Representative

By popular demand, here is the edited version of the poem I wrote on International Women’s Day. Please note, this was not written with political correctness in mind.

Glass ceilings are not
All that’s holding back women
No more are all men
Keeping us from the boardroom

If gender equality
Is what we seek
Then we’re hurting our cause
And the outlook is bleak

Don’t admit that our views
May be voiced in our stead
By another we trust
To express what we’ve said?

If no woman believes
That she is represented
Without being present
Can that be prevented?

For trust in our colleagues
Is vital, it’s true
Give and take may be needed
But faithless won’t do

If we all demand seats
At each meeting that’s held
Then no business would pass
With agendas upheld

Until companies topple
And deadlines are missed
As our jealous mistrust
Means change could not exist

Individual roles
Are all part of the structure
Yes, without foundations
The top doesn’t matter

I fear what we’re seeking
Is not really equal –
Statistical parity
Won’t write this sequel

‘Til men may bear children
Biology means
That our gender’s unequal
All thanks to our genes

While traditional roles
Are both frowned on and praised
Then confusion will reign
As both genders are dazed

By our own expectation
Of having it all
While constrained by our talents
Time, body and soul

There are some who’d prefer
To fly high at their job
And yet others who value
Their place at the hob

And please note I make no
Reference to their gender
So long as they’re happy
Why else would it matter?

If merit means much
Individuals will
Find their place in the world
All according to skill

But there isn’t the space
At the top of the tree
For each birdbrain to perch
Just to squawk – “Look at me!”

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