And you see it happening more, it’s crazy to watch. Whether in politics, or corporate, or even sports lately… women being expected to answer and even apologize for over achievement or wanting equal pay. But what message are we sending? Win, but not too much. Celebrate, but not too much. Be empowered, but not too much. Own your body, but not too much. Show emotion, but not too much. Question, but not too much. Report injustice, but not too much. Love yourself, but not too much. If we want to flourish as a society, then we need to recognize this about ourselves and change it. Let’s break free from the psychological prison of inequality. And of course some people will fight to keep things as they’ve always been, but we can expect that. The warden is never happy when the prison closes. Regardless of the resistance, let’s stand up for this change anyway. Our daughters, our sisters, our moms, our neighbors, all the women in our society deserve better than that, and we are better than that. Outdated ideas inevitably lead to outdated behaviors, it’s time for an update.
Our parents had drilled us under the importance of using proper diction, of saying “going” instead of “goin” and “isn’t” instead of “ain’t “. We were taught to finish off words. They bought us a dictionary and a full Encyclopedia Britannica set, which lived on a shelf in the stairwell to our apartment, its titles etched in gold. Any time we had a question about a word, or a concept, or some piece of history, they directed us toward those books. Dandy, too, was an influence, meticulously correcting our grammar and admonishing us to enunciate our words when we went over for dinner. The idea was we were to transcend, to get ourselves further. They’d planned for it. They encouraged it. We were expected not just to be smart but to own our smartness – to inhabit it with pride – and this filtered down to how we spoke.