There’s so much discussion these days about women. Girl power. Gender disparity. Sealing the wage gap. Feminism is rising like implants, and ain’t no bras being burned this time. Yet, people, the media, the “free” world all still puzzle: “What do women really want?” So, as the one who says what you want to say but don’t, “here we go…” (cue Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di” as soundtrack.)
1. The freedom to choose
Pretty basic. Women want what to do what they want to do. Play tennis and crush it? Yes ma’am Miss Serena Williams. Craft scientific marvels and cool travel modes for unknown planets? To infinity and beyond Miss Cynthia Simmons!
Coach football? X and O here Miss Jen Welter! Listen, this is not really hard to understand, is it? Women are people and people like to have the power to do what they choose. Simple.
2. To make rules that work for us
Sure, making rules on your voice memo in the hopes of eventual inclusion at the world summits may seem useful, but it ain’t useful if the rules never get executed. It ain’t useful if we never get to the big table, consistently. And therefore notes to self on public issues that are not later memos to public issuers are a joke. Women want to make rules that are executed. So, from courts high and low – hear this. Women need to make rules for women. When in doubt, look to nature. Dogs don’t make rules about how cats meow. That’s just silly!
3. To change rules that aren’t working for us
Again, simple concept. There is no need to get in a lather about us making rules since we will also change them if they do not work. That’s one of the glorious things about being fully functioning, capable human beings. Assessment and change! And we all can agree that women are fully functioning, extremely capable people. “Well, I dunno,” some say. And to that I say “Why there’s a woman running the White House now.” And we know this because we know that many women hold positions far more powerful than the title afforded them. It’s called experiential and holistic and just plain badass powerful woman ish, ok?
“And, behold, two other fully capable and totally different women are battling to be FLOTUS/POTUS as we speak. See, women CAN do anything (FLOTUS+POTUS=FLPOTUS?). Include run the United States of America and the world.”
If in doubt, see number one. So if the rules say we cannot do anything we want, we have to change them and then adjust how the new rules are working for us. Sound business protocol 101.
4. To be represented
Duh. Society serves a mirror for oneself. To see yourself in a range of arenas, doing a range of jobs, only shapes your view of what is possible. Without seeing it, how can we be it? Of course, being resourceful, clever and strong, we’ll make a way. But, it’s hard running up the hill in stilettos. For real! A level playing field is a still just a dream. But doing the work leveling the playing field is still a daily must-do. And women are committed, trust! I mean what if I’m a girl who really wants to be a racecar driver? Voila – Danica Patrick can serve as a beacon towards which I shine my light.
When I was a kid (and it was not in the ’30s), there was no badass racing chick making bank. At least my nieces now have visual representation of future dreams way outside “the norm!” And fellas who grow up with women who build outside the box grow up to be advocates of building better out of the box experiences. Representation builds better communities, which build better economies, which is just, well, better.
5. To be seen for who we are, not what we are
Is it really an anomaly that sometimes, I go commando and my sons never, ever, do? Or that my mom will never say a swear word but will laugh at my dirty (I mean filthy) jokes, can put together a cabinet like Bob Vila and not chip a nail and roast a chicken that will make you cry tears of joy? Or that Viola Davis is both powerful and graceful? Or that someone’s MeeMaw knows how to whoop you with poker, spank you with whiskey and love you with her chicken soup? Or that a friend can be a card-carrying Republican, shoot a squirrel on a dime and be very vocal about protecting and progressing women’s rights?
Nah, it’s not that hard. And as I always say, “there’s a lyric for that.” Nas, take it away: “Be b-boys and girls listen up, You can be anything in the world, in God we trust, An architect, doctor, maybe an actress, But nothing comes easy, It takes much practice.”
The five things women really want are elementary. Stop making it so complex, world. A #GirlGameChanger is a world game changer. It’s just a matter of context, content and time.