Women, Let’s Be Prophets

Women, let’s be prophets.

I’m part of a footy tipping competition with a group of people who would all now be classed as middle aged. When I picture them in my mind they are in their early 20’s, holding an alcoholic beverage in a plastic cup and being ridiculously silly. I’m talking getting naked and climbing on the roof to sing opera, playing drinking games, and hiding under the bed giggling while the police made a visit in the middle of a party (that may have been me). My picture is of course in sepia, a curled up shot tacked on the wall of a university share house. The colourful reality is that we are now men and women with mortgages, children, bald spots and crows feet.  And while life has changed, our silliness lives on through emails, weekends away, and occasionally the most fantastic happenstance of a get together.

The footy tipping comp is run by a mate Hamish, who is now a doctor in Sydney (single and lovely just incase you happen to know anyone). He is legendary with a spread sheet, reliable with his tally, and unabashed in his love of the mighty Hawks. There are roughly 27 people in the footy tipping group, and each week Hamish provides a run down of who’s playing who and what the weekend has in store sports wise. I love reading Hamish’s updates. He confidently hands out his opinion mixed with fact, and then makes a claim on who he believes will be a winner. He provides his predictions with more confidence than George Clooney in a singles bar.

Here’s the thing though. Out of our list of 27, Hamish sits at about number 21 on the ladder. And I feel it’s only appropriate that I let you know at this point that I’m 7th – it has no relevance to the story, I just need to pop that it in there.

Yesterday I clicked on my Facebook page to see the guru of blogging Darren Rowse had posted a question to a group of Aussie bloggers. He was looking for someone who would be considered ‘the prophet’ in their niche or industry. Someone who ‘tells it like it is’. The replies were all from women which was expected as the group has more women than men. Quite a few people suggested the same person which always tends to happen in the collective decision making process (my friend Janet is studying collective decision making and she told me this over sushi yesterday). And then a few women, like three or four, apologetically suggested themselves with a disclaimer on why they perhaps wouldn’t maybe really technically see themselves as prophets. I think maybe one or two women put their hand up and said with a definite yes that they were prophets.

I began to wonder if this would be the case if a bunch of male bloggers were asked the same question. Would they struggle to put themselves out there in front of their peers?

I didn’t put my hand up. I didn’t put my hand up because I didn’t want people to think I was a wanker. I didn’t want people to think I was full of myself, or big noting myself, or getting just a little too big for my boots. I heard those voices that we women often hear in the background the Who does she think she is? I didn’t put my hand up because that’s how I’ve played the game for most of my life. I’ve just hoped that someone will notice that I’m doing okay and decide to give me a chance. I’m the reason women write books about leaning in. I’m the overwhelming percentage that shows that women systemically underestimate their ability and downplay their achievements.

If you were to ask me if Hamish knew anything about footy I’d give you a resounding yes. I’d give you a resounding yes because each week he shows me just how interested and engaged he is on the topic. He puts himself out there as a prophet by literally prophesying the results. Much like many of the bloggers I know.

Each day I come here, to this exact spot, to tell stories. I talk about expat life, relocating, family, and storytelling. I receive beautiful heartfelt emails from people all over the world to tell me they think I’m doing a good job – but even typing that last sentence sends a shiver down my spine. Did I sound too cocky? Was that too much?

Women, we need to put our hands up.

Let’s be prophets.

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