Happy International Women’s Day: Keep the Mansplaining to a Minimum Today, Please

If you’re still questioning why we need Women’s Day, I’ve got some news for you: your privilege is hanging out and you can’t see it. 

Privilege comes in a lot of shapes and sizes and it’s not always about having extra. Having buttloads of money and resources are obvious advantages, but oftentimes privilege is more about what we don’t deal with. 

There’s a great comic that illustrates this point. It pictures two runners on a race track, a white man and a black woman. His track is completely clear except for a few hurdles. Her pathway is full of barbed wire, brick walls, and even an alligator. The captions reads, “What’s the matter? It’s the same distance.”

(artist: Emanu)

Each one of those barriers represents something women have to deal with that men simply don’t. Creepy comments from older professionals? Barbed wire. Getting talked over or mansplained at meetings? Brick wall. Patients thinking we’re nurses or the student? An alligator in the freaking road! 

If you’re a man, you’re thinking, “Well, Errin, my life hasn’t been a cake walk…I’ve got some alligators of my own.” Which is fair, I’ll give you that. Everyone’s path looks different. I know that for every brick wall I kick down, there are other people dealing with higher hurdles. Some are even running on broken feet, so to speak. 

Just remember that Women’s Day is a reminder that some of those hurdles are in people’s way just because we’re women. It’s not a coincidence that half the population deals with the same types of problems!! 

Days like this give us room to talk about and acknowledge struggles that we all share. It’s also a reminder that we have the power to help each other. We’ve got to work together to start cutting down that barbed wire. 

Finally, it’s an opportunity to CELEBRATE the incredible jobs that the women around us are doing, have done and will do in the future. We don’t often get thanks or praise for doing all the hard work that lands on our plates. 

High five a woman today and celebrate who she shows up in the world despite not knowing all her challenges though her journey to this point.

And to all my ladies: Happy Women’s Day! Keep jumping those hurdles and smashing those walls. 

You. are. worth. celebrating. 

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Errin Weisman DO

Errin Weisman, DO is the self-proclaimed wellness guru on Authentic Medicine. She is a life coach, podcaster and fierce advocate for wellness in medicine. She faced professional burnout early in her career and speaks openly about her story in order to help others, particularly female physicians and working moms, know they are not alone. Dr. Weisman wholeheartedly believes to be a healer, you must first fill your own cup. She lives and practices life coaching and medicine in rural Southwestern Indiana, loves her roles as farmer’s wife, athlete and mother of three.You can find out more about Dr. Weisman on her podcast Doctor Me First, her website truthrxs.com or hang out with her on social media @truthrxs. Her podcast is “Doctor Me First”. 

  6 comments for “Happy International Women’s Day: Keep the Mansplaining to a Minimum Today, Please

  1. Bridget Reidy
    March 15, 2020 at 3:39 am

    So the commentators can’t see their privilege, what else is new?

    Have you ever thought about the likely promotion or grades of a woman who is sexually harassed by her boss/instructor? Do you still think that’s rare after me too. (I did before.) Have you ever thought of what patients’ subconscious bias that it’s OK to interrupt women all the time and expect them to sacrifice more of their time to rapport building and therapeutic listening does to wages in a price fixed world where we can’t measure real work of visit? Is there a word that’s a really negative insult that applies to men that are just a little more assertive than expected? Does a man being assertive decrease his perceived effectiveness the way it does for women? Why do female supreme court justices get interrupted three times more than male ones?

    No we can’t just lean in because it worked for someone. You can’t practice medicine efficiently once the patient has decided you don’t care enough or sacrifice enough of your time. So no, you can’t just ignore patient expectations completely, act like a man, and earn like a man.

    We need a day like this where we can disseminate the research that shows the barriers. Claiming it doesn’t exist when you haven’t seen the studies is just plain unscientific.

    • Pat
      March 15, 2020 at 9:22 pm

      Oh brother 🙄 sorry, sister.

  2. Dr Who
    March 10, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    I thought they already had this with Valentines day and sweetest day. Sounds like a great day for carnations…

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  3. Jesse Belville,PA-C
    March 9, 2020 at 1:05 am

    As a man,I truely value my wife of 46 and 1/2 years. She sees things,I do not,she understands things and social signals I do not. She has an IQ much higher than mine. I see things shedoes not,I pick up signals she does not.She has her strengths I do not,just as I have strengths she does not. Together we are unbeatable.
    Now quite complaining about glass ceilings and barriers for Women. Never in human historyhas their been more opportunity in every atea of work,business,Government,Society than Right Now. So get off your feminist ,social justice, garbage and go compete. EVERYTHING IS A BUSINESS MODEL AND EVERY DAY IS A COMPETITION TO SURVIVE AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO THRIVE.It has never been this gentle or less bloody than NOW.

  4. Pat
    March 8, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    One of the thrills of my life was attending a speech by former prime minister Margret Thatcher. She was a truly heroic, self-made person who made her own way and took her opportunities. I greatly admire women like that.

    I have never given any female colleague any special consideration based on her gender, paying them the respect due an equal. I don’t care about their uniquely female troubles, and won’t bother them with mine. They are colleagues and equals, unless they prove otherwise, just as I would view any man.

    I think the entire concept of “International Women’s Day” is an insult to truly strong women who don’t need an arbitrarily popularized signal to bolster their self-esteem. IWD is a celebration of weakness, and an invitation to whining.

  5. Martha Clark, RN
    March 8, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    I’m a woman and, hate to say, I really don’t care about this ‘holiday’. It’s just more crying and ‘ME ME ME!’.

    Cartoons about all these ‘hurdles’ and layers of ‘barbed wire’ is a barrier in itself.

    Instead of crying, grab those wire cutters and get through that fence! Get out the shotgun , BOOM, goodbye alligator!

    And thank white men for designing the wire cutters and shotgun.

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