Women are constantly being scrutinized for how we look, talk and dress. Unfortunately, much of this sexist behavior takes place in a professional setting, which puts us in a tough place of questioning if we should speak up or walk away to secure our job position. We have proven our power over and over again in the workplace, yet still are being objectified and disrespected for simply being ourselves. Well, Congresswoman Maxine Waters wants to remind us that we will not be intimidated by the ignorance of others, but instead use our voices and stand firm in our beliefs.
On Tuesday, U. S. Representative Maxine Waters was asked to comment on her anti-Trump stance and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly bypassed her thoughts and made jokes about her hair. “I didn’t hear a word she said,” O’Reilly said on Fox & Friends. “I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James, it’s the same wig.” Then, later that day, U.S. Press Secretary Sean Spicer told journalist April Ryan to "stop shaking her head" in response to an answer he gave.
What’s so irritating about this is that condescending comments and actions like these happen so regularly. The media has now normalized this type of behavior and it’s unacceptable. As a way to shine a light on these issues, activist Brittany Packnett encouraged black women online to share some of their real-life experiences at work and created the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork. Packet told Huffington Post, “I wanted the hashtag to make the invisible visible, to challenge non-black people to stand with black women not just when this happens on television, but in the cube right next to them,” she said. “I’m also glad stories of triumph and achievement got shared through the hashtag as well."
Black women are more than just our woes, we are triumphant.
Read some of the tweets below to experience the reality some black women face in the workplace:
It's beyond empowering to see women all over the world share their experiences and stand together with both of these women. Thank you for using your voices and encouraging other women to do so. This type of demeaning behavior should not be tolerated and should definitely not be normalized. We must continue to show up for ourselves and each other.
Have you experienced a situation like this in the workplace?
If so, please share with us below to continue to show people that this is not rare.