Driving home late last night I heard an interview with a young girl named Alice. I assume the interview was pre-recorded because it was way past her bedtime.
She began a button campaign encouraging girls to raise their hands in class whether they’re sure they have the right answer or not. http://www.gscnc.org/raiseyourhand
I don’t remember being hesitant to raise my hand in class in primary school. And I don’t necessarily remember feeling reticent to do so in high school, other than feeling more or less uninspired to do so.
But I definitely am aware of having my drive and aggressive tendencies tamped down by a subtle pall of disregard and disenchantment from elders. I can easily recall a whole realm of unaccepted-ness around traits in me, or behaviors, that did not fit the ideal feminine. Traits that in a male probably teeter on overbearing, but nonetheless acceptable, in me as female are considered off-putting – in need of softening.
Not to say I’m not better for it – but definitely acknowledging there was a lot lost due to lack of an even playing field.
Though I choose not to spend a lot of time on it – and I know there are myriad women (and men) who have, with great intention, lived into their full potential – I note only briefly the ingrained bias in our human culture toward writing women off more readily than one would men. And I only note it briefly because the problem deserves brief note and the solution a vast action oriented treatise.
So to each one of us, no matter where we sit on the female/male spectrum, let’s raise our hands (and voices and lives), no matter what answers we sense are true.