Guest Article: Change Starts With A Different Vision

by Mar 9, 2021Leadership

My wife Deana was very kind to write for you about the work she does with young generations when she changes the narrative on gender equality. The article below is from her:

 

Today, March 8th, in honor of International Women’s Day, I started a unit about women’s rights with my AP French class. This is the most advanced French class in high school, and my students range from 16 to 18 years old.

I’m always excited to teach this because I always have an impact on the male students by the end of it. I can see by their reflections that they had really, truly never thought about the disparities between them and their female classmates.

In one of the lessons, I ask the class to share about a time they felt this. At least one person will talk about the fear that they felt as a woman. For instance, when they were walking alone in a dark street. Others talk about stories their mothers or grandmothers have told them about workplace harassment or sexism in general.

Then, I ask my class to quietly reflect on their gratitude to live in the time of the #METOO movement and to grow up with the multitude of opportunities that women have today. I ask them to close their eyes and silently thank the women that we will study in my class for paving the way for them.

In the moments following this activity, I see in the eyes of all of my students, male, female and transgender, the appreciation for this conversation, for its depth and honesty.

In reflecting on the impact of these lessons on the younger generation, I feel proud. I have given the young men in this class an opportunity to see life through a different vision, a female vision.

Could this help a young man be a better leader in the future? Will he think twice before laughing at a sexist joke? Will he take female colleagues as seriously as he should? I certainly hope so; then, my mission has been accomplished.

We are all stronger when everyone is more tolerant and informed. I am happy that I can use my classroom as a platform to change the narrative about gender equality.

As Federico Fellini said, “A different language is a different vision of life”.

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