Gender Equity without a ‘Battle of the Sexes’

Go Lean Commentary

CU Blog - Gender Equity without a 'Battle of the Sexes' - Photo 1A lot of societal reforms – human and civil rights – only come about as a result of advocates fighting for change.

Some battles are so important that they must be fought, even if the proponents were to lose. These proponents must not tire in these battles; but they must accept that change will only come as a result of a struggle.

This commentary has previously asserted that despite the fact that his advocacy was 150 years ago, African-American Abolitionist Frederick Douglass is a role model for the Caribbean today; he is quoted as saying:

“Those who profess to favor freedom, yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

So “change is gonna come“; it would be wiser for opponents to just concede that fact. This is a lesson for the Caribbean to learn from military strategies: if combatants know that the end result of a fight would be imminent defeat, they should not fight; rather they should just concede and negotiate favorable terms of surrender.

Let’s consider gender equality …

… there have actually been real ‘Battles of the Sexes’, where the end results have benefited women – to the victor goes the spoils. Consider these American experiences:

  • World War I waged between 1918 and 1918, bringing monumental change to society. Women pressed hard in this era and secured the right to vote, starting in 1920, but most women’s careers still only revolved around the home and family.
  • World War II waged between 1939 and 1945 bringing even more changes to society; as men went off to war, many jobs were assumed by women. After this war, they did not relinquish those advances. More opportunities were forged in the industrial and educational arena.
  • Title IX, the 1972 landmark federal gender legislation that emerged after the 1960’s Civil Rights era force educational institutions that receive federal monies to mandate equal opportunities for women. The law states (in part) that:
      “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Ah, the 1970’s; in addition, there was another ‘Battle of the Sexes’ that dominated American consciousness. This was the media spectacle of the tennis match featuring female star – and Wimbledon Champion – Billie Jean King versus male star – and Wimbledon Champion – Bobby Riggs. This is a big week for the memories of that 1973 ‘Battle of the Sexes’ tennis match as a new movie is being released on Friday (September 29, 2017) to chronicle the drama of those events. See this Profile VIDEO here:

VIDEO Billie Jean King’s victories, on and off the court

“If you’re old enough to remember it, in 1973, you probably watched it: Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs — man vs. woman — a spectacle that captivated the nation.
More than 30,000 attended the match held in the Houston Astrodome. …”

Lee Cowan catches up with the tennis legend and advocate for gender equality, whose 1973 exhibition match against Bobby Riggs was promoted as the “Battle of the Sexes” (and is now dramatized in a new movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell).

See the full transcript of the VIDEO here:

Billie Jean King, Bobby RiggsAlso see the Movie Trailer in the Appendix below.

As related in the movie, this 1973 event in Houston, Texas USA sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. As the USA goes, so does the rest of the world … eventually. The American Hegemony – the political, economic, or military predominance or control of one state over others – is real for its impact on Caribbean life. Each one of these advances in Women’s Rights in the US had a parallel effect on Caribbean member-states … eventually. In a previous Go Lean commentary, the Caribbean’s journey in Gender Equality was detailed and presented as a needed advocacy to reform and transform our society.

Yes, in the Caribbean, we can have Gender Equity without a ‘Battle of the Sexes’. Notice, we want equity, more so than equality! We recognize that there is and will always be differences between men and women – think maternity. Each gender have different needs, the solution is not the “same” for everyone, but rather the relevant empowerments, so that everyone can “be all they can be”.

CU Blog - Gender Equity without a 'Battle of the Sexes' - Photo 3Since the Caribbean needs … all the help we can get, we need more women in government, local administration and regional stewardship. That previous blog-commentary related …

… this is not just a case for feminism. The issues relate to policy-making participation and optimization, more than they relate to feminism. This story is being brought into focus in a consideration of the book Go Lean … Caribbean. The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the societal elevation in the region. This roadmap calls for a fuller participation from women as stakeholders. …

With 50% of the population, there is the need for 50% of the representation; (this is the target). …

Among the crises that the region contends with is human flight, the brain drain or abandonment of the highly educated citizenry. Why do they leave? For “push-and-pull” reasons!

“Push” refers to deficient conditions at home that makes people want to flee. “Pull” refers to better conditions abroad that appeals to Caribbean residents. They want that better life.

[So] an underlying mission of the CU is to dissuade this human flight.

The title ‘Battle of the Sexes’ refers to a movie, yes, but an advocacy as well. (Any discussion about Billie Jean King must also consider her advocacy for LGBT rights; we need those empowerments in the Caribbean too; we need our local opposition to concede – without a battle – that they cannot win in abusing others). This is why we need movies; as an art form, they can be a powerful source of messaging to impress new theories, doctrines and practices on the masses of people. This is what is meant by “life imitating art”. In a previous blog-commentary regarding Caribbean Diaspora member and Hollywood great, Sidney Poitier, it was declared that …

“Movies are an amazing business model. People give money to spend a couple of hours watching someone else’s creation and then leave the theater with nothing to show for the investment; except perhaps a different perspective”.

This is the assertion of the book Go Lean … Caribbean, that different artistic endeavors can be used for effective messaging to forge change – elevate the community – in the Caribbean’s societal engines. The book – available to download for free –presents the prime directives of the Go Lean roadmap:

The Caribbean region needs to include more women in leadership roles in business, government and all security institutions. We need to do this without a Battle.

You Caribbean men, just concede:

We need the full participation of all able-bodied women for the successful outworking of our communities.

This theme was pronounced early in the Go Lean book with this Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 14), with these opening statements:

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xxi. Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

xxvi. Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries …

The subject of fostering gender equity, equal access and equal protections for women have been directly addressed and further elaborated upon in previous blog/commentaries; consider this sample: Lean-in for ‘Wonder Woman Day’ Women Get Ready for New Lean-In Campaign Bahamas Referendum Outcome: Impact on the ‘Brain Drain’ Push Factor: Interpersonal Violence / Domestic Women in Politics – Yes, They Can! Role Model – #FatGirlsCan – Empowering Women ‘Good Hair’ and the Strong Black Woman Getting More Women Interested in Science/Technology Careers Caribbean Study: 58% Of Boys Agree to Female ‘Discipline’ Students developing nail polish to detect date rape drugs Muslim officials condemn abductions of Nigerian girls Help for Abused Women Depicts Societal Defects

The Go Lean book posits that every woman has a right to work towards making her community a better place to live, work and play. This should be the default thinking, without a battle … especially here in the Caribbean where we need their participation. So the book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to help women to impact the homeland.

This quest to elevate our regional society requires heavy-lifting! It is a battle. But this quest, this goal is conceivable, believable and achievable. With the right commitment of time, talent and treasuries from women – and the men that support them – we can succeed in making the Caribbean region a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix VIDEO – Battle of the Sexes I Official Trailer –

The electrifying 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) was billed as THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES and became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time. The match caught the zeitgeist and sparked a global conversation on gender equality, spurring on the feminist movement. Trapped in the media glare, King and Riggs were on opposite sides of a binary argument, but off-court each was fighting more personal and complex battles. With a supportive husband urging her to fight the Establishment for equal pay, the fiercely private King was also struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality, while Riggs gambled his legacy and reputation in a bid to relive the glories of his past. Together, Billie and Bobby served up a cultural spectacle that resonated far beyond the tennis courts and animated the discussions between men and women in bedrooms and boardrooms around the world.




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