Today I want to get back to the core of BEAUTYCALYPSE I’ve mentioned in ‘Maximum Torque’ and talk about a Better World and the women’s role on our way there.
Yes, it is part of my Quest, too. Hop on, get a helmet, let’s ride together and look what we’ll see.
Have you watched (or read) the highly inspirational, witty Smith College commencement speech on ‘Redefining Success: The Third Metric’ by Arianna Huffington? She talks about literally sleeping your way to success, about having success due to a weird accent – something TeamGloria beautifully explored in regards of BE versus AE in this podcast (well, I call it podcast because this is exactly how it looks, even if it’s initially something different) – about wisdom, women, kindness and the so called Third Metric of success. She speaks of sustainability, of unplugging from technology, of giving back.
Needless to say, I enjoyed Arianna Huffington’s speech. It made me smile, and nod, and hope – it made my heart melt a bit – almost in the same way Neil Gaiman‘s glorious ‘Make Good Art’ speech did exactly one year ago. If you missed it (have you lived under a rock?), listen to it. Absolutely.
But back to Women, Wisdom and the New World Order. The Third Metric, a project and an event (June 6) launched by Huffington post promises to explore life beyond man-defined, linear success: something beyond money, and power, and wrong decisions, and the lack of wisdom, and burn-outs, and heart attacks.
These are fabulous ideas. Highly important ideas. Ideas to live by, to draw motivation from, and to tell everybody and to ignite the fire all around you.
And this post would have looked slightly different, more like an optimistic piece of cake, topped with we-can-do sugar sprinkles and served by a smiling unicorn, if only…
The following happened last week. A young girl got attacked by a fellow student in the room of their student dorm. He picked the lock, approached her while she slept, she cried for help, she fought him off, he punched her in the face, panicked, and fled.
I know: horrible things happen every day. Women get mobbed and harrassed at their workplace. There are Facebook groups that glorify violence and rape. Warriors and soldiers rape women and girls since the beginning of history.
The list of violence against women is long – a long, shameful, and ugly ECG of the worst in a human being.
This story has another point to make.
It reminded me intensely that being a woman makes you even more vulnerable – both physically and socially. It reminded me that our search for a better life, be it the third metric of success, or the fight for human rights, or the Quest for a more stable, fair, and sustainable system is urgent as never before.
Small things turn to be jigsaw pieces of a very big picture.
This search for many of us has started small: we might look for a non-toxic face moisturizer and find horrible pictures from burnt Borne orangutans. We might shop newest summer styles at one of those huge shops and feel horror about a sweat shop catastrophe in Bangladesh. We see the politics and the economics fail and we think something like:
There is as much place for bad things as there is for wonders in life, it seems.
And being a woman doesn’t make the ride easier or better, as we all know. Another quote to think about:
Are all of the above symptoms of a society where women are The Others, rather than Us?
This seems the big picture. And what a sad picture it is…
Let’s face it: we live – still – in quite a happy place. And all problems we face today are like symptoms of having lead an unhealthy life. Just as individuals discover that smoking and boozing and clubbing aren’t making them look better, that toxins lurk everywhere, that the environment suffers from our consumption appetite… Just as many of us, the whole world needs to revisit its way of life.
That’s why projects like the Third Metric are great and important, and I’m thrilled to see how things like these will develop.
We need more of that “we’re in it together” mindset on this Earth. Because it’s the philosophic concept of the Other that describes the best how women are seen today. I’m not a philosopher, I just struggle to understand this world. And if you think about it, the concept of the Other is omnipresent in times of crisis. Today it’s in the LGBT rights and the equal marriage discussion, it’s in women’s rights, it’s in politics, it’s in migration control, it’s in the wealth distribution… It is always Us versus Them. Probably you could say it’s:
Us aka White Heterosexual Alpha Men & Familiars versus Women & Co. aka Everyone Who’s Not White Heterosexual Alpha Men & Familiar.
But ladies, let’s not lose faith.
Let’s not accept the ‘reservations’ that are crafted to make us feel safe. Men used to say that travel and work aren’t safe for women. Today they keep telling us that the Internet is too dangerous a place – geek girls can tell you a thing or two about this issue.
Let’s co-create this world, let’s shape it so that it’s safe for everyone.
Let’s create, together with many of those men who see the flaws in the system, a new, a wiser world where there is no need to be hostile and greedy and corrupt – because it will lead nowhere. This is a world I dream of.
Let’s explain to them old-school Successful Men that a new world order is their cure, too! It’s their cure from bankruptcy, from heart attacks, from taking blue pills, from losing hair and gaining weight. This world needs an order that promotes harmony before greed, that rewards wisdom and generosity – and not “be closing”.
But this world also needs less harassment, less abuse, less violence. We need more wisdom and we also need more kindness.
So you know what, while we (hopefully) agree – more wisdom and more kindness for everyone – it won’t go amiss to just know how to shoot, just in case. It would be wise to consider krav maga lessons. Because no matter how powerful, authoritative, or charismatic – you’ll never fight off a physical attack (you know, by one of those people still unaware of the New World Order) wielding your Harvard diploma.
It would be even wiser to get some psychological training, learn to de-escalate – so you are prepared to deal with provocations and insults.
And just to be perfectly clear, I’m not talking “let’s grab pitchforks and torches”. I’m talking “let’s be wise and peaceful but also sure that we can stand our ground”.
But let’s also make you smile again now, shall we?