Dear Media, please give women a break!

A Mbukushu mother and child cross Botswana's Okavango River, whose seasonal floods bring life to a parched land.   From the National Geographic book Mothers and Children, 2009

A Mbukushu mother and child cross Botswana’s Okavango River, whose seasonal floods bring life to a parched land. (Photo Copyright – National Geographic)

This morning I received an email from my toddler’s preschool, titled “Meet our team” with a list of names – 22 women including leads, teachers, trainers, admin, helpers, etc. All women. This is an industry dominated by women, in fact any offline business related to childcare or schools is all women. The same applies for thousands of salons, and spas, and health services.

We keep harping on issues around – work-life balance, not enough women in top management, women not leaning-in to their careers, and a zillion other topics that seem to highlight how women are far behind. Not once do we think, that it’s probably our metrics, or our unwarranted emphasis on cash/status/domination that is the real bias. Nurturing, teaching, health, nursing, beauty, mothering, cooking, loving, are all super important to maintain life on this planet – and hey since women are busy doing all of these which leaves more men to focus on the other stuff. We need this difference to exist, to ensure children are raised well and raised with love. Unless we can channel men into these domains, we cannot make comparisons. That’s just stupid and unfair – if only 20 women apply for a career where 200,000 men apply, sheer numbers will ensure men will dominate there. Why not celebrate meaningful and impacting work – whether it’s at home or in an organization? Having done both, I always maintain that being a home maker is tougher, more tiring, more demanding than being a working woman – although social belief is the reverse. Communicating and engaging adults requires far lesser creativity and energy than with children. That alone makes an office job so much easier.

The media creates a warped view of the world of genders; it loves to focus on the richest men and reports Life’s success purely by dollar value. The sheer number of women entrepreneurs and aggregate dollar value of their impact would dwarf these conventional metrics. The fact that so many women choose to distribute value rather than hoard it individually should be celebrated by the community. How else will we ensure survival of ‘man’kind?

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