“Hi, I’m Maya Rudolph. Do you love bad news?”
I don’t love bad news, but I keep watching the video anyway.
Melinda Gates then says, “According to the World Economic Forum, it will take us 208 years to achieve gender equality in the United States.”
Wait what? 208 years? That is ridiculous.
“Why is that I can order a bag of dick-shaped gummy bears with same-day delivery, but I have to wait 208 years for gender equality?” exclaims Sarah Silverman.
Silverman makes a great point. You can even get Viagra on same-day delivery. There’s even an app for it. I swear it’s true! Google it.
“Women are currently less than 25% of Congress, and that’s the highest it’s ever been, which you know is fine because women are about 25% of the population. What’s that?… It’s 50%?”
Ok this one makes my blood start to boil. Our governments should represent us – both literally and literally. Literally in numbers and literally with our needs. But the video is still going and I’m hooked. Note to self – stay focussed.
“Here’s a fun fact, in the Fortune 500 there are fewer female CEOs than male CEOs named James.”
I laugh out loud. Not because it’s funny. But because it’s absurd. Then Silverman perfectly sums up what I’m thinking before I am even able to articulate it myself, “I gotta check my notes. Huh that’s weird, it just says “this is bullshit” on every page.”
I’m now imagining running up onto the film set of this video to high five her.
“Here’s the good news: we can change this together” says Natasha Rothwell.
Natasha Rothwell gets a high five from me too! Actually, you know what? They can all have high fives.
The video ends and I look up from my phone and observe the people around me on the train carriage. It’s a fairly even gender mix of people commuting to work for the day. Most, if not all of them, are engrossed in their devices. Likely on social media, watching a Netflix series, or playing Candy Crush. And more than likely in this very moment, blissfully unaware of the gross injustice of inequality they will experience when they walk through the doors of their office building that day.
I then look a little closer at the women in this train carriage. There are definitely more woman in their 20s than mature-aged women. There are women from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, and probably religious beliefs too (but I can’t necessarily know this just by looking at them). I try to scan to see who has a wedding ring – turns out it’s too hard to see amongst the crowd. Some have glasses, some don’t. I then start to wonder if any of them are hard of hearing or Deaf, or if any of them are living with an invisible disability or chronic illness. It becomes clear to me that while they all might be women, they are all so different.
I then pulled my laptop from my bag to start writing down my thoughts, and this is what I wrote,
“So if the numbers are right and we are 208 years away from gender equality, and we focus on creating gender equality alone…when will it be the turn for the other groups of people? It would be thousands of years until we have equality for everyone. Mind you – if climate scientists are also right we might not even get that far because there may be no planet to live on by that time anyway. But add to that, what are the chances of an individual being one label anyway? If we want to create equality and a world where everyone is included, we should be addressing the specific needs of all people and the whole person – not just one single group or one single facet of a person.”
While I love the brutal honesty and mic drop moments in Melinda Gates’ (Gender) Equality Can’t Wait video, to expedite equality for all people we need inclusion to be business-as-usual and we need it to be for everyone.