A woman’s worth at work
WORTH – one huge topic for women in the workplace. Whether we’re going for a job interview or promotion, coming back to work after childbirth, negotiating pay or terms, worth is something that seeds every single part and detail of our lives.
Whether it causes prohibition or a ‘sitting back’ from having a lack of self-worth, or grants access and forwardness by having a level of it, the question remains as to what actually is worth, and, a woman’s worth beyond any external measures of the roles we assume, what we do, our job, or what we have materially gained for ourselves as women, through our relationship or family status.
In its truest sense and meaning, worth falls neither as the product of the role, status or position we possess, nor our gender, race, age, achievement or accolade no matter how ingrained our tendency to place it is. Its true origins and value remain unfettered – for a gem is no more or less a gem irrespective of how it has been worked and shaped, and however it is regarded or valued in the world – it’s still a gem. And one gemstone set beside another – is equally a gem. Worth is like this, a quality that is innate and something held deep within, with the knowingness of one’s equal value to all else.
How often do we actually hold ourselves in irrespective equalness, apportioning our worth instead to, ‘what we do’, or ‘what we have achieved’?
Largely, the way we hold ourselves as a woman and our importance has been shaped by subjugation and reaction to what’s ‘been done to us as women in our sex’ and in this a level of blame often asserted against men and society. There is no doubt the equality of women or females needs to be addressed, though in truth isn’t it more about the equalness of all regardless of one’s gender – male or female? Is it really even about sex or the ‘war on gender’, and more a war concerning something else – a war on quality? Two intrinsic qualities equally in both sexes though one quality (maleness) currently being held in dominance or favour over the other (femaleness), to create imbalance, excess, and a perceived ‘higher position’, like an upward see-saw position…with the the lower position perceived lesser than or worse off, when the reality is BOTH ARE OUT OF BALANCE.
"It will be the small changes every woman makes within herself that will lead to true gender equality being lived by us all."Natalie Benhayon
When it comes to lack of self-worth, symbolically like the downward see-saw position, what is apparent is that like a rot, it rots away the inside. And such a fact in many cases has been cashed-in upon by religious beliefs, cultural traditions or ways that garner at times a level of ‘lower positioning’ and hatred towards a woman to further desensitise or diminish her own sense of value, and the importance of her quality in society and community. That innate and divine quality of femaleness within a woman and her body, is something deliberately disregarded, quashed, stamped out, even attempted to be cut out to be ‘got rid of’. And I’m thinking here of:
Latin America with the highest rates of femicide related to the human trafficking of women for sexual exploitation and victimisation.
Female infanticide in India where in this patriarchal society, daughters are considered undesirable, and, says Women & Child Development Minister, Maneka Ghandi, “200 girls who are killed in the womb every day”.
‘Gendercide’, prevalence in China, and, where the United Nations estimates, "as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this”.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) where according to support organisation FORWARD, over 130 million girls and women worldwide have undergone FGM . . . which is practiced in more than 29 countries across Africa, parts of the Middle East, or South East Asia, and that 137,000 girls and women are living with the consequences of FGM in the UK.
Let alone places where lack of equality of women sees females currently yet to receive the vote like Saudi Arabia, or are stoned to death for adultery in places like Afghanistan, or in parts of India and the Middle East victims are some times forced marry their rapists to wash away the shame.
If femaleness is a path back to our internal and external balance or harmony, and the woman is a beholder of such quality, then what power and worth does she actually hold inside her body – as a woman, and by virtue of her quality, towards mankind’s restoration and true gender equality?
Femaleness and maleness
Maleness and Femaleness are two important and misunderstood words that have nothing to do with gender.
So how do we deal with the Worth issue?
Maybe the missing link lays in the understanding that everything that happens to us as women – has already happened within us to make us somewhat complicit to the continuing global inequality of all women, which, effectively comes back to us in the form of the way we are treated, held or regarded in the world on all levels, from sexualisation and objectification, to the aforementioned (domestic) violence, to equal pay for women in the workplace and the right to vote.
Everything that the world tells a woman about being worthless, she has first told herself through an accepted belief, ideal or image about how to be as a woman.
Bold, though if deeply considered, just how far have we as women invited, and continue to invite the world to treat us as the less than equal beings we’ve already held ourselves to be first?
A bitter pill to swallow, but how many of us do grapple every single day of our lives with issues of lack of self-worth or self-loathing; of being in a lowered ‘see-saw’ position . . . not feeling quite good enough personally and professionally too?
To feel the uncomfortableness of accepting that it is we ourselves who have reduced our own sense of worth through believing and holding ourselves to be less than equal value to any other human being, isn’t something relished. And, perhaps it’s far easier to react, to blame the world, revolt, charge, be angry, try even harder to prove our worth or demand gender equality through ‘suffragette-style’ attitudes or activity.
Not discounting the obvious lack of gender equality in our world, in truly dealing with the issue, is the fact that equality begins inside or within us first.
That inequality happens when we subvert what is otherwise equal, to create unequalness. We lower the see-saw when we hold ourselves less and others more.
When we as women truly begin to let go of the unnatural sense of worthlessness that feeds our body image, self-confidence and mental health issues, and flex the quality of our femaleness, we open ourselves to the fact that in all of us is an intrinsic true worth, worth claiming.
A woman’s worth can be felt in how we hold and treat ourselves by the way and quality we live life – with self-love . . . and equal love for all. Because, what we hold in high regard or value is first appreciated, cherished and known to be worth it by ourselves first . . . and then others.
When this worth becomes no longer about the holding of possession, status or materially speaking, and instead the holding of our bodily innate quality ~ femaleness first ~ then perhaps our self-worth ‘war’ is over and won, as the two sides of the see-saw return to holding themselves in equal balance and harmony.