We’ve talked this month about taking action. It doesn’t have to be great and mighty actions, we need only do simple things in our everyday lives to create progress. Yes, great action that upends our lives is necessary too, but it is not necessary of all of us. Do as much as you are comfortable with or what you feel compelled to do. No one need feel pressured in one way or the other, in my opinion. Yes, there are women and feminists and men and MRA’s and LGBT persons and trans activists who would say otherwise, but not me.
Progressive action comes from a place in us that needs to be true of our own feelings and selves. There is no room here for false pretense or disingenuous action. Sure, we often need to “fake it til we make it” but that’s not the same as when we do things just because we feel pressured by others and don’t understand what we’re fighting for. Let it sink in. There’s room in this world for all kinds of action and I know I may get accused of watering it down and not demanding enough of each other, but that’s simply not how I feel about it.
Someone needs to be in our workplaces confronting people about discriminating against our coworkers and degrading them at work or behind their backs. Our actions for gender equality don’t have to be a part of a movement. Some days, just getting up and going to work and doing a good job in a place where you are not stereotyped to be is enough. That goes for men who do “women’s work” and women who do “men’s work” and all the people out there who defy these stereotypes by being themselves and not subscribing to either of these binary genders. Action is different for everyone.
I have to ask myself sometimes, what have I done today to progress gender equality around me?
I went to work in a male-dominated field and workplace. I did a good job. I gracefully declined benevolent sexism and explained why. I rejected and addressed microaggressions.
Simple actions can start the change in the perceptions of our coworkers, and therefore their ability to recognize the accomplishments of others and their own abilities. People are people and should be treated as individuals. Generalizations of groups can hold people back and cause self-perpetuated problems with them. So take action today, even if it’s only a small one.
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