Men in Black Robes

Carolyn Leighton

May 09, 2022

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I woke up from a dream this morning that a bunch of men in black robes had taken complete control of my body - telling me what I can and cannot do about ALL my life decisions!

No - what? It wasn't a dream? It was a nightmare?

No. It wasn't just a nightmare. It is a nightmare and it is reality!!!!

When the story broke about the draft release indicating that we were facing the probability of a Roe vs. Wade reversal, so many things immediately jumped into my mind.

First and foremost - how in the world did we get here? Calling upon all esteemed members of the psychiatric world! Please help us understand how we arrived here - and, more importantly, how we can get out of this nightmare - do we really have to move to a different country????. What the hell happened????

While I am waiting to hear back from my psychiatric colleagues, I want to share my insights:

I think about the thousands of overt and subtle messages in my own life's journey to adopt a culture where, as women, we went along with this thinking: Of course a man should be the school principal (when I grew up it was always a man), the CEO, and, of course a man should be in charge of the rules. Of course a man should be President. It was the "man" who was the recognized head of the family, CEO, President, not the woman, even though, in so many cases, she was smarter, more qualified and had better instincts.

Here are some examples I experienced in my life's journey. I grew up in a family business. My mom was clearly the brains and the talent which drove a successful business, but it was my father who was always the only one acknowledged and recognized as the "head" of the business.

I grew up in a family of five brothers and five sisters. It wasn't until I started becoming conscious (in my 30s!) that I realized that all my brothers were encouraged to go to go grad school, become lawyers, become scientists, while all the sisters were encouraged to get a bachelor's degree, find a husband, get married, have children.

My mother grew up at a time when only men were sent to college. Her teachers had to go to her family home to convince her parents to allow her to accept a full scholarship at the University of Michigan, even though all of her brothers had gone to college.

When Hillary was running for President, many analysts stated that her biggest obstacle to winning the Presidency was women - that women were more likely to vote for a man.

How many times have you had experiences like this one? I had taken my dog with me while I waited for my car to be serviced. A woman who worked at the car dealership came up to me and said, "Oh, I have wanted a dog my entire life but my husband won't let me get one." My response was, "Get rid of your husband and get a dog."

How many times have we heard that phrase from women: "He won't let me"?
Please ask yourself, are you one of those women? Does this continue to happen in your personal life? In your work life? Do you consciously or unconsciously allow men to define your life, your rules, your decisions?

How many times do we, as women, continue to be complicit by allowing some man to make a decision about our lives? By not voting for a woman as President? By allowing someone less qualified than ourselves to make our life decisions - at home and at work? MILLIONS OF TIMES.

Until we choose to define our own lives - to be held 100% accountable for our own decisions, to be led by the best person for the job (at work and at home), whether they are a woman or a man - then I believe we are directly complicit in perpetuating the myth that all power, policy, major decisions belong to men.

Carolyn Leighton
Founder & Chief Influencer

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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