I Hope A Woman You Care About Is Affected By A Man Just Like You
To the local business owner who told her he would rather see her go to work in a burka than any of the clothing she owned because he did not want to see her body.
To the counselor who told her if her marriage failed it would be her fault because she was not letting her husband be a man.
To the installation technician who talked over her head to the men in the room after assuming she could not be the one responsible for overseeing the equipment.
To the church official who implied that if she did not find women’s work to occupy her time in the church then she was no use in carrying out the mission of God.
To the supervisor who asked if she was pregnant as an explanation for what he considered irrational behavior after she refused to be bullied by him or anyone else in the midst of a stressful project at work.
I hope a woman you care about is affected by a man just like you.
Maybe your oldest female friend has struggled with positive body image her whole life and you never understood why.
Perhaps your cousin will not stand up for what she wants while allowing her husband to mistreat her because for some crazy reason she believes that her needs or her demands for better treatment will cause the marriage to fail and it will be all her fault.
Maybe your brother’s wife could be an amazing leader if only she were sure of herself and you’ve wondered before if something happened to make her insecure.
Perhaps your mother avoids getting involved in community events after a lifetime of exemplary service and when you asked her once why she no longer lends a hand she explained that under new leadership she does not feel as though the way she used to help is respected or appreciated.
Maybe your sister is unhappy in her career despite the fact that it was the dream job she strived to secure for more than ten years and when you ask her about her relationship with her boss her eyes tear up and she changes the subject.
Do you see now the impact of men like you on the lives of women who were just trying to do their best?
Only then will your carelessness, unprofessionalism, discrimination, and outright sexual harassment strike you with the full weight of the impact it can have on a woman’s life. You probably never thought of it again, moving on almost at once from whatever you said or did, but as you will observe in the experience of the woman you care about, the same poor behavior you exhibited may affect her for the rest of her life.
If you wouldn’t say it to a man in the workplace then don’t say it to a woman.
Abandon your outdated and patriarchal perspectives because they are holding all of us back.
Don’t be surprised when a woman is the most mechanically qualified person in the room.
Value each person for the skills they bring to the table regardless of their gender.
Never under any circumstances imply that a person’s behavior is because of their biology.
Biased equality in which women have more rights and special considerations than men is not what we are looking for despite what the media would have you believe.
Basic human kindness and an evolution of thinking would be good enough.
Perhaps there will come a day when women in the workplace, in their homes, and in the streets will never be impacted by men like you.