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  • Marie Trout

It Is My Voice — I Will Use It

I posted this on Facebook a couple of days ago. The comments I received told me that this note resonated, so I will also share it here:

When I speak out here on Facebook about issues, I have gotten comments from older men directed at my husband, Walter: how can he “allow his woman” to speak out in such a manner they ask. Well, I will tell you how he “allows” it. The very notion that he should “control” (yes that is another one I have gotten) how I speak or act covers a deep-seated belief that I feel like addressing.

Mr. Facebook Commentator, wherever you are, let me give you a couple of examples that exemplify just a few reasons for how and why Walter is fine with my having an independent mind.

Without a clear and independent thought process, I would not have discovered that one of Walter’s previous managers robbed him blind and left him only scraps. I would not have battled (male) outrage and sabotage to take over management of his career twenty-five years ago. Without my ability to think independently, I would not have taken a deadly sick Walter — against almost everyone’s advice — on a plane in order to get him a liver transplant in another state.

You see, Mr. FBC: without “Walter’s woman’s” ability to think and act independently, Walter’s career and life would be in very different places. I am not saying that it is my achievement alone that Walter has a good musical career or is alive. Of course it isn’t. There are many cogs in this wheel, and you reading this, are probably one of the people who helped Walter survive, and who sustains his career with your love and support for which we are both grateful. It takes a team, it takes community, it takes luck (getting a donated organ for sure), it takes faith to do these things, and we were and are gifted with that indeed.

But my point is this: when strong, independent women speak and act, everyone wins — INCLUDING the men. New solutions, new approaches, short-and particularly long-term sustainability are made possible. It is historically recent that women have held any kinds of prominent positions in our society, and our world suffers from their previous absence in leadership. Mr. FBC: It might be news to you, but thankfully, women do no longer need men to give them permission to do, speak, think, or act. They do not need men to give them any kind of power.

Women now have this power — at least in many parts of the world. Women with this potential, as I see it, have a responsibility to realize it as fully as we can, to model it, and to personify it. We owe it to ourselves, to other women, to future generations, and yes: also to men of all ages who also benefit when women lead. As an example, corporations with prominent female top-tier leadership do better than all male dominated ones. Women today ARE standing in and identifying their power. Women think and act with all the know-how, integrity, and experience that they have accumulated on their particular journeys and when they do: #EverybodyWins

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