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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Empowering Women in Gomeshi Culture

On the surface, the substance of this article sounds good.  Some of the most amazing leader are women - we definitely want them to be successful.  And yes, the facts Rhonda Abrams brings up all have merit.
But there's more to the picture than this, isn't there?
Young women of colour with physical disabilities from marginalized communities can be as massively successful as a white male born to a rich, powerful family from a wealthy neighbourhood - in theory.  In reality, though, the challenges faced are much greater.
That's before you add in a culture of stigma, blaming, socio-economic factors, etc.  It's simplistic to simply tell Lazarus to get up and walk; we're not Jesus.
Yet that's what we do, isn't it?  We encourage people to throw off their shackles, and be free, when the reality is that those "shackles" aren't bonds, they are part of our developed cognitive selves and the cultural ecosystems we inhabit.
Plus, there are predators out there, looking to isolate and bring low.  Women are more likely to be targets; society is more likely to be a silent accomplice in abuse. 
And all this before we get to a sticking point which always stands out to me - how many successful people leave wakes of human detritus behind them?  Cause problems that others are forced to clean up?  Take without consideration of return?
For true leaders, money and power aren't the end game.  They are conduits to a goal.  Leaders never want to lose sight of what matters and put themselves first.  There's something parental about this instinct, but not strictly maternal - good dads are equally willing to make personal sacrifices for the well being of their kids and families.

There are no easy answers in this, no clear paths forward, no singular right and wrong.  The only thing that's definitive is that change is needed.

I'm glad we're having conversations about this.  It's time.


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