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Is Being the Good Girl Bad For Us?

Apr 24, 2013
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Nick Onken

I was the perfectseñoritasacrificada. Fifteen years ago I was a successful, workaholic journalist, a good daughter, sister,tía, and a devoted mother who got her 10-year old son to school on time. I was so focused on everyone else's needs that I had little time to care for my own.

Though I'm Puerto Rican, I had what a friend calls the "mejicanapleaser syndrome": do for others before you do for you. I was attached to saying "yes" when I wanted to scream "no." And I said nothing because, as the old saying goes, "calladita me veo más bonita."

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But not speaking up for ourselves is leaving us behind—and that's not good. According to Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever'sWomen Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide, women are four times less likely to ask for a raise than men. Another study by the National Partnership for Women and Families found that Latinas earn 55 cents to the white-male dollar.

Standing our ground isn't any easier at home. When my mother insisted that I baptize my first-born child in the Christian faith, I said I wanted to raise my children in the faith that I chose. After a breakthrough conversation, my days of martyrdom were over.

That empowered me to say no to ridiculous work assignments and 12- hour days. I spoke up and asked my news director to let me produce a public affairs show that later went on to win an Emmy award.

La sacrificada. La humilde. Good girl. Any which way you call it, this role keeps too many Latinas trapped and it's time we kiss heradiós.

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Date: 07.12.2018, 21:05 / Views: 33433