself my priorities are wrong, because I was focusing on what’s enjoyable to me, while still MANAGING with the stuff I did not enjoy. I was also exhausted, but I kept telling myself I have to do more to make them see.
Oh, and guess what, most people I got shit from were guys. Guys who were not doing half the stuff I was doing. Not that they were lazying around, just doing comparatively less, and that’s their choice, I’m not judging them for that (maybe a little if they signed up for extra responsibilities they didn’t care about).
That’s my story, I have plenty of hard working female friends who struggle for recognition or proper rewards for what they’re doing. Female friends, who are doing way more than a lot of people, yet sometimes doubt themselves. Some of them are victims of unfortunate circumstances, but they don’t give up and keep working their assess off, sometimes to the direct or indirect profit of men. And some of them keep working their assess off to do what they love, without the help of others, learning all the new skills so they don’t have to be a dependent and helpless woman.
Over the last years I also met plenty of guys who had no idea what they want to do with their lives, just floating between jobs they hate or none at all, lazying around and not caring about anything, not having a plan or passion, just going with the flow. Or sometimes feeling entitled to get something for a mediocre work, just because life have shown them that they don’t have to do more. And the sad truth is that there there are women who have a drive and motivation but probably not gonna get the jobs that these guys will get because these women might not even have enough confidence to apply for the jobs in the first place, or might talk themselves down, losing the confidence battle.
And to for all those amazing women, I want acknowledge: WE WORK HARD, even if we sometimes don’t believe it ourselves. WE WORK HARD and we deserve respect and recognition for it, even if we don’t have the splendid results to show for ourselves at all times. WE WORK HARD and you’re my heroes for pushing through and keeping shit together when no one else knows how hard it is at times <3