Tiny #1: Vulnerabilities lead to strength

I’ve been around a lot of strong women lately who identify as feminists. And I’m always in touch with my amazingly strong mother and friends. I’ve also been around my strong father and brother who have, in numerous ways , demonstrated to me that they believe in gender equality.

But one thing has been bothering me lately: in this time of women’s marches around the world, why do I continue to feel skeptical of us making progress toward gender equality?

One thing that struck me recently was the seemingly huge disparity in vulnerabilities between women and men. Maybe it seems obvious. But I see and hear my female friends and colleagues show their vulnerabilities, and rarely hear my male counterparts candidly share their vulnerabilities. It makes me think that perhaps men are just prone to less vulnerabilities. I guess there are some obvious arguments for and maybe also against this.

More or less vulnerable, I’m really not sure, and I don’t think I’ll find the “true” answer. But what really inspired me recently was reflecting on the occasions that men did reveal their vulnerabilities, and how much more confident and strong those men actually became in my mind.

This made me realize that vulnerability is often associated with something negative, like a weakness. But what if vulnerabilities and the expressing of them were actually an indication of strength? What if we started to see it in this way? Would we consider women as “strong” as men? Would we
move toward a more open and trusting and empathetic world? Perhaps.

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