Being Like a Man

I have already admitted, and been excoriated in the past, for not being a feminist. At least how a feminist is defined nowadays. I read somewhere that it’s considered the fourth wave of feminism. Nope, not for me.

However, once upon a time I did read or hear something that a feminist said that I agree with. She maintained that men are better at asking for a raise than women are. Women tend to be more submissive and self-deprecating. They don’t come out and simply ask to be compensated as easily as men do.

I totally and absolutely agree with that. It used to be agony for me to go into my boss’s office and have a heart-to-heart talk about my salary. Even lately, having been out of the corporate world for thirteen years, I still cringe about those sessions.

The other day, I was listening to a webinar in which the three male contributors were saying all these wonderful things about how authors should come out and ask for reviews from their readers, and ask for readers to pass along their name as well as the name of their book if they liked it or even join their newsletter. These men had absolutely no problems doing that.

I do. Then I realized that it’s probably just a continuation of asking for a raise.

Why shouldn’t I ask a reader to give me a review if they liked the book – or even if they didn’t? Why do I feel this reserve about asking them to pass along the name of one of my books to someone else or even to recommend me as an author?

It might be part of my childhood training. I was taught to be modest and self-effacing. People who bragged about themselves were tacky. Being boastful was a sign of poor character and a horrible upbringing.

All of those things feed into the reluctance to toot your own horn or to ask a reader to help you gain a readership. Pushing myself to be on YouTube – as initially painful as it has been – was one step on the road to doing new things. Look for me to urge you to write a review, or to recommend my books.

Who knows? I might become as brave as a male author.  🙂

6 thoughts on “Being Like a Man”

  1. I was reading The Fertile Vampire in my dermatologist office while waiting to get another spot cut off me and was visiting with the assistant later, she asked if I liked to read. I told her what I was reading and recommended you as a writer. I told her that I usually read your historical romance, but at this time I was reading The Fertile Vampire and was enjoying it. It is a good read and entertaining, light and funny in a lot of places. Right now I can use a pick me up, as I have had to have three surgeries for skin cancer and am getting a little down about all of it. Thankfully, I have your books to read to pick me up and give me good things to think about. Please keep writing.

  2. It is naturally hard for most women to be hesitant about asking for something but what I’ve learned is the phrase “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” rings true.

  3. Women have been taught for centuries to be demure, quiet, and accepting. Don’t make waves. No matter how many ceilings have been cracked and shattered, we still find ourselves saying “I’m sorry” as a lead-in to something we want to ask but are unsure of how it will be received. We apologize for asking. Makes no sense, right? Because we’re taught it’s not okay to ask. Like we’re not worthy. But, it is okay. If we’re working, earning money, doing a job, then we need to speak up without apologizing.

    I’m an independent contractor for the work I do, and for this one job I felt I was being underpaid. So I pulled all the work, showed them how little I was being paid for the time and quality of work, and asked for more money. And, they came back to me with a yes. They weren’t necessarily being complacent, but the role of the job had changed, and I was putting more sweat equity into it to get it done, and they needed me to point it out. And, they came back with a significant raise.

    Speak up, the worst one can be told is no, but if we don’t speak up, we’ll never get a yes.

  4. Over the years I’ve worked in bookstores, belonged to rwa until my talent as a grandmother overcame my meager talent as an writer. One thing I have always loved doing is turning on readers to good authors. I have no shame in telling other about a good book I’ve read no matter where I corner them and most appreciate it. I would think true readers would have no problem in writing you a review. I say go for it.

  5. I totally agree. I worked in the business world for 15 years. I finally had the nerve to ask and ended up being transferred with a new title but no money!! I feel I deserve a raise now, but it’s a very small company and I just can’t do it (sigh). I actually never enter contests that ask for a review because I could never give a bad one or at least not a good one but feel obliged after being given a book. The last book I tried to write a nice review on Amazon they wouldn’t let me because I hadn’t spent enough money – is that really a thing for goodness sake. I always share and tell people about books I enjoy.

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