It takes a lot to move the middle.
You have to push the edge, HARD. Not reasonably, not how you would like things to end up, but with all you fucking have, just to shift the norm a fraction. You have to bash and blaze.
If you want to change the norm that men summarily sexualise female colleagues at work, you have to take some fuckers down. You have to outlaw that shit, and accept that there will be some collateral damage.
You have to ruin the careers of some high profile, beloved by many, men, for something they did fifteen years ago, to stop Ken from Sales thinking it’s okay to tell Alison from accounts her ass looks good in her red skirt, because Alison didn’t wear her red skirt for Ken, and it makes her feel uncomfortable, and someone deserves to feel comfortable in the place they have to come to work every day.
You have to decide you’re looking specifically for a woman under the age of thirty to join your board, rather than simply “the best man for the job”, because otherwise how the hell is the pool of options ever going to equal itself out?
You have to create specific grants to fund indigenous art project so we get those stories told, that aren’t being assessed alongside everyone who is not indigenous. Because if there are only fifteen indigenous filmmakers, and fifteen thousand more privileged white film school graduates, then it’s not equitable to select based on the market appeal of the project, and we’ll never get certain stories told.
I used to want to be a filmmaker, and I applied for funding on a few projects, and I used to bristle when I checked “no” for the “are you of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent?”, but I was young and ignorant and didn’t know any better and just wanted my film funded.
I have had a period of my life believing that “equal” meant the same thing as “equitable”. But it’s not the same thing, is it? Not when you go back to the roots.
It WILL be the same thing when everybody gets the same opportunities. That’s when we will have moved the middle. That’s when we can choose “the best human for the job”.
Until then, keep pushing the edges, as hard as we can!