How We #BreakTheBias This International Women’s Day and Beyond

Recognize Your Bias

Close your eyes and think of a doctor, a nurse, a forklift operator, or a soldier. Mostly likely the person that comes to mind will have one gender or another. We have been taught for generations to ascribe some roles in society to men and other to women. In some languages, like my native Spanish, these roles are even reflected in our language.

For example, receptionista is the word for receptionist and it carries the feminine “a” adjective ending. Unlike the majority of other adjectives where you would simply swap the “a” for the masculine “o” ending with this word we literally say male receptionist. You must say recepcionista masculino. Why? All receptionists are women of course. It’s not expected for a man to be doing the job and that’s reflected in the language. Unfortunately, most of our biases are not so obvious. We have to make the effort to think about why and how we view gender in the ways that we do.

Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women’s equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Educate Yourself

One must read book for understanding how Black Women have been defined in the American psyche is bell hooks’ Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism. This book is deep beyond words! It provides through research and an in-depth analysis from a refreshingly Black female-centric perspective. I’d say easily that bell hooks always outshines everyone I’ve ever read of the topic of the Black female experience in all her writing and this book is a masterpiece.

“Women hold the knife on the sharp side!” In this episode, I’ll be speaking with “Five Tiger” Writer and Director, Nomawonga Khumalo, about her film and it’s Black feminist themes which highlight the culture of silence, religious exploitation, sex work, femicide, and many other poignant topics.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Because we are all hard wired to see people one way or another based on our gender biases it’s very easy to make assumptions about them. If you want to be an advocate for change it’s very important to fight this urge. Get to know each human being you meet as an individual first and don’t ascribe arbitrary rules to what you think their likes, job titles, style of dress, or any other factor about them might mean.

No one should ever feel constrained by gender bias, or feel compelled to limit their self-expression because of gendered social constraints. It is up to all of us to #BreakTheBias and do our part to create a world where each individual can fully be who they are.

Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can break the bias in our communities.

We can break the bias in our workplaces.

We can break the bias in our schools, colleges and universities.

Together, we can all break the bias – on International Women’s Day (IWD) and beyond.

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