Jo Cox’s murder, and knowing that her children – one the same age as one of mine – will grow up without their mother, has affected me greatly. And at the same time I’m aware that the depth of my feelings is nothing compared to her friends, family, colleagues and those who knew her personally.
Today I was supposed to publish a book extract here on the blog.
But then #nowomanever trended on Twitter and I started thinking about my experiences at work, composing tweets in my head that fitted.
“Thanks for your advice. I’d love to learn golf so I can get promoted,” said #nowomanever.
Once I started, the examples came easily.
There was the time that the man sitting next to me at a work dinner pretended to spike my drink and got cross when I wouldn’t drink it.
The times I’ve said something in a meeting only to have it rephrased by a man in the room and suddenly accepted.
When, in a meeting which touched on staff uniforms, a man in the room suggested that mine was purchased from La Perla.
When the man who had his laptop hooked up to the screen in a meeting accidentally shared his inbox and the message preview showed an explicit photo.
The evenings I’ve left work events early or not drunk at all because getting home safely is a higher priority.
But I’ve not received abuse or death threats. I don’t have a high profile or controversial job. My experiences, while meaningful to me, are not representative of what some women face because of the jobs they do. My experiences aren’t even a reflection of what many of the women I speak to tell me about their workplaces. I have had the privilege of working in supportive, welcoming, professional workplaces my entire career.
Other women – brave women – do the jobs that need to be done and deal with far greater threats than I have ever known.
Jo Cox was one of those women.
Whatever your politics, the women, and men, who represent us deserve better.
Jo Cox’s family and friends are raising funds in her memory for the causes close to her heart. Read more and donate at her GoFundMe page.
Every generation creates the culture they hand down. Create wisely. Tell your sons about Jo Cox, and Gabby Giffords, and Aung San Suu Kyi. Teach them to respect and support strong women, and to vote for them at every opportunity. Teach them to confront bad behavior – immediately, loudly, and aggressively. Then stand back and watch them make the world a better place.
Comments are closed.