|I ain't mad; not really.|
I admit to my own continuing participation in patriarchy, even though I don’t subscribe to it. It’s so interwoven into society that I regularly blunder into its ‘invisible’ booby traps of inequity. So while I haven’t completely purged myself of chauvinistic ways of thinking, I’m developing an ever deepening recognition that females live in a world where men have made the rules and tilted them in our favor.
|For the gender equity of it all.|
It’s sad but true: I’ll never understand what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world. I won’t. Can’t. Why? Simple. I’m not female. Oh sure, being African American gives me a measure of perspective, being a minority and all. But I can never really know what it’s like anymore than white people can grasp what it is to be a person of color. Or vice versa for that matter. Many think they can but can’t.
Anyway, with all my male privilege, imagine my indignation in the delivery room when, as my wife labored and I provided my highest levels of empathy and emotional support, I was completely ignored by the attending doctor. Throughout the process. From the beginning when the doctor first entered the room, she paid me absolutely no mind. No hello or eye contact, nothing. Everything was directed toward my wife.
This doctor wasn’t just ignoring me like a lot of medical professionals do who suffer from poor bedside manner. She was straight up marginalizing me. Even when I asked questions, the doctor’s response was directed at my wife. I was not a happy camper.
|Woman and men, together: in it to win it.|
Ironically, I regard my treatment in the delivery room as a kind of gift. That’s because it’s not every day I experience what it’s like at the other end of such a gender dynamic, so it serves as a reminder. One day I’ll share this with Isaiah. Meanwhile men: if this happens to you, instead of drowning in resentment, buoy yourself with critical thinking about patriarchy. Then allow the experience to navigate your own actions toward more equitable treatment of people.