Beyond the Bubble
If you’ll allow me, I’ll tell you a little about my bubble. My husband is the most wonderful man in the world. He is thoughtful and he is respectful and he is supportive in every way. His mother did something very important: she raised him well. I have been thinking a lot about why so many women my age (mid 30’s, give or take) are so resistant to the idea of our social inequality. My friends and acquaintances are all very strong and successful women. Not many of them would cry inequality or discrimination. I look at how their husbands treat them. As partners. As confidants. As equals. My friends don’t suffer from inequality in their homes.
And that is probably it. My generation of women stands on the heels of women like our mothers and women like our grandmothers. These women, many of whom felt inequality even in their own homes, were born into that world. When they realized something was wrong, many went out and marched and burned their bras. But many did not. They remained at home. They ran the household. They went to work as usual. But they still fought that battle in a significantly important way. Quietly. Secretly. They fought that battle by raising their sons and daughters with the mindset of equality. They made sure their sons respected, supported, uplifted, celebrated, and cherished women. They made sure their sons were better than their own husbands, or their bosses, or their coworkers, or their peers. That was their private fight. A vital step towards complete social equality.
So maybe that is why many of my peers feel entirely equal. Their husbands were raised better. Their coworkers were raised better. Their friends were raised better. This is the only world they know, this is the only way they have ever lived. And I don’t think any of us can deny that is true progress. That is a milestone. But this just is my bubble. My teeny-tiny bubble made up of a small number of people. My bubble is a speck.
Ever since I wrote “You Are Not Equal.” I have been overwhelmed by personal stories in my inbox. Women and men, way outside my bubble, graciously shared their stories with me. I’ve been granted the privilege of entering the private world of so many. I have read stories about small (but still significant) and grave injustices and stories about inexcusable cruelty. And these women aren’t from countries ran by dictators and authoritarians, these women are from the U.S. Possibly living 20 minutes from you. And at some point these stories are no longer random anecdotes sprinkled throughout our country. These stories are real, coming from real women and men. So, as incredible as your bubble may be — everyone lives a different life.
It’s important we understand each other. So, I am going to propose something. I would like to start sharing your stories. I can share them anonymously or not — up to you. I believe we need to know a little bit about each other in order to truly understand where we all come from and in order to make the changes we all want. The scaffolding is there for us, now let’s move forward.
Many of you said I don’t speak for you. You are completely right. Come speak for yourself. If you are interested in contributing, please come here and send me a private message.