The 8th of March is International Women’s Day.
As a blogger I have a diary that has all the “special” days throughout the year marked in it.
I have this so I can plan my blogs in advance and that I have content that goes out on time and is relevant.
As the 8th of March approached and with gender equality being so visible at the moment, I wanted to write something relevant to the subject.
What to write?
I have been pondering what I could write for a few days.
As a man, it’s difficult to write something about women that sounds genuine, not clichéd or controversial.
What would I know? I’m just a man, right?
Let’s flip that.
What would I say to a woman that tried to tell me how I should think about myself?
How could a woman ever know what it feels like to be a man?
In a world where half the population is the opposite sex to us, why is it so hard to understand the other?
There’s an old saying that if you want to truly understand someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
But maybe we don’t need to completely understand what it it’s like to walk a mile in a woman’s shoes.
Maybe we just need to realise that women and men are different and that we can never truly understand each other but, and here is the crux, we are all human…
Let that sink in a little. We are all people of the world. We all breathe the same air and need the same nourishment to survive and grow. Something we can’t do without each other.
The other day, I was at the gym and I overheard someone say that they thought a person was strong, for a girl.
I countered that she was just strong and that could probably lift more weight than any of us.
All four of us sat in silence for a few seconds before we all agreed. She was just strong.
For a such a large problem, most people think that there should be large solutions. The subject gets examined by thinktanks and Governments who then in turn come up with large scale measures to implement.
The thought is that surely only large-scale solutions could solve large scale problems.
They agree to measures like legislation to make businesses publish their gender pay gap or massive education changes or… the list goes on and the world moves ever slowly towards change.
But, maybe we should be looking at the existing brightspots.
A brightspot is a place where it is already working, where there are no real gender gaps.
We need to understand what they are doing correctly and to learn from them. Normally by examining a brightspot we can find little changes that can lead us more quickly towards meaningful change.
Sometimes the solution is a series of small steps.
Take CrossFit for example
As a relatively new sport, the old gender stereotypes haven’t been able to take hold. This wasn’t a man’s sport that women have been allowed to take part in at a later stage.
The sport has developed with both women and men at the heart of it.
Women receive the same amount of prise money at the CrossFit Games, an international competition for the sport. They also get the same amount of TV coverage during the games. Something that can’t be said of all other sports.
Women and men even compete together in the same team at the highest level.
And why not? The women that take part in the sport put in the same number of hours of training and bleed the same as the men.
Everyone that takes part from the professional to the weekend warrior is considered an athlete and expected to respect one another on that basis and no other.
You aren’t judged on how you look, only on your attitude and what you do.
The ethos is that it doesn’t matter who you are.
As long as you try hard and respect everyone else; you belong.
Values that I reflect in my own business.
Why couldn’t we take these CrossFit values and use them in our workplaces?
Both women and men should be equally valued for what they bring to the party.
We should all respect each other. Because, as people we are all trying as hard as we can to get by and regardless of gender, we all put in the hours. We all bleed the same.
Maybe it’s time to say to everybody, if you don’t like it, it’s time for you to move on.
But if you can do this; you belong.
Let me know what you think about this in the comments below. I would love to get to know your opinions on this.
Be all you can be
I bet you didn’t know that International Women’s day was established in 1911, some 7 years before women were granted the vote in the UK.
I long for a day when International Women’s Day is scrapped and we just have International People’s Day instead.