People Power – Dynamics of group mentality
Most of us are familiar with the concept of “family friends”: different families gather together to enjoy each other’s company and engage in group activities. However in my experience, family friends are complicated and not a source of enjoyment at most times. The societal divide between men and women becomes more prominent when presented with a social situation.
At most familial gatherings, I find that the women are almost consistently in the kitchen for the first hour or two while the men discuss different topics over drinks. As a millennial woman who considers herself fairly intelligent, I try my best to engage with the men as they debate politics, science, literature, and today’s entertainment. This is more difficult than women may let on; I am constantly faced with different biases, whether or not the men realize what they are doing and how much of an impact it may have on my self esteem. I am faced with comments such as “why don’t you go help your aunt in the kitchen?” or a blatant disregard of my thoughts. I have been scoffed at, regarded as “adorable”, and belittled on numerous occasions. This sets my heart on fire every time I encounter such prejudice just because of my gender.
My mother is one of the most intelligent women I have ever met as well, and she gets shut out because most of the men she is friends with truly believe that women are less intelligent or capable of holding conversation than them simply due to their gender. This is why I recommend every woman realize how much she is worth, and interject herself in every conversation she sees fit. I have gone out of my way to make a point when speaking to the men just to somewhat combat their ignorance and make them understand that women are more often than not just as smart or smarter than them. In order to do so, a group mentality needs to be established; women need to come together and make themselves loud and prominent in society, instead of being meek and scared like they are expected to be.
There is so much worth to one woman, imagine what a group of them can do to society. Society tries to set unrealistic standards for both genders, and more often than not, women are expected to be quiet and keep to themselves and not try to associate with their male counterparts. I say that that is not how to progress a society; complacence is never the answer. So, join in any conversation you want to, or don’t if that is not how you see yourself. Cook in the kitchen or become chief of a police station because either one of those is honorable and brave. But be aware of one thing: never be afraid that you’re not good enough. This is just an excuse for men to agree with you and put you down even more. Always remember that women are beautiful and smart, kind and harsh, or anything they want to be. But we are not cowards, nor will we ever be.
Priyanka Nachane is a sophomore at University of Delaware with a major in English. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spreading positivity all over the world.
Cover photo credit: IMG_1763 Pinterest