Years ago, our mother’s mother stayed at home. She tended to the house, she looked after the family and the man went out to earn a living. Today, women live in dual income households, they go out to earn their keep and come home to the second shift. The conversations about equality, feminism, the work ethic, work/life balance, supportive workplaces and effective parenting have raged through the years and still do.
The debate seems to centre on whether we can have it all or not. We don’t hear men discussing having it all however.
We have enough people weighing in quite effectively on whether we can have it all.
Anne-Marie Slaughter explains why we cant have it all.
Amy Walburn argues that this discussion needs to touch on equality.
Sabrina Parsons says that feminism is in our own hands.
Chimène Keitner states that nobody can win this race.
I want to save my comment on this in a later post.
What I want to drive home here is that it all starts with dialogue. We need to share our stories, we need to tell each other what is important to us and we need to fight our causes openly.
We are juggling many balls. We have competing priorities. We live in an age of ever increasing technology, which promises to give us more freedom and flexibility yet we act and live as if we have even less freedom than ever before. Sometimes, overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of what we have to battle, it feels that there is no point in responding and that it’s much better to sit and watch.
I beg to differ. I say continue the dialogue. Step forward and make your voice heard. Be part of the community. Don’t curse what’s wrong, be part of the change that needs to happen, in whatever way you can. When we share our stories, we see that others live similar lives, that others may do more with less, that others may achieve results in situations that may not support it. We may find ourselves opening our eyes to entirely new possibilities. When more and more of us begin to do this, common threads are shared. A collective voice grows stronger, and the possibility for real action increases. Action on an individual level and then perhaps at a grassroots and then,community level. But the process needs to start somewhere. We’d like to think that we need to be a somebody to achieve results at a higher level but action starts with us.
Alicia Keys talks about a number of ‘extraordinary women’ who are focused on specific needs related to girls and women. These women are part of a group titled the League of Extraordinary Women and they are leveraging their personal success and their platforms to make a difference. We’re talking about the likes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Jennifer Buffett (President, NOVO Foundation), Maria Eitel (CEO, Nike Foundation), Laura Pinkus Hartman (Founder of Zynga.org) and many many more… all making inroads in technology, education, entrepreneurship, health, human rights, relief aid, media and youth. Alicia is one of these women as a result of her work with Keep A Child Alive.
But the point she makes is
“…. if there is a common thread between us ‘extraordinary women’ it’s that we are all just ‘ordinary women’ who achieved success in another arena via business, government, academics, politics and entertainment etc and soon learned that true fulfillment and self-worth comes from a higher calling…helping others”.
There is validity in your voice. It doesn’t matter who you are, and you don’t need to be famous. Think of it as a call. A call to you to be part of the vision, to be part of a global story.
Tell your story.
Write in to magazines, start a blog, comment and share your opinions on blogs and on articles. Stand up and be heard.
It is only when we share our stories that we can begin to feel hope, to understand the humanity of what we all go through, to allow our vulnerability to triumph.
Silence in this sense, only serves to dissuade, to sustain the status quo and to drain.