Given the floor

This morning was one of those mornings where I woke up in a really good mood, my mother was on the "up" last night (so I didnt have my usual monday of her crying on the floor and throwing things at me), but after about ten minutes in my first class I was feeling pretty damn down and out about living in this country. We were discussing how different people identify themselves in certain cultural groups, whether that is ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, whatever, and how we as nurses need to be aware of this in our practice. Awesome, that part is great and I understand, here was where it got a bit pear shaped for me....

We had to discuss in small groups something that is imporant to us, or how we identify that may be hard for people to understand. I, as usual, put my two cents in as to how I really think that sometimes my role as nurse and my feminism clash, because of the whole aspect of serving on someone wiothout question, and how some of the male patients treat us (this is a personal one for me). out of the six people I was discussing this, one other woman agreed with me that she doesn't feel that it is right to not be able to voice concern over some of their behaviour (I am not sure how it is overseas, but so far we have been taught to shut up and say nothing, like we are about everything). The others thought that their role as carers and helpers to men (as they put it) was a "Woman's role", and how apparently "it should be" or nothing works.

That is upsetting to me. Even when it is a group of Women, alone, without judgment from men, I could still see awkward shuffling and glancing around at the male students in other groups while we talked about this. Even when given the floor in a safe environment, when they don't even have to bring up the concern themselves they still felt unsafe to say what some of them (not all, I think some of them really believed what they were saying) wanted to say. It's sad that we are too scared, even in our own space, at times to say anything that may "disappoint" a man. It makes me wonder if this place will ever change. I keep doing my best to give these Women that floor to say things, at school and in my relationships with other Women here, because it is a scary thing here to stand up for yourself to a man, but it is hard. Oneday i hope this place will change and we will be the progressive place that we try to show the world we are.