Disrupting the Status Quo-Oh Boy
I spent part of Friday evening at a lovely gathering to hear about a potential project someone wanted feedback about. There were around 16 folks in the room. It was about 50/50 on people who identified as male or female.
We listened to a young man share about his project for around 20 minutes and then the space was open for feedback and ideas.
For the next 45 minutes the men in the room tossed out ideas, concerns, and questions. The female side was primarily silent. When a female did try and speak she ended up having to raise her hand and be called on by the host before she was given the space to share.
This scenario is very familiar to me. It has been most of my life. I perhaps am overly aware of this pattern. And it often triggers the hell out of me. But this time I consciously chose to simply notice, to witness the habit. To watch the status quo unfold. And to wonder what goes on in the heads of all the rest of the folks in the room. Am I the only person noticing this?
Dear Males. Particularly white males. Particularly over 40.
If you could and would bring your attention to this particular challenge in how we share space.
If you could observe instead of talk.
If you could invite those people who generally don’t talk to have an opportunity to do so.
If you could interrupt this status quo.
If you could do this one thing regularly you would be a world change-maker.
For some of you this would and could be a daily practice.
A simple and profound step the likes of which we haven’t yet seen!
I wonder what was missed that evening because the voices of all but one female weren’t heard?
I wonder how I will feel when a male acknowledges this in my presence and asks for something different to happen?
It hasn’t happened yet for me. I look forward to the moment it does.
And I will let you know! And we can celebrate together.
And yes I could have said something. I could have pointed it out. And I do, often. It just isn't the same though. It doesn't make as much of an impact. I wish it did.
To the change-makers. The courageous ones who can take the simple (not easy) steps.
P.S. My favorite Ted Talk right now.
P.S.S. We have taken a little summer break from public events for Stoke Your Woke. We'll be back soon. Stay tuned.
We appreciate your support!!