What do you think are men and women equal? I believe we have come a long way but we are not equal. If we were there would be no need for this question would there? Something brought this thought to the forefront for me this week. I was working on-site in North Carolina having a friendly conversation about stress with the site project manager when he says "Women just are not suited for certain jobs, they just can't do it".
I confess I was taken aback, so much so that I was rendered speechless for a minute or two. After all this is 2015, such sentiments should be long gone. More frightening was the fact that this wasn’t some old codger hanging onto the power of his youth… no this was a young man, early forties for sure and here he was saying something so offensive.
“Do you mean heavy lifting?” I asked trying to ascertain if he was referring to brute strength because obviously women just by the structure of their bodies may not be best suited to that skill. “No, they just can’t cope with anything… stress, you name it.”
A slew of things ran through my mind to say, but I decided not to because it would have been a waste of breath. Men like this can’t be reasoned or argued with, they need time to evolve. To make things worse this guy is a South African and I was immediately filled with a sense of shame.
It was my first time working with this team and customer. During the week things fell into place. I realized he was just a scared boy way out of his league unable to communicate clearly with the customer or the team. Treating women and less aggressive men as inferior made him feel powerful until he was faced with what he considered a superior male; then he could hardly string a sentence together. I found myself saving him on more than one occasion.
Should I have? Yes… as a compassionate person I believe it was my duty. Perhaps with my help he can begin to see that we are all equal….
Love & Light