Saturday, 21 May 2011

man power

I experienced a dose of man power last week ..

It occurred at a women's conference, which was attended, as you might expect, mostly by women. In the morning there were some interesting women speakers from the local community, telling their success stories. There was a relaxed woman-2-woman atmosphere, where each woman and her wisdom were given due acknowledgement, credit and respect. The afternoon featured three male speakers.  Once the 'blokes' entered the room, the atmosphere changed remarkably. The majority of women in the room visibly started kowtowing to the men and their agendas and in one felt swoop the earlier celebrated women's power was seriously eroded.  

Coincidently, a female friend who recently attended a surgeon's conference, told me a not dissimilar story, witnessing how during a panel session the comments of a female panel member were unceremoniously swept aside. No one protested. 

Not that it is always this easy to put one's finger on this still pervasive culture. Often it is less overt and we are so used to this, that we tend to gloss over whatever just happened.

It leaves me wondering what conditioning men have that they think it is acceptable to not respect the autonomy of women? What conditioning do (many) women have that they so easily hand over their power to men? Is it a generational thing? Can this culture be shifted and if so, how?

From 'Conditions of Faith'

"The way it is for us with some people...when you are with them, you feel yourself to be confident, intelligent and strong. Then with other people you are weak, unsure of yourself, and unable to make any sense of your life, and you begin to wonder if anything is ever going to work for you......(Alex Miller, pg  186). 

How should we live our lives? What values are important in our lives? How we change this conditioning is a decision each of us needs to make. Much like it is our decision and our choice what to think, what to believe, how to think, how to behave ! 

'The unconsidered life is not worth living' ~ Socrates

1 comment:

wendy said...

Good points Patrice. It is a phenonomen I have noticed on many occasions and also have heard not just women but some men comment on as well.