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Ever wonder why the majority of high-paid positions are taken up by men?

Yes, patriarchy is one answer, but the other answer is that most men are aggressive.

Men tend to develop assertive personalities in which they are go-getters and don’t take no for an answer. They’ll do their best to be proven right and will compete with anyone that gets in their way of success. 

SplitShire

Growing up, my brother always received positive reinforcement from my parents despite disobeying their rules. On the other hand, my sister and I would get called disrespectful if we interrupted an adult conversation or merely complained about washing the dishes. My brother’s stubbornness allowed him to escape from doing chores around the house while I had no choice but to follow my parents. 

I noticed this same situation at school as boys would often raise their hands to answer the teacher’s questions while the girls were quiet and kept to themselves. Boys were also never hesitant to call out the teacher’s incorrect spelling nor ask questions when they were confused. It was rare to meet a soft-spoken boy as most took up as much space as possible in a classroom.

empty classroom with wooden chairs and desks
Feliphe Schiarolli on Unsplash

At home, I portray a reserved persona of following my parents’ requests without complaint. I understand that their mindsets could never be changed since they grew up in a patriarchal country that doesn’t promote gender equality.

However, in other environments, I am one of the loudest, most confident people in the room. I make sure that my opinions are heard and question the status quo. I’ve also learned to speak for myself and exert my bold energy everywhere I go. Being assertive has paved the way for opportunities where I’ve been able to grow such as connecting with my professors better and getting job promotions. Although I grew up in a restrictive household, I no longer interpret speaking out as being rude, but rather a way to get rid of my passive voice and take up the space that I deserve.

Ahllain Santos

UC Berkeley '23

Hi my beautiful readers! My name is Ahllain Santos and I’m a first-generation, Filipino sophomore majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy at UC Berkeley. As a low-income person of color, my community lacks the resources to improve our quality of life, so my goal is to inspire underrepresented minorities to tear down institutionalized oppression. In the future, I plan to get a Ph.D. in Sociology and do research on the factors of poverty and stress on mental and reproductive health in developing countries. Outside of school, I write love songs, watch skincare videos, and go to raves :) Feel free to check my socials below and send me a message! Stay safe y'all
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