News Flash: Just because we are women doesn’t mean we share the same brain or hold one common political belief system – but some ill-informed people might think we do.
When Marine Le Pen of France lost the French presidential election and Hillary Clinton failed to become the President of the United States you could hear and read opinions that centered around women who didn’t support these candidates. What followed were statements like, Women Against Women, Women Hate Other Women, Women Beware Women.
I get so v-e-r-y tired of this BS.
Informed people, regardless of their gender, vote based primarily on their personal values. They protest or support causes that directly impact their life, work, community or country. It is entirely possible to take a vagina or penis out of the equation and simply set out to elect a leader.
Now, follow me on this one because it might be hard for some of you who believe that a woman is against women if she doesn’t vote for one….GROW UP!!!
In an attempt to move us further away from divisive and simplistic comments about women I would like to offer this:
So, is it a little clearer?
If I vote for a man, that doesn’t mean I gave up my membership to womanhood. If I protest against a leader – who happens to be a woman – that doesn’t mean I hate her or that I’m against women, I simply don’t agree with the parties’ policies.
For many of us who have been in our fields for a long time it is possible to become complacent and feel as if we’ve seen or know it all. It is for these very reasons that I feel compelled to put myself in situations where I can challenge or affirm my understanding of our world, the role of work or establishing why we are the way we are.
In the last year I have participated in three very powerful events that impacted my work and to be quite honest also influenced my perception of people, resources and tools that are often associated with the helping professions – including my own.
At times I feel like a child who is learning something new and I am so proud to have grasped the concept. Other times what I’m participating in causes me to reevaluate so much of what I thought I knew.
In my experience the times when I felt the power of learning so profoundly was when I registered for things that appeared to be beyond my expertise. Sticking within my own wheelhouse is comforting as I can expand on what I know already and feel affirmed by my right answers. But, when I put myself outside of my familiar zone that’s a whole other sensory experience.
In the last year I have had three mind opening events come my way that I am grateful for and I want to share this with you.
The first was an online symposium on Translating Aboriginal Traditions to Employment. Without going into the specifics I just want to share how hearing the stories of those that participated impacted me not only on a professional level by also on a spiritual level.
I had taken cultural training courses and spent many years working with people from all over this country and world. Having sensitively to cultures comes with the territory – or so we think. But really I believe I have been naive to so many aspects of tradition and its role in employment. The sharing of stories surrounding residential schools, culture, community, ceremony, family and trauma were gifted to all of us and so our learning went far beyond employment.
Next I attended a conference on Ending Violence. Again the presenters expanded my understanding of the impact of violence while providing useful tools and resources that far exceeded my expectations.
For the last two days I attended a workshop facilitated by Dr. Lori Haskell – Working with Survivors of Gender-Based Violence: Understanding the Neurobiology of Trauma. I can’t even begin to explain how incredibly valuable this was! What I learned will positively impact my work with clients who have experienced trauma but it also hit close to home. I took away information that changes how I view myself and others in my personal life. The learning went deep, not just through the speaker, but also I had the privilege of learning from those that were at my table.