At MPowered Collective we believe equality is a 2-way street, yes, we are a female run company and yes, we support women in business. Yes, we have read Lean In and believe that women need to sit at the table but men are welcome at this table too.
Recent years have been amazing for women supporting women, and women speaking out and we applauded that. However, we can’t help but wonder what the young boys of our society think when they hear stories where men are portrayed as the oppressor or the bully. A young boy of 7 or 10 does not yet know his place in the world but if he is surrounded by news and talk that he is in some way the enemy because he is a boy, how is that going to set him up. This topic interests me in particular as I have 3 young nephews, each who have such individual traits and personalities.
I am not saying that we stop using the hashtag #Girlboss or we stop supporting women but I hope that the conversation in 2019 is a bit more inclusive. Emma Watsons #HeforShe campaign speech at the UN struck a chord with so many as it was not an us vs them speech but a request to allow each gender to show their strengths and weaknesses. A request to allow men to put their guards down and know that it is ok not to always be the breadwinner, that it is ok to want to be a stay at home dad. So many men have caved under the pressure society puts on them to provide and now those same men are asked to step aside and make room for the newly empowered female. I say don’t step aside, stand beside. Show the next generation that collaborative working environments are best, that men and woman both have unique and individual skills to offer, unique skills not because they are a man or a woman but because they are human.
Empowering a young girl without empowering the boy to see her differently is just a false hope of a world she will never know.