A couple of years ago, I got into an email argument with one of my kids’ science teachers. Beyond the fact that I was on a two year low of feeling particularly let down by the conscience and caliber of science teachers at the school, who seemed incapable of anything other than sucking the fun out of the subject, I found the opinions and facts she presented in this particular case just too contradictory and one-sided, as, I’m sure, she found mine. In other words, scientific.
That’s because science, as with any empirical endeavor, such as teaching or parenting, where the goal is to promote an exchange of ideas or influence specific behavior, comes almost always with two sides to every finding. Often, it is the very nature of disagreement or pursuit of an alternative that fuels the creativity and passion for discovery. A healthy difference of opinion is a positive sign that progress is being made.
However, there are some places where the facts are just too substantial, the trends too obvious, the results simply all too clear, as we are reminded every March 8th, on International Women’s Day.
I wish I could stop here and say I have always been a champion of this holiday, as it is observed throughout much of the world, but sadly to say — and I’d wager I’m not alone in this, especially amongst American men — before today I don’t recall ever even having heard of it. That may be because I live a shelled life according to my own principles, but more likely it’s due to the fact that we don’t do enough in this country to give voice to what is the indisputable reality: Women are not treated equally.
Either way, I’m not going to try and write myself into this courageous and remarkable history. For one hundred years women have been saying and writing and witnessing it better than I could ever attain in one quiet morning (or a thousand) at my keyboard. What I can offer though, through hope and example, as a citizen, and as a son and a husband and father, is that one day my daughters and every woman will not have to argue this side anymore. Now, that would be progress.
Please, for a much more moving message on this, watch this short video starring Judi Dench and Daniel Craig which appeared on UK Guardian.