I just had lunch with a colleague who just returned from a country, which shall remain nameless, where she was invited to discuss leadership development for women. It was clear to her that not all the men around the table were supportive of the idea and she was reluctant to believe that the idea would proceed.
I thought to myself, thank God we live in a country where ‘things are different.’ But how different are they? Are they where we would like them to be? I don’t think so. Not even close.
This, as you may or may not know, are the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” in Canada from Nov 25 – Dec 6. This aforementioned country would say, “we aren’t violent toward our women!” I would counter that it depends how you define violence. And by viewing them as having fewer rights and privileges than men we, possibly inadvertently or advertently, as the case may be, set them up to experience fewer opportunities and greater challenges than their male counterparts.
It’s critical that we include the idea of gender bias in our discussions of emotional intelligence. Tweet This!
I’m in my early 50’s and have studied feminist scholars in graduate school and have a feminist marital partner (who happens to be an author and expert in the area of woman abuse in our home province of BC) and a feminist daughter who teaches Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria. I am, therefore, what you might call a somewhat aware guy. I say ‘somewhat’ because I can slip back into a more traditional male role at the blink of an eye – and often do. My father, may he rest in peace, was a very traditional male role model and while I try to do things differently, I still find myself thinking the way my father did, and seeing the world the way my father did.
It’s critical that we include the idea of gender bias in our discussions of emotional intelligence. We need to understand how our socialization affects how we, as men or women, or other-gendered, experience the world and treat others.
Please visit this website to see what you can do to honour “The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.”
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It’s up to all of us to end gender based violence (read violence against girls and women) – yes, I know there is violence against men as well, but the overwhelming percentage of cases and extent of the damage is caused by men. I’m joining those that want to end gender violence.
Violence against women is a men’s issue.
How does your gender bias affect the way you live your life? Please comment below.