An inspiring [TED] talk…

Following on from yesterday’s post, I listened to this very interesting TED talk by Tony Porter.

I am lucky to know many men, who value and respect women, and I am proud to call one my partner and the rest friends (these include some super blogging men-friends too!), but the macho culture that sees women as inferior still reigns supreme. I am part of a voluntary group – Manchester Women’s Design Group – and we work hard and with passion to support and campaign for gender equality and a city accessible to all. I see it in my everyday job, where I am usually the only woman in meetings or one of few, where in the 21st century I still have to be a piranha [small with sharp teeth] on site to gain respect first before I can return to being ‘normal’, because otherwise I am just a ‘woman’… and where in the 21st century a bike shop assistant is still alien to the fact that a woman in normal clothes in his shop may actually want to buy cycling stuff for herself!

I read a brill post by Braking Chains and Taking Lanes, on this actually. By pure coincidence. And then last night I happened to listen to this TED talk by Tony Porter. So I wanted to share it, I hope you (guys) won’t take offence.

I give credit when is due to some fantastic men out there, who brake this macho rule, but there’s still a loooooot of work to be done… a bit like the car-culture needing to be rebalanced to allow the pedestrians and bicycles to express themselves 😉


11 responses to “An inspiring [TED] talk…

  1. I actually work in an industry which is actually dominated by women until you get to a fairly senior level which is the higher education sector, but I understand your point. It does take a different set of social skills working primarily with women but you would have to be a knuckle dragging fool to think that women were inferior in anyway.

    I grew up with two older sisters and am married to a woman with 5 sisters.. yes 6 girls in total, and we have been together since we were 15 over 1/2 of our lives now (wow, a bit odd that one) so I grew up without the idiotic beliefs that some have still retained into the 21st C, to the point that many thought I was gay as a teenager because I had primarily female friends and was into art rather than sports or cars, quite ridiculous but true.

    • hey MrM! Cheers for that, a lovely comment to read. Although it hurts to read that just because you weren’t into sports or cars etc as a teenager many thought you were gay. People’s narrow mind and this macho-culture that helps nobody, discriminates even amongst men and creates stupid hatreds… what’s wrong with being gay?! Last time I checked the important thing was being a decent, kind hearted human being… 😀

      • I didn’t like football at school (and still don’t) so I was considered gay by some. It didn’t bother me greatly and even made me chuckle a bit at their idiocy (when I wasn’t crying).

      • I was a schoolgirl not that many years ago and things haven’t really changed… still same old same old… thankfully the ‘tradition’ is that there are usually (and always will be) only a handful of idi&$! but plentiful of great people, who turn out to be fantastic friends too 😉

        I suspect whenever I will become a mum I will be telling my children same things my mum used to tell me.

  2. With respect to your bike shop experience, I don’t think that was entirely sexism, it was probably a mixture of sexism and you not wearing the “cyclist uniform.” I get similar reactions when I ask about obscure bike things in the Evans or EBC, they seem to assume that because I’m not in lycra shorts and SPD shoes that I obviously don’t know what I am asking for, or that I must have been sent in on an errand by someone else.

    I’m not sure if that is any comfort to you though.

    • 😉 I didn’t talk about sexism… I talked about macho-culture… which discriminates amongst men too. Just like MrM and yourself stated 😉

      I really think the guy in the shop was also a tad distracted by himself more than anything else lol! (I caught him glancing in the mirror more than once)

      • If the macho-culture wishes to impose rigid gender-defined roles onto both men and women then it is a form of sexism. After all, sexism is discrimination based on gender, regardless of the gender of who is doing it and that of the person being discriminated against.

        Have you found an alternative source of socks yet?

      • Very true.

        Yup, got my Smartwool socks further up the road. They are fantastic, with them on I have shed one pair of socks from my winter cycling attire (aka tights + 3 pair of socks, usually) and I am warmer than ever! I am a convert 😉 pricey but def worth it!

  3. Macho culture?

    Heavens above.

    I live in a house with a Missus & two diva Daughters.

    Resistance in futile!

    I don’t know what sex the Goldfish are. The Hamster is a chap, but the poor little rat has been Christened ‘Popsicle’…

    …anyway, that’s enough moaning – I’ve got my ironing to do.


    • naaaa… we don’t do ironing in this household 😉 clothes either iron themselves while they are worn or get crumpled… simple!

      [my mum would scold me if she read this ahah!]

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