It's not about the umbrellas

16 July, 2018 | Personal Thoughts, Feminism

“I raise my voice
not so I can shout
but so that those
without a voice
can be heard”

Malala Yousafzai

A great FIFA World Cup came to an end (yes, I like football) with an amazing game between France and Croatia. I watched the game live at 3am New Zealand time, snuggling in bed with the cats. The game finished and despite how sleepy I was, I decided to watch the trophy ceremony… and I am so glad I did!

The teams were ready to get their medals and the cup when it started raining quite heavily, and standing on the stage the Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first to be offered an umbrella while others including the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and French President Emmanuel Macron were soaking wet. There were a few people in the stage, FIFA guys for sure, all men. After more than a few minutes more umbrellas started to arrive, but almost everyone was already drenched!

Most of the articles I read this morning talked about two main things from the event:

1.- Criticizing Putin for his lack of hospitality (I get it, they are right)

2.- How Macron was soaking wet while congratulating his winning team (fair enough…)

But, I can stop thinking about the umbrellas incident, not because of Putin or Macron… but how the Croatian leader Kolinda was the last one getting an umbrella.  I was watching everything carefully and she was left in the rain for quite a long time while all the men on the stage had their umbrellas. I’m not saying because she is a woman she has to be looked after first or that they needed to put her on a bed of flowers or anything like that, I’m sure that’s not what she was expecting either.

But if you think about it… why has this happened? Why the organisers or even the crew on the back looked after the men on the podium way before her? I would say it was unconscious bias… everyone in the podium had high-rank political positions (as well as Kolinda) but somehow they felt they needed to ‘protect’ the most valuable people first..? (the men?).

This only shows that still today and everywhere, men are still treated and considered as a more important and valuable members of the society. And this happens from that worldwide high profile podium to the offices where we work, to the events we attend, and even in our more closest communities, don’t even mention the way we are paid for doing the same jobs.

And some people still think that the feminist movement we see worldwide is ridiculous and that we only look for an advantage over men or because we hate men.

We are not asking to be considered better,
we are not looking for privileges,
we are not looking to get the umbrella first…

We look for equality, for being seen and treated with the same respect and appreciation than our colleagues, co-workers, companions, partners, etc.

So, it’s not about the umbrellas…

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy this blog post.
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