Braggadocious: Why Aren’t Women Allowed to be Proud?

I have always hated talking about myself. My worst fear is giving a “fun fact” about myself in a group setting, or being asked why I think I should be hired for a job. By nature, I am a self-deprecating person, so I have never been one to talk myself up. I thought it was because I was shy when in new atmospheres or anxious meeting new people, or perhaps it was because I choked when put on the spot. None of this is true. I realized recently that I refuse to talk about myself because I don’t want to come off as though I am bragging. I hate that word.

The fight to keep women quiet is oppressive and is a mindset that remains stagnant even as the years progress. As women, we are taught to be modest; to sit up straight, keep mum, and never come off as abrasive, conceited, bossy, etc. (the list goes on). These are qualities that have typically been written off as being unappealing when they are attached to a woman. These qualities don’t even exist in men. Men are not abrasive, they are honest. Men are not conceited, they are confident. And men are not bossy, they are leaders. Well, I want to be a leader, too.

Some pretty good things have been happening to me lately. I’ve been approached by important people to work for them, I’ve been selected for a couple awards, and I was chosen for a volunteer position that I really want. And when good things happen to you, you tell people. Except I didn’t, save for a few exceptions. I am trying to change this in myself. My hope is that I, and all women, shed this sheepskin that we are supposed to wear and show that we are wolves. We go after what we want and we are confident, with eyes on the prize. Our accomplishments are important and valuable, and are a thing to be celebrated. If the effort is there, each of us have just as much of a right to win that award or get that job as the next person. There is much to be said about feeling proud of yourself for your achievements, and I’m starting to learn that myself.

The next time something good happens to you, I hope you tell someone, everyone. I hope you think of this post and remember that being accomplished and proud as a woman is not a crime. And it certainly isn’t bragging.

– D



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