Recently a friend of mine told me how she dealt with her employee, a production assistant, who needed to improve.
“I brought her in to my office and said, ‘I need to talk to you and this is going to be uncomfortable for both of us. But we’ll get through it and eventually our working relationship is going to be much stronger. Plus, you’ll be a better PA.'”
While that management style might repel some people — I think it’s a great approach.
I love being reminded that discomfort can be endured and overcome with results far more positive than if it were avoided.
That said, I’m super glad I’m so far into adulthood that I don’t need to discuss my last blog post with my parents.
Several times this weekend, I reread it attempting to imagine how my mother or my (shuddering to think) father might have felt when (or if) they read it. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of my brother (or cousins or aunt or uncle) skimming it over either.
Family, this is not an invitation for you to reach out to me about the post.
Am I being a hypocrite? I don’t think so. This stuff — (say it Ruth, Ms. Open Minded) sex (sex!) — it’s kind of uncomfortable to talk about.
I guess we all have different thresholds.
I’m comfortable talking about sex with my lovers, but (now I’m imagining my parents grimacing over the plurality of that) I would rather not — and see no reason to — involve my family. I mean, Andy is family, so I should say, “my non-partner family members”. Sheesh, this is hard–difficult. Annoying.
“Except you blogged about it, Ruth.”
I did. Didn’t I? Three days of the highest blog traffic I’ve had since this site started in 2007.
Luckily, my family is bright enough to see that I was using personal experience to talk about a current event and what it might say about our culture.
Oh and, they’re smart enough to know that all healthy people have libidos. And besides, aren’t I attempting to rid myself of this type of embarrassment because sex is nothing to be ashamed of?
Even as I half-jokingly wonder about my own self-consciousness, I can’t stop thinking about people in developing countries.
Here in the U.S., we just witnessed a huge outpouring of support for women’s health, which was wonderful. But in the continuum of human rights, even with all of our struggles, we live in paradise.
I saw Nicholas Kristof give a talk last fall, and here’s one of the more memorable things he mentioned:
When a family can only afford to give some of their children education, medical care or food, those resources almost always go to the boys. Feeding centers around the world are filled with starving girls, many of whom have healthy brothers.
“In the last half century, more girls were discriminated to death than all the people killed on all the battlefields in the 20th Century.”
God, so what do we do?
I’m going to learn more, for starters. And I’m going to keep writing and having uncomfortable conversations.
And I’m going to continue being grateful, grateful that I was raised with equal care as my brother, grateful that I have the luxury of being embarrassed over my sex life, grateful that I’ve been kept safe enough to cultivate a sex life.
That’s me. How about you, do you have any ideas?