I’m not infrequently accosted by people, men and women, who on learning what I do, feel compelled to tell me about some awful boss they had who was a woman.
I’m not sure quite what they expect me to do with the information. Fall to the floor in a swoon and say “Oh no, I renounce the devil (possibly should be ‘witch’) feminism and all its works and will change my wicked ways immediately?” Or maybe shout passionately while rending my clothes: “What am I thinking of promoting gender equality when clearly there are women out there who are not, (gasp), perfect!”
I haven’t yet had the courage to do any of things, (although having written this down I am now tempted.)
Instead, I look at them kindly and explain that being a passionate supporter of gender equality does not mean that I think all men are evil incarnate and women are the perfect beings.
Rather that I think men and women are the human race and the human race should be ‘represented’ by the whole human race, not just one half, however flawed all of us are.
That the systems that have evolved over time do not support that kind of equality, and so the systems need to be changed.
That even women have been conditioned into thinking that a certain type of male behaviour is the norm for everyone, the yardstick we should be all be judged by, and that if we could escape these stereotypes who knows just what we’d be capable of and what a wonderful world we could create together?
That evidence where men and women are treated equally in the world is already showing huge improvements on just about every metric you care to mention, and that surely in 2016 we should all be signed up to gender equality, even if we are flawed individuals, trying to do our best.
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