I was watching the amazing tedtalk by Isabel Allende as she described some of the women who dedicate their lives to making the world better and the incredible cultural sexism they faced in their journeys.
Near the end of the talk Isabel talks about the world as it is and how unsatisfyingly bad it is and how much better it could be if we could promote women’s rights and embrace women in jobs.
What’s striking to me is that I’ve noticed the tendency of not just the lack of women in various job roles, but also that any women that do get into those jobs tend to need to act like men in order to advance. I’m not just talking about sexism, but about aggressive social interaction, bullying and inconsideration for the wider implication of action. Their patriarchies are not familiar matriarchies or tribal relations.
There is an interesting thought that we should be investing more in enterprises run by women, especially in the third world where women can really make a difference for their families and society.
Isabel also mentions teaching young men how to understand and embrace their feminine energy. something I assume is code words for social organisation such as the idea that the people we talk to may actually be important enough to care about, empathise with and think about in a less self serving manner. I know it seems hard to think of people as people and not as ways to further one’s personal agenda, but it’s possible to teach I think.
I guess I’d be a feminist if I thought it should be a movement and didn’t just think of it as common sense. Rather than thinking I need to join a social group of people, I think I’m rather more comfortable imagining everyone a feminist and anyone who behaves sexist is simply that: outside the realm of acceptable behaviour.