I am going to let you into my world—the world of Caterina Stahl. Just for a quick second but in the second I will discuss one of the harder realities of life. That reality is that there is still a secret “no girls allowed” sign on many things. In my short twenty years of life I have managed to be interested in pursuing things that require me to try and slip my way into the boys clubhouse. I want to be a sports reporter, I’ve played ice hockey since I was eleven, and I was in charge of shooting the grooms party for a few weddings.
It can be hard standing at 5’2, tending to dress very feminine, and try to be taken seriously by a dude standing over six feet. I have figured out a few tricks that have helped me navigate through these uncharted waters and so if you’re in the same predicament I hope this helps you as well!
By all means throw away your baby voice.
Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. Girls often have a tendency to change the pitch of their voices when a guy comes around—especially if he’s hot. This voice will get you nowhere.
In fact, studies show that higher pitched voices don’t register as well in a man’s brain and therefore make it easier for him to tune you out. When I shot grooms parties I would speak from my diaphragm—mostly because I had to shout over all their bro-talk. But it worked; when I used my “power-voice” they followed my direction. Also watch out for your laugh. Try to work on having a deeper and possibly throatier laugh as opposed to a high shrill one.
Try to know what COD stands for.
I don’t mean you have to become a video game expert and incase you didn’t know COD stand for the popular video game “Call of Duty.” What I do mean is try to understand their world. If you can relate but knowing their lingo and what the scores of last nights games were then you have established some common ground. I mean—you’d be impressed if they could tell you the label of your clothes and the difference between foundation and concealer.
If you come prepared they will take you more seriously. It’s so easy for them to make a joke out of you if you have to ask the difference between a goal and basket. When boys are in a group this can be especially dangerous. If you do slip up don’t act silly or giggle in a flirtatious way—either try and switch the subject to something you do know about or laugh it off.
Walk the line between femme fatale and professional.
The boys don’t get all the advantages here. Don’t let them intimidate you into a shy state. Stand out. Be confident and know you are sexy, powerful, and most importantly intelligent. There’s nothing wrong with knowing you’re a women as long as it doesn’t get too flirtatious. Guys will then see you as booty and only talk to you because of that.
Men like and take confident women seriously. Even if you have to fake this confidence you must do it. Be a woman of your word, work harder than the men, and be professional.
Turn things into a competition.
I don’t mean full out war but men are naturally competitive. Showing them you have ambition and goals will make them look at you twice. Stay away from being pushy or bitchy because guys usually don’t respond well to that (it can remind them of a nagging mom).
Also, don’t be those girls who sat out in gym with “girly problems” while the boys played basketball. In any aspect of trying to co-exist with men if you give it 100% and are willing to learn then they will be willing to take you seriously.
When I play ice hockey obviously I want to compete but when it’s co-ed full check it can be easy to shy away. Instead I go all out, skate hard, and even try to hit. In one game I even scored off the first faceoff of the game. I did get hit a lot more in that game but it was because the boys saw me as a competitor worthy of their time instead of short girl in pigtails.
Have respect for yourself.
At the end of the day the only person you need to please is you. Men have insecurities too so don’t let their “I’m King of the World” attitudes fool you. Make sure your priorities are in check. Are you keeping the book for the baseball team because you’re truly interested in the sport or because you want one of the guys on the team?
Also watch your reputation. Don’t be known as the office flirt or party girl. I’m not saying boys won’t like you—its just they will like you for the wrong reasons.
Make sure you look professional as well. For weddings I wear all black and make sure I don’t have cleavage showing. For sports broadcasting I make sure my skirts are at least to my knees and my shirts are modest. You don’t have to dress like a nun but think about it—you’re not trying to get guys in the club—you’re trying to be taken seriously.
Lastly, being nice always works.
If you’re genuine and a little funky men wont think you have a hidden agenda (they hate that). Just remember what your end goal is and keep going no matter what the boys do to deter you. Good luck!