Like many other small-business owners, I utilize Facebook to announce new products, free shipping codes, and other fun information to keep my customers engaged with my AVON business. Building my team by recruiting new reps is just another objective of my business page, and I often post information about how someone can join AVON.
Earlier this week, I saw a post from another rep which contained a link to an article which highlighted AVON. Awesome! I love networking via Facebook, and it is nice that reps can share information like this not only with their customer base, but with other reps as well. I was all set to write up a nice plug for my AVON team, but when I clicked on the link to check it out before reposting, I kind of froze. The article was a list of top job suggestions for “girls”. The feminist in me raised an eyebrow; why “girls” instead of “women”? As a scanned down the list, I kept thinking “Why couldn’t men do these jobs??”. But, the article specifically mentioned AVON as one of the top five suggestions, so that made it ideal to post it on my business page. Obviously, I love my business and I do think it is an excellent way to add income to your household; but, men can easily have a successful AVON business, too (and there are many that do!). My point: I had reservations about using this article as a recruitment hook, but I figured I was just over thinking the topic and went ahead and posted it.
The following day, I was driving with my youngest son to preschool, and he was chattering away. After one particularly long-winded statement, he asked “Mommy, am I smart?”. Without hesitation, I answered “Yes!!”. He went on, “I think Daddy is smart, too”. I agreed. Then, just to build up my own self-esteem, I asked him “Is Mommy smart?”. He paused; my left eyebrow shot up. He responded with “Ohhhh, no, Mommy. You are not smart”. He had a sympathetic tone, as if he was carefully breaking this news to me. He continued, “Only boys can be smart.”
Seriously, one of these days my left eyebrow is going to shoot right off my head.
I quickly launched into a lecture about how girls are just as smart as boys, and can do anything boys can do, and it doesn’t matter if you are a boy or a girl as long as you work hard and apply yourself. I’m sure that all he heard was “Blahbity blah blah blah”. He is only four years old, after all.
After I dropped him off at school, I was still stewing over his comment. How could my precious little boy have such chauvinistic tendencies at such a young age? How have I failed so horribly in showing my kids that everyone is equal?
Then it hit me. I perpetuated gender stereotypes by posting a link on Facebook to that stinking article, even though I knew better. I was being punished by the universe for being so irresponsible.
Ok, ok; maybe that’s not it. But it did make me realize again that we have SO much work to do to teach our kids that everyone, regardless of who they are, is equal. In this case, I need to teach him that he is not smarter just because he is a boy. You are smart if you are open to learning, ask a lot of questions, set goals, and work hard…whether you are a boy or a girl. Or should I say man or woman?
Ugh. This mom thing is hard.
(That post has since been removed from my business page. I’ll find other ways to promote my team, so as not to tempt the universe again, and hopefully save my eyebrow from any unnecessary exercise.) 😉