Knowing Your True Value

The ladies of R.E.G.A.L. self-reflect on what it means to be a woman in the 21st century with Rollins College guest speaker Dr. Eric Smaw.
On March 1st, 2013 the lovely ladies of R.E.G.A.L. (Remarkably Elegant Gifted and Ambitious Ladies) where visited by Rollins professor of philosophy and law, Dr. Eric Smaw. Dr. Smaw started his presentation going around the room and asking the ladies to describe themselves. It was verywarming to take notice of positive connotations the ladies described themselves in. One of the ladies described herself as “smart and cute” while another said she was “funny and ambitious”. However it was very interesting when Dr. Smaw asked the women to describe how other people might categorize women in general, specifically minority women. With this question,a different response came about. One of the members of R.E.G.A.L. explained that African American women are often times called “obnoxious and angry”. Another member explained how Latina women are often described as being loud and feisty.
Other terms started circulate; one in particular seemed to catch Dr. Smaw off guard since he was unfamiliar with the term “ratchet”. He couldn’t seem to stop laughing at the sound of it, but it ended up resulting into another serious conversation about the role of pop and hip-hop music in defining perceptions of women.
Essentially, Dr. Smaw demonstrated how women typically will describe themselves in positive connotations, while the media typically showcases negative stereotypicalcaricatures of women. Nicki Minaj and Snookie were media examples that came up in the discussion. His driving message to the ladies was for them to become aware of the opinions and perceptions the world may have against them. This awareness can make a person cognizant of the things they may need to change or modify to progress in the professional world. Good examples of this came out when Dr. Smaw provided business etiquette tips. For example, Dr. Smaw explained the appropriate suit colors, shoes, and hair styles that are fit in higher corporate positions. He also went over some unfamiliarcorporate cultural tendencies that are not typically common to everyone, such as the proper way to greet someone with higher status.
The lecture went so well, that Dr. Smawis considering coming back for another segment of this interesting topic. All of the members of R.E.G.A.L. were appreciative of Dr. Smaw’s presentation and look forward to his follow up lecture.


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