I’ve been thinking about how men can be allies in the #metoo movement. I thought first, of course, of my mother, who overcame physical and emotional abuse and went on to help other women. But aside from the obvious, immediately important women in my life, there are countless others whose strength and leadership change our world. How powerful it would be if we just chose 3 and celebrated their contributions. If you want to read mine, they are below. If you want to write yours, keep it going. #keepyaheadup #whoruntheworld #appreciationnotabuse
When I came to New York City, almost 15 years ago, I had a minimum wage job and was in school full time: the money wasn’t enough for me to have 3 meals a day. I was hungry for both food and connection. Luckily, I met this amazing woman, Nora, I call my Filipino mom, who gave me nourishment for my body and soul, made sure I could see the future, and guided me through the chaos of my early American days.
When I started an English immersion program, I was motivated but had major skill gaps. I had an incredible teacher, Iris, who met me for an hour a day, before her full day of classes even started. She helped me trust myself that I would someday write a paragraph in English, she taught me that when you are passionate you need to channel the energy into a skill, and she gave me the courage to pursue a Masters using the very English she taught me.
When I was young in my career but wanted large-scale change, I was often discouraged by how overwhelming the social causes I cared about could be. I went to a leadership program and met Kit, who taught me that strategic, long-term change takes a while, but is possible. She has been there in the harsh moments to listen, she helps me co-create ideas for justice, and she refocuses me by seeing through to the core essence of things.
I honestly wouldn’t be alive (literally and figuratively) without the women in my life. I appreciate women for their generosity, encouragement, and wisdom.
Men of the world, let’s remind the women of the world how integral they are and that the future can be the past.