By now, many of you, particularly here in the States, have seen articles go around about Mike Pence's choice not to have dinner alone with a woman who isn't his wife, or attend events where alcohol is served without his wife. I have read opinions on both sides of the matter, and I'm not here to judge his choice. He and I don't exactly share a lot of common views to begin with. There are enough bloggers and journalists out there handling all the judging and bashing.
It has got me thinking a lot though, because as there is not universal gender equality, I am incredibly grateful to my male mentors, who have had meals with me, and for believing in my value. Without them, I would not be where I am right now, I guarantee you. They did not look at me like a "temptation," if you will, they saw what I could bring to the table and let me bring it. They not only let me bring it to their table, they opened doors to other tables. They even persuaded other high powered men to let me sit at their tables and show them what I could bring and what I've brought.
Gender equality isn't a woman's battle, it's everyone's battle. We need men to stand with us. Gender equality doesn't just benefit women, it benefits all of us. I think that's why Emma Watson started her He For She campaign with the UN. We need to continue to change the dialogue around and perspective of gender roles, and we can only do that if we are all partaking in the conversation.
So, while Mike Pence may have good intentions behind his dining choice, I have to question the perspective as a whole. Okay, maybe that was a little judgmental. It's like what my friend Penny said to my husband, who gave up Nutella for Lent, "Resisting something when it is not there is not resistance--resistance is facing the temptation and resisting." I mean, I hope that doesn't mean that Mike Pence is tempted by every woman so that's why he can't dine alone with any, because then he'd have a different issue. And if he can't handle his alcohol, and be a respectable human being while enjoying a glass of wine or whiskey neat, or whatever his drink of preference is, then that's another issue, but I guess at least he knows that.
So, thank you to my male mentors and colleagues who have pulled me up with them, who have given me the courage and encouragement to walk into any room as an equal. Thank you for recognizing my value as a woman and a human being.
BIG LOVE & HUGS