Today was International Women’s Day, where people around the world are celebrating the progress that we’ve made for gender equality…. at least, some of us are. It’s disheartening to know that there are still countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan where people believe that women shouldn’t even have a basic skill such as knowing how to read.
To celebrate the day, our office manager ordered afternoon-tea style foods from Bosie Tea Parlor in the city, complete with a tiered tea cake stand, tea pot, and cups with special tea bags. After my morning meetings off-site, I arrived at the office to see this setup, and it was completely untouched. No one was eating it.
“How come no one has touched the afternoon tea food?” I asked aloud.
A male colleague looked up from his computer and had an awkward smile on his face. “I kind of wanted to, but I didn’t feel I should be the one to touch it first.”
“Is it because you’re a man?” I responded pointedly. “You know, International Women’s Day isn’t just for women. It’s for people around the world who believe in gender equality and want the best for the women in their lives. That applies to you, doesn’t it?”
He looked even more awkward after that and continued working.