The image is from Facebook; a colleague posted this today. It means a lot because it comes from someone who I know has a great and kind heart, who finds inequality ugly and who is not afraid to speak his mind. And saying “there was times when I should have...”, does not come from flaws. We are all flawed. We all sometimes let things go. It simply means you are not going to let fear of acknowledging that reality stop you from calling it out.
And that’s what’s needed. From men. From women. From ME.
I have sometimes been angry over an incident and at the same time cautioned myself against that anger because “it wasn’t SO bad” or “I am just being overly politically correct” or “I use salty language sometimes ....so I guess it’s the same...”. And stewed. And felt that there was no upside to saying anything. Only down. And ended up been as frustrated about the feelings of guilt and worry as I was about the comments that started it.
It’s easier to call it out when I see others up against it. I do that. So why not as often when it’s me? Because I don’t know intent to be bad (he’s alright ...does not mean harm)...I hold back. Because I think of how fortunate we are North America compared other countries...; I hold back.
And while intent is incredibly important to me... I think this is one of those cases where I let it get in the way. Because every time something like this passes unchallenged, an opportunity is missed to move the needle forward. To let someone know that every word is a seed and that those kind can’t have any beneficial harvest. That just because it could be worse does not mean we should not all strive for better. That just because I CAN take it does not mean I SHOULD.
Most progress is incremental. It’s not surprising that someone can look back and go “uh oh”. It is a sign that the needle has moved! If I think about some things that happened early in my career... thankfully I had a manager would not tolerate aggression or offensive talk from our vendors .... it’s hard to imagine those things happen as frequently today here in Canada at least. That progress has happened because of all the times people DID call it out.
So if you think everything is good… I guess it’s OK to ignore all of the noise about #metoo. For one, I feel really glad people like Ken don’t think things are OK. That means there’s hope for #metoo.
Sent from my iPhone