Why It’s OK to be Completely Unapologetic for Your Success
As women, we are often predisposed to believe in the limitations society imposes on us. Yes, imposes. It forcefully tells us what we should want for ourselves. It never asks. Rather, it barrages us with nonsense, the kind of nonsense that stipulates we will never be able to have it all, if, in fact, that is what we want.
Yet, for some reason, we rarely fight back. It’s as though we feel guilty about our successes. We don’t want to be mislabeled as callous, intimidating, or, heaven forbid, overbearing feminists, so we passively accept these antiquated beliefs.
This is 2017.
We don’t need to apologize any longer for having kickass careers and great families and enviable social lives. We also don’t owe others an explanation for our actions or the driving forces behind our carefully crafted decisions.
When broached on the subject, the only thing we owe others is a completely unapologetic viewpoint.
1) We work hard.
Last time I checked, women outnumbered men in college enrollment. Yes, that’s right. Women are earning their undergraduate degrees at higher rates while governed by the same curricula and parameters as their male counterparts. For the record, there is no such thing as a housewife degree. Never in my four-year undergraduate career did I take a cooking, cleaning, sewing, or Pinterest board-making class. Rather, my fellow female peers and I took biology, economics, Spanish, and US history. When we ultimately fulfilled our coursework and received diplomas, it was because we worked hard. We were not arbitrarily handed grades. We reached an endpoint through the same channels as the men around us, and we were also offered incredible jobs as a result of our ass kicking. A lot of us were even admitted to prestigious law and business schools. I’m looking at you, my overachieving college friends.
2) We earn everything.
If you’re like me, you’ve had to dispel stereotypes regarding your position in the workplace. If not, consider yourself lucky. I can assure you, however, this day will likely come. One of your male coworkers will assume you’re a secretary, act surprised when you tell him you want to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or look on skeptically as you talk about your advanced graduate degrees. If you’re also like me, you take offense to these fallacies and biases. While earning success is inextricably linked to working hard for it, I’m still amazed by the number of men who seem to disagree. If I was given a Chipotle burrito every time a male friend, coworker, or complete stranger said women only get promoted because they are part of a protected class or because a specific quota needs to be filled, I would have the entire company back on solid footing.
Let’s be clear for a second: This notion is not true. Why is it so difficult to imagine women in powerful positions as the result of continuous learning and self-improvement? Why can’t we earn the promotions? Why can’t we earn the raises? The answer: we can, and we do.
3) We are limitless.
Although some people might find this difficult to believe, we are not characters out of Mad Men or some other 1960s television show. We are byproducts of a new generation, a group of individuals bound together by our limitlessness.
Gone are the days where we need to make excuses, downplay our personal and professional successes, and apologize for our driven nature.
At the end of the day, we have nothing to be sorry for.
In fact, we should actually feel sorry for those who doubt our capacity to affect change and pursue our dreams, however they manifest themselves long-term. We should feel bad for people who are intimidated by female success and empowerment.
So, cheers to you, my unapologetic, badass, confident peers. May you never let others dictate where life takes you.