I find that the people who speak about gender rights, especially about equal rights for women, they themselves don't realize that they too have an unconscious bias and they are actually biased. For example, look at the names of the 4 well known women in the US; Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Indra Nooyi and Melinda Gates.
Side note: Do you know their original / maiden surname?
I'm sure all of them have spoken about gender equality and equal rights for women. Do they even realize that they haven't considered their own equal rights when they have changed their names after marriage? Why do they have to change their name after marriage? You know what you are doing by changing your name? You are losing your own identity. People may justify this practice with various reasons but none of those can be valid if those reasons are applied only on one gender. Has any man changed his name after marriage and taken the surname of the woman? Is there such a practice? Why to change the name in the first place? Why can't two people live as a family without changing names?
More importantly, this unconscious bias is then passed on to children even before they are born. How? You name them when they are still in the womb. Children get surname of the father. Don't you think this will create an unconscious bias in the children? When they grow up they will obviously value men more than women, simply because you have taught them. You have named them that way. On one side you practice something and other side you preach something else. Children will learn from what they see and observe than what you preach.
I find it really stupid that some people are coming up with stupid categorizations like "Women in data", "Women in AI", "Women in Payments", etc. In my view these are not helping but harming women. You are making them feel that they cannot beat men in areas which they can actually beat. Data or AI or Payments is not like kick boxing or running that physical strength has to be considered to have a separate category for women. Whether a man codes or a woman codes a Python program, it doesn't matter, the software program is gender neutral. So, there you don't have to create a division.
So, what's the solution?
Change starts from home. Stop changing names after marriages. Name children after both parents, use creativity. Let children learn that both parents are equally important.
It would be great if those 4 women change back their names to their original names, that would set an example for the world.
By doing this we can avoid a #herlifematters moment a few years later. There is nothing wrong in being proactive. Act now. If you can't do anything else, at least share in your circle to create awareness.
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