“To #BreakTheBias, we should be telling the younger generation that they can be anything they want to be, and it is not reliant on their gender.”
At 31 years old, my daughter suffered an AVM rupture twice and a subsequent stroke. Using my Degree’s USP (Communication Theory) of ‘All behaviour is communication’ to its full advantage, this provided me the foundation to support her, through medical discussions and decisions, medical interventions (brain surgery) and recovery, whilst respecting her wishes. Everything I had achieved, learned and had become, was utilised to get through the situation. It was a character building time in my life, and you don’t truly realise how strong one person can be until it is called upon, it was my defining moment as a human being, not just as a woman!
To look at me I appear ‘normal’ but I have an underlying health condition which can affect my quality of life. However, I do not use the condition to define who I am, ‘it’ lives with me, I don’t live with ‘it’. Yes it places certain limitations on my life e.g. can’t lift, but I do not see myself as a ‘victim’ and never say ‘I suffer with ….’, feeling sorry for myself – I don’t have the victim mentality. Hence sharing my philosophy has helped numerous people in coming to terms with their condition, and find ways they can adapt and lead fulfilling lives.
To move closer to a gender equal world, we should, and need, to tell the younger generation that they can be anything they want to be, and it is not reliant on their gender, providing any appropriate information and supporting them in making informed decisions.
I like to feel I smash the stereotypes of those associated to people who identify as female. I am honest with what I do. I lead by example, e.g. build stones walls in the garden, do DIY (had a hammer drill as a Christmas present), and ask questions, e.g. exactly ‘why’ can’t you do that because you are female, you are more than that? Followed by ‘What can we do to make that happen?’ – share the responsibility if required. If we were to live in a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, I would be surrounded in society by more people who think and act like me!
To #BreakTheBias, I commit to standing up for those who don’t feel able to voice their opinions, offering support where need, and helping to pave the way for the next generation – they are our future!