I know that is a strong statement but it comes from a recent personal experience that I would like to share with you.
A few days ago a client sent me an image of a banner for an ad that she had seen in Thredbo.
We both agreed that this would just not do. We both found it offensive suggesting that women/mothers are not as capable as men/fathers. Furthermore it suggests what is a normal family, i.e. father, mother and kids not taking into consideration single parents, widowers, LGBTI families and more. In short we thought that this ad to be poorly thought out and just not on.
So I set to task, sharing the image on social media to let as many people know about it with a clear intention to let Toyota know and get the banners removed and brought down.
And here is how it played out.
Sunday night. Shared the image on my Facebook Page, Company Page, Launch Pod group page and a few other group pages as well. It started gaining traction almost immediately but it wasn’t all support. There were some polarising comments but all very respectfully written.
Monday. Comments, likes, shares and re-tweets were all ablaze! By the afternoon a journalist had picked up on the story and by 6pm it had been published, stating that Toyota had removed the offending banners. Success!
Tuesday morning. Awoke to more media channels having picked up the story even in the UK. Clearly it had sparked interest.
Within a very short period of time we managed to get our voices heard and affect change. How good is that?
But with good comes bad. I started receiving tweets directed at me. Horrible tweets. And then I had a look at the comments on the website of the media channels…I was shaken to the core about what they said about me and my client. Just horrible. So I stopped reading them.
It got me thinking. When you stick your neck out people will always want to cut you down. Even more so when you are a woman. A vocal strong woman confronts the norm. I started thinking about how people who live in the spotlight must feel. Even though this experience had been brief, I reflected on how vulnerable and exposed it made me feel. It made me even more grateful for the amazing people who have stuck their neck out way more than I had to affect big change. I wonder how exposed and vulnerable they would have felt?
Either way it felt good to make a difference. And as for the haters, well I turned my back on them. They are cowards that hide behind their computers and phones. I will not let them get to me. I am all for open discourse and sharing of one’s opinions…like in the Facebook groups I mentioned before – not everyone agreed with my opinion. And that is fine, as they did it respectfully. It was those tweeting me personally or making comments on public feeds that really got vicious. I have no time or respect for faceless cowards.
Our voices will not be silenced. I feel privileged to be able to share my opinions and make a positive impact.
Here is someone’s amendment to the image:
#skilikeagirl #amazingwomen #ownyourfuture