I find myself in search of blind spots.
No, not the – “Crap, I almost drove someone off the road” – kind of blind spots. I’m talking about the blind spots we have in life…not in the car. We all have them. And much like the blind spots in our car, we can miss a lot and sometimes cause a great deal of damage by missing what’s in our blind spots.
I feel truly blessed for the many wonderful opportunities I’ve had to expand my view of the world around us. Yet more and more these days, I have come to understand that much of what I experienced and how I experienced it was limited by my blind spots.
I’ve worked with the homeless but I’ve never had to live on the streets.
I’ve lost family members to cancer and I’ve survived cancer but I’ve never had to worry about access to excellent medical care.
I’ve served meals to orphaned children in rural southern Africa but I’ve never had to worry about when, where or if I would find my next meal.
I’ve served in the military but I’ve never had to live through and then live with the experiences of combat.
I’ve officiated a same sex marriage but I’ve never been told that I can’t marry the person I love.
I’ve helped to raise two (amazing) daughters but I’ve never experienced the discrimination, harassment, exploitation, oppression and violence faced by women and girls around the world.
We can’t help having blind spots. But we can do something about them. Just as we learn to look for things we may miss in our mirrors, we can learn to look for things (situations, patterns, beliefs, actions) that may not be obvious to us but are having a tremendous impact on those around us. And by then seeking to understand we can identify ways to support change – in others and in ourselves.
Perhaps because of the (sometimes scary) way in which our use of the internet shapes what we see online, I have recently been exposed to a number of powerful messages that helped me begin to understand the challenges faced by women and girls around the world. I’ve been struck by the courage, strength and character of these women who are using their gifts to help others see and understand what for many is a blind spot. Here are some highlights that I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy.
- Model Alys Hale speaks about her experiences in a very personal and thoughtful article featured in catalogue magazine. Can a Model Also Be a Feminist
- Model and Activist Ollie Henderson uses fashion and art to draw attention to issues that matter to women (and men) through “House of Riot” – an organization she founded for this purpose. House of Riot
- Roxanne Gay – author of “Bad Feminist” and TED Talk speaker uses story telling to deliver her unique message about feminism. Confessions of a Bad Feminist
- Artist Kim Leutwyler – yes, very much related – uses her (primarily LGBTQ focused) paintings to “destabilize gender borders.” kimleutwyler.com
- Makeup Artist Jordan Hanz created a video to convey her message about “the impossible standards that women are held to.” Unattainable Woman | Jordan Hanz
- Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai fought for her own rights and then co-founded the Malala Fund “to bring awareness to the social and economic impact of girls’ education and to empower girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential, and to demand change.” Malala Fund
I remain in search of blind spots and the kind of deeper understanding that will help me make a difference – if only in my own thoughts, words and actions.
Please “honk” if you see me coming into your lane.