A few years ago, an email from one of the other members of this female graphic design group sent out a mass email to the members, seeing who would be up to attend and review an upcoming conference on female Creative Directors. It’s semi-local, right up my alley, and even though I’d never heard of the woman running the conference, I snatched that opportunity up like it was fresh hot deliciousness.
Because I’d be interviewing the founder of the conference, I started doing some research on her– her design studio, rationale behind the conference, and of course a previous interview she had conducted about this very subject. And that’s when the plan went sour.
Unfortunately for my idealistic-loving self, the further I dug, the less I agreed with. I mean sure, I want more women in managerial and executive roles, but the ends don’t always justify the means.
When you fall in love with the idea of something, but have a hard time excepting the rationale behind that idea- then you and that founder are at an impasse of what that idea is actually communicating. Call it a miscommunication, a misinterpretation– it really makes no difference. What that someone is selling, and what you’re buying are completely different. It usually occurs when there’s an outrage at a decision, a sentence, but the outrage is misplaced because that actuality has always been there. It’s just now been uncovered and then committed one way or the other, where as previously it could have been ambiguously accepted as unknown.
I am fully behind the idea that women have an equal role besides men in all workplaces and industries, but I don’t believe they should have that role because they are women. I believe people should be judged based on their individual abilities, merits, skills and behavior. It shouldn’t come down to an innocuous sex organ.
But we are still not having that conversation. It’s not even on the radar. Having a Pro Women Creative Directors Rally isn’t really helping the cause of getting the playing field more gender neutral. It’s just propagating the same games and conditions that men use, we’ve just slapped ‘wo’ in front of it.
At first I attempted to withdraw from the conference, saying that perhaps it would be better suited to someone who saw eye to eye with the founder. Usually that’s the case when I have a strong reaction with the behavior of someone, I am the one that is removed. This time however, I was asked to continue to do the conference BECAUSE I was critical in my thinking.
For the first time in my existence, the absence of agreeing with the crowd was a plus.
It’s been a moving experience to say the least. I’m not sure why, but looking at things critically has been reduced to the same level of naysaying in an argument– which is absolutely not the case. To read things critically is to try and understand the totality of the subject at hand. It allows all angles and sides to be considered, weighed and valued, so that the best decisions and course of actions can be taken.
It’s how I do everything from plan my living space and watch T.V. It’s inescapable and completely a part of who I am.
I love that it’s finally being valued.