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Equality doesn’t make sense, but inclusivity does.

I made up an entire word right now. According to my spell check.

Inclusivity.

We have exclusivity. That’s a word. A word that means we’re leaving people out. That not everyone matters or belongs.

So why don’t we have inclusivity? It makes sense to me that we should.

Language is a very powerful thing. It shapes how we think and how we describe things. I’ve read that people who are bilingual or more, actually have different mannerisms in each language.

Language matters. The words we use, matter.

I’m going to pause here for a moment and take a word off the table.

Feminism.

The image that goes hand in hand with that word brings up an activist. A man-hating activist. Someone who has a “my way or the highway” view. Where men and women are 100% equal.

That is not me. Not by any means. Not even close.

Oh, that last sentence, about equality, is a real stinger. I hesitated to write it out for fear of giving the wrong impression.

Here’s what I mean:
– women and men should have the same rights
– women and men should be paid the same amount for the same work
– woman and men should be treated with respect when they speak up or share

But women and men are not equal or we’d be the same. And we’re so very clearly not. From brain imaging to hormones, science shows us we are different enough.

Women are not just less strong men.

Men are not brutish, silent tall women.

Using the word feminism divides us. It focuses on what separates us.

I want to focus on bringing us together.

Inclusivity.

I’m currently working on a project, have been for a while actually, that is running with this theme.

A project that tells the stories of women. Not Hollywood women. Or women in pop culture. No. Every day women. From masculine women to feminine women.

From trans gendered women to lgbt women. I want to tear down the idea that women are just one type, one thing, and maybe in that process help women who don’t fit the mold feel better about themselves. And maybe start some dialogue on inclusivity as well.

Because having worked a lot with pop culture, I can see where the definitions hurt. Where we value ourselves less because we don’t fit a narrow definition.

We all have stories to tell. A shout out to the world: I am here and I matter! And I am un-apologetically me!

I’m going to be writing about this project more over the next little while. Not exclusively, but enough to help me solidify ideas.

If you think you’d like to be involved, that you have a story to tell, please reach out to me. While I’m going to really get into the project later this year, I need to start with a few people. Your story. Your portrait. And a chance to tell the world you matter.