Who’s Responsible For Speaking Up?

I am.

You are.

We all are.

When we want change, we all need to be the ones to speak up.

This morning I wrote a letter to an art center challenging its show: not for the content, nope. For the fact that there is only one woman in a show with 4 others (all men). What gives?

We're all responsible to promote change.

We’re all responsible to promote change.

It’s not enough for me to feel the familiar ripple of agitation and then try to let it go. (It never leaves me anyway.) I sat myself down and wrote a letter – professional and direct to the problem. Because that is a problem. And a totally avoidable one.

For your full benefit: I’ve got an art degree, I’ve taught art and I’m a lifetime supporter of it. The excuse that it’s tough enough for artists to make it isn’t relevant here. In fact, by making sure the palette of people in the show represent all genders would make it all the more successful. Making sure everyone can see themselves (aspiration) will only improve the business of art. And yes, artists should see themselves in business for themselves.

In the letter I started positively, got to the point and offered a solution.

Should I worry that they may take offense when they get the letter? No way. I would be more concerned by not speaking up to make change happen.

Marketing an event wherein a profession is represented lopsidedly sexist is bad for everybody. Regardless of the intent – you can prevent this and should. The messages sent are powerful and easy to alter.

Geena Davis is working on this: she works with directors & people in film who can change and improve the gender equity tomorrow, when informed today.

Smart companies of all kinds notice when their customers speak up. Write a letter today (not an email) to help nudge & push positive change. It can make a world of difference.

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