Three recent events (among many others) got me thinking: the Cosby mistrial, the Pitino slap on the wrist and the release of Wonder Woman. All three present us with opportunities to reflect on women and how we view women — their strengths, their sexuality, their role. And, all three enable us to ponder reality and fiction, truth and myth, image and identity.

I think the three events can be linked then and shed insight into how we view women (and men) and how we still have a long long way to go to establish equality for women. And, this is important too for young girls and boys — where we can hold out hope that they can begin to see gender roles and gender respect and gender influence differently.

Ponder this essay that appeared this morning:

Share your thoughts on how Cosby, Pitino and Wonder Woman reflect your views on women and men and power and success.

I was recently in a conversation with someone (a man who is bright and enlightened) who said: I treat women and men identically in the workplace; they have equal opportunity and equal rights. I trust quality work — whether from a man or a woman. This set of observations misses the point. The point isn’t only work; it is in our real-life perceptions and actions that we can see gender differences. It is in how we respond without knowing we are responding. It is why we end up with a skewed world because those internal perceptions are ignored or not even recognized. Equality on the surface is just that.

What the unholy trinity of Cosby, Pitino and Wonder Woman shows in the absence of equality in the real world, in real time, in real minds. That’s why we need to pay attention to the messages from this trinity — before we reify them.

Written by

Author, Educator & Commentator; Former President, Southern Vermont College; Former Senior Policy Advisor, US Dept. of Education; Former Law Professor

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