On Contradictions

Jun 12, 2019

By Jamie Allen Black


Everyone gets conflicting opinions. Remember when we were supposed to only eat pasta and no fat … and then we weren’t supposed to eat any gluten and only healthy fats? Remember when we couldn’t eat eggs because of cholesterol … until they found out that cholesterol is primarily hereditary? Women are also often given conflicting opinions on how to get ahead at work. This article, talks about how women are often given contradictory advice in the workplace (though we are also used to it in most settings) such as speak up but with a nice tone of voice or be assertive – but not overly so. The problem with these bits of advice is that those giving them may not (or they may) understand that it is a form of victim-blaming. This is subtle because it sounds like the advisor is just being helpful. But the message women continue to receive is that 1) we are not enough; and 2) we are a problem to be fixed. I’m grateful to work in an empowering organization that realizes that neither statement is true. We are definitely enough and we, generally, aren’t the problem.