After our last few posts regarding Sheryl Sandberg’s popular Lean In book, I decided to blog about the next steps, and her TED Talk titled “So we leaned in…now what?” Sheryl launches her talk with a few personal stories, but it boils down to herself asking the question “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” My favourite part is that she’s honest about how difficult getting into a leadership role is as a woman – it’s not a particularly easy task.
In starting ethreeone., a lot of people have started to talk to me about feminism and women empowerment (especially when I give out a business card!). I’ve gotten a lot of interesting opinions – a lot of people saying they totally get it, and a lot of people (including women) saying they don’t see the divide at all. Both valid opinions.
I will admit it’s also been hard to take a very firm stance on feminism. I hold leadership positions in school and sometimes it’s hard to see the effects of discrimination outrightly, especially in a developed country. However, I will argue that it doesn’t mean discrimination of the sexes doesn’t exist.
Sandberg’s recent campaign, Ban Bossy, has been endorsed by women figures internationally, most prominently by Beyoncé. Like a lot of other topics, there’s been a lot of discussion for and against “Ban Bossy”, but I think the lesson to be learned here is that discrimination doesn’t have to be obvious to exist – it could just be something we’ve grown accustomed to over centuries of living. The beauty of it all is that we’re at a point in our society where discussion is open. People are recognizing a need and starting dialogue, and that’s where change happens. It’s not an overnight thing – it’s a change in attitude and culture.
Simultaneously, this opening of discussion means that we can no longer afford to be lukewarm about opinions – it’s time to do your research and know your stance. I am most definitely not the most educated feminist around, but that doesn’t mean I give up. It means that it’s time to take the next step – educating ourselves, and investing time and effort to produce real change.
You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion.
No one is entitled to be ignorant.– Harlan Ellison