Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Message from The Offshore Girl on International Women's Day 2017

Before I became a lifestyle blogger who swishes skirts, flicks eye-liners and rides on heels, I was this girl. 
Offshore on Naga 3
I was an offshore engineer who worked with and, at times, led teams of testosterone-infused colleagues. I must say that it was how I learnt most about being a woman. My tenure at sea failed to transform me into a burly, bra-burning, men-shaming chauvinist. In fact, I accept that men and women are different so that they can compliment each other. 
On Merdeka Day
Although I am capable of striking iron with a hammer and climbing vertiginous ladders in boots, it never appealed to me that a strong woman is the one doing all the DIYs at home while her man cooks in the kitchen. Why not, some might challenge. Yes but my point is that a strong woman is defined more by how she respects herself enough for others to do the same, not by how she questions or challenges the stereotyped roles.
Directional Driller
Women have come a long way since the days when they were not even allowed to receive education. Yet, some traces of male superiority prevails. When a man and a woman conveys the same message in an office in a male dominated environment like at offshore, who do you think will be taken more seriously? Honestly, sometimes it can take more effort for a woman to be trusted. And it can be for reasons as simple as her humps. 
Out at sea
The experience coached me to be a woman whose words hold the same weight as men. A strong woman in my opinion is a woman who can earn the respect of men while making her opinions heard. Think Michelle Obama. 
On the helideck
Not to be confused with arrogance, respect for herself attracts many other strengths that she needs to overcome life's challenges. So yes, this lady offshore engineer might be still be cooking in the kitchen and changing diapers but she shall not be disrespected as she respects herself enough to not let it happen.
Happy Women's Day!