This week I took part in a longstanding link up - Yarn Along - and was so surprised to see that some new people had come to visit me as part of that link up (thank you very much if you were one of them!), so I know how much it means when others come to see your blog after you have linked up.
So, although I love your comments and what you have to say, if you are short on time today, don't leave me a comment, go and visit one of the other bloggers taking part - the list is down at the end of this post - and leave them a comment instead. Of course you can always do both if you have more time on your hands!
Thank you everyone who takes part, visits and comments on my or anyone else's posts. It is so appreciated by us all.
So, what has been on my mind this week that I want to share with you. Women's equality. I know, that is a massive subject and certainly not one that I am qualified to discuss other than for the fact that I am a woman!
Two things collided for me this week which made me starkly aware of this issue.
I was recently at a conference as a delegate in my role as a decision maker in an organisation that I am part of. There were well over 100 people there. After the event that I am going to describe to you in just a moment I looked around to see how many women were present. Less than 10% were female. We were all equals, which means than there is a good chance that less than 10% of the people who do what I do are female. Not good.
Before the conference I was in another meeting and between the meeting and the conference starting two women who had been in the meeting with me came up and started talking to me about an issue that I had raised. Their tone surprised me as I felt rather under attack, but during the meeting the men present had all been quite supportive of what I had been saying. I dismissed it, and eventually managed to dismiss them and make my way into the conference room to await the arrival of the male colleagues that I work with who were also attending.
As I sat, I reflected on these women's behaviour towards me. The room started to fill up and then I suddenly realised that the two ladies had not appeared and that as I had empty seats around me they might come and sit beside me again. Just as I realised this two men came and sat beside me and I involuntarily said "that is good, there was someone that I didn't want to sit next to me". Not my finest ever hour, but there you go!!!
The man sitting beside me started to talk and I replied as though we were equals which in terms of our attendance at the conference we were. The man then asked me where I was from - meaning the organisation I was there representing. I replied and he said "oh, I thought that was" and then he named someone who is my organisations administrator. I said no, "I am a" and gave my title. He looked at me, turned away and didn't speak to me for the rest of the conference.
I was stunned!
Eventually my colleagues arrived and came and sat to the other side of me and the conference started and thankfully - after a couple of mind numbing hours - it ended.
It wasn't until earlier this week when I was catching up on some of the TV shows that I had recorded that I realised just how appalling this all was. The show I was watching was a series called The Ascent of Woman. It is fascinating and if you get the chance to see it I think that you would find it very interesting indeed.
The show is, as you can imagine from the title, about the ascent - or lack of ascent really - of women through history. As I watched I came to realise just how bad the behaviour I had witnessed at the conference had been.
First of all two women, of the same standing as me not offering support, but putting me down and criticising me for holding different views to them. Then a man assuming that I was somehow a "lesser mortal" and not of the same standing as himself and then when he was corrected he no longer wanted to talk to me....
How is that supporting women? It is bad enough to have been witness to the mans behaviour, but to then realise that women cannot support each other. I think that was what hit me harder.
Now, I don't think that anyone can call me a feminist. I stay at home, my husband supports me and I do nothing I am ashamed to admit to forward the cause of women. I didn't think that I needed to. I naively thought that although there are lots of problems out there in the world, that women in the UK were equal to men and were treated as such. Turns out I was wrong.
The upshot of all this? I need to think some more and be aware more of offering more support to women. Right here in my own first world country! How bad is that.
I haven't let what happened bother me in the slightest. The chance of me seeing any of these people again is very small and if I do I will avoid them, so it isn't a problem to me personally, but oh gosh how I feel for those that they work with in their own organisations and those around them.
That is my five minute thought for this week. Which makes me rather sad in a way.
So, let us support each other! Women and Men equally!!!
Thank you - as always! - for joining in last week. I look forward to reading your posts again this week too! Remember, anyone is more than welcome to join in, read this bit below, go and visit the Five On Friday page and then write your own post and then come back here and link in!
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