Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why the way we treat women matters...

There is a lot of discussion globally about the treatment of women, and I think it is easy to see what happens in far off lands and shake our heads, thinking:  What? Women can't go to school? What? Women can't drive? 

The cultural gap is staggering.

Yet we forget that in the US there was a time in our nation when we believed that women couldn't understand the intricacies of politics.

There was a time when women authors or those who ran businesses used male pseudonyms because men wouldn't give women's ideas the same credence as that of another man.

(Thankfully, I don't have to be C.D. Hutchison.)

Treating people with parity matters.

And as modern or enlightened as we may feel ourselves to be, everyone has an internal scale by which people are dismissed.  (Political parties, anyone?)  We decide who we can or cannot hear based on  our own criteria which may include biases based on where we were raised, the religion we embrace, or the socio-economic status we hold.

Here's the thing...when we dismiss a voice because we find it to be less valuable than our own, we are missing something. Divergence broadens our field of vision.

And while I am unlikely to take gardening advice from someone who has never tried it, listening to people share their own experience and giving them credence for knowing what they are talking about is something different.  Allowing people to make determinations about their own lives matters.

This incredible value placed on people without parsing them into sets and subsets changes the way we walk around in the world. It changes our lives...for the good.



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