Words Matter – Gender Edition. There has been progress, but much remains to be done and many challenges to overcome for a gender-equal world.
August 26th marks women equality day. This is why I decided to write about why words matters when it comes to gender. You can be a firm believer in equality, but if your words and your jokes are still sexist, you are teaching anyone within hearing distance that women are inferior.
Often when I speak about these things, I am told that it’s always been this way or we are not the only ones to talk this way. That doesn’t matter. Just because it’s been done before, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed. We can improve. Just because other people are acting worst, doesn’t mean that we can’t hold ourselves to higher standards. There is absolutely no reason why we can’t imagine something different, something better.
Often a man will be described as confident but a woman as arrogant. A man will be described as assertive but a woman as aggressive. When you hear things like these, step in, correct the description. Often, people are doing so without even realizing it. Pointing it out, helps people realize that words have power and being aware of our role is also important.
One compliments more often a boy on his abilities and a girl on his appearance. Try to reverse this trend!
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch you words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, because they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become.” – Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady