A few months ago, I posed a question to the Catalytic Women LinkedIn forum: What would you tell your friend or colleague about Catalytic Women? Below is the response from a man’s perspective, thanks to guest blogger Eugene Hung.
Here’s what I’d say: Catalytic Women has helped to open my eyes.
I feel sheepish in admitting it, but I have to ‘fess up here. While I’ve been an egalitarian for a long time when it comes to gender issues, supporting girls and women didn’t become a special concern of mine until I became a dad to two daughters. It’s taken on extra intensity in the last year and a half in particular, as a byproduct of my extensive blogging about parenting. It’s during this time that I’ve finally come to see some truths that may be self-evident to most of you, but which were not so clear to me. Interacting with women like you has helped to open my eyes to these truths. I’m talking about things like:
- There is systemic, mostly subtle but sometimes still overt, suppression of the advancement of women in many vocations and fields of study.
- Because of this systemic injustice, women generally have to work harder than men to have their efforts and abilities both noticed and appreciated.
- Women leaders generally get scrutinized and criticized more than their male counterparts.
- We’re several hundred years away from seeing salary parity, government representational parity, etc., between the sexes.
Catalytic Women has also opened my eyes to greater hope. After all, it takes resources to confront the entrenched injustices of the world. Otherwise, good intentions remain just that – good intentions. Women may know this better than anyone.
So I gain hope, even as I see the fashion and media elites use their deep pockets to impose their definitions of beauty on whole societies. I gain hope, even when I hear how powerful interests, and wealthy seekers of perverted pleasures traffic thousands and thousands of girls and women. I gain hope, even when the news reminds me that extremists in many lands enforce their oppressive views of girls and women via terror and violence. Catalytic Women gives me hope, because you have resources in abundance – financial, intellectual, relational, and spiritual. And you are determined to make your resources count by taking on these and other systemic injustices. You are not just a movement of women who have good intentions; you are women who care and can do something about the crap in our world.
Perhaps what Catalytic Women has most opened my eyes to is the great number of women whose global philanthropic work is overlooked. Until I encountered Catalytic Women and other women like you, I didn’t realize that more media attention is given to men who lead philanthropic and other social justice efforts, than to women. As I think about it now, it hits me that in my own years of partial reliance on the funding of others to advance my own charitable work, that most of my donors were – you guessed it – women.
So many of you have been doing so much to help so many people … not for the glory, but because it’s right and compassionate. More power to you!