At 18-years old, my best friend’s mother, an educator and humanitarian, unexpectedly pulled me aside to thank me. “For what?” I asked. She recounted my calling her son/my friend out on his lack of understanding the double standard women face. And of his responsibility to stand alongside women for change and equity.
The truth was, I had unequivocally expected his understanding of this. And his respect. It never occurred to me that this was up for debate.
Having never had another adult woman acknowledge my ideas, let alone agree with them, something in me awoke at that moment. She told me his behaviors had changed. His way of seeing women and the world, and he was now vocal and insistent in advocating for women. “As a mother and a woman,” she said, “she was wholeheartedly grateful.”