I have tolerated a lot of bad behaviour in my life.
I have had men hit on me with the promise to support my career if I slept with them.
I have had men offer money for sex, because I was standing in a hotel lobby by myself or walking down the street at night.
I have had men ask me to take notes at a meeting, not because that was my role, but because I was a woman.
I have had men ask me to grab them a coffee, again, not because that was my job, but because I was a woman.
And, I have had men tell me crude jokes, or make suggestive comments on the phone, confident they will not be corrected, abraded, or called out.
Sure, it may seem small potatoes in the big picture of the pressing dangers women face all over the world, everyday — Rape, war, violence against women, female genitalia disfiguration and so many other inhumane practices that do not serve our humanity well.
But, gender-based biases, where I allow bad behaviour to be the norm, or laugh them off with a wave of my prettily manicured hand and shrug as if to say, “Oh well. Boys will be boys,” does not change anything.
Boys will be boys and they deserve so much more than being the target of women’s ire and disdain. Or being boys who hurt women.
It was Gandhi who said, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Yet, even he could not escape the more carnal elements of his human nature. In his own letters, he wrote of his ‘experiments’ of sleeping naked with young women in his bed to test his resolve of chastity and promote the celibate life as the path to peace. (Source) He gave little thought to the impact of his actions on the mental health of his young female companions.
We can’t just BE the change we want to see in the world. We must ensure the changes we make change us for the better. And, that they are good for everyone. Not just the one.
Change doesn’t just depend on our doing the small things and the big things to create better, it means being ‘the better’ we want to see in the world.
Let’s begin changing ourselves so that in those changes, we change our world. Because when I change, my whole world changes around me — let my changes create better for everyone.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY (IWD) (March 8) is an important day to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural & political achievements + call for gender equality
This year’s IWD theme is – “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” highlighting gender gaps in STEM education and careers — and calling attention to the online harassment many women face.
International Women’s Day is also a reminder of the long road ahead. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned Monday that women’s rights are being “abused, threatened and violated” around the world and gender equality won’t be achieved for 300 years without urgent action.
#EmbraceEquity #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2023 #women #standupbestrongbebold #ShePersisted #ShePersistedSeries