#HeForShe isn't quite working
I thought long and hard about the women that work for me and the women and girls that are my family. This speech meant something, and I felt more men were standing up and saying that we should respect each other.
About two years ago, I was driving in my car with a man who use to own nightclubs and bars, and he said to me, "women will do anything for coke - I should write a book on it". I looked at him and said, "maybe you should". By bringing the issue out into the forefront, maybe it might create a situation where women think about what they want in life and how they want to be perceived. They may also think about the fact that doing cocaine is illegal and it doesn't make you a better person.
Funnily enough, the guy I was seeing who was a much older man, some months later told me how he was holidaying in Ibiza and he had pills in his pockets and women were coming up to him all night. He didn't say whether he purchased the pills, or whether the women did, but he smiled at the fact, it made him popular in Ibiza.
I was so disgusted, I never saw him again. It broke my heart. Here was a guy that had sold me on good values, no drug taking and a desire to leave the world a better place. Yet, women were just a tool on holidays in Ibiza, and he liked the attention the drugs gave him.
At the time, I thought about my nieces. Would they take drugs from an old rich man, so they could get "high" or go on their superyachts or whatever else they have? Then I thought about his daughter, and wondered how he would feel if men did that to her. Old, sleezy men for the want of a better way of putting it.
Over the past few weeks my social media accounts have been inundated with pictures from a party to launch a fund manager raising money for a tech fund. He invited a bunch of nightclub owners, a bunch of women he met in nightclubs and a guy that has a "modelling agency" to bring models. This is, might I add, a business tech fund launch. The girls talked about there being so much coke being consumed - which didn't surprise me, given the mix of the guest list, and the fact that some people on the guest list have sold drugs to their patrons, and been seen by even me taking drugs at the tables in restaurants and bars.
None of this is unusal. At parties you see this, and in New York and places like this, it's still like the 80's and people hire prostitutes and drug dealers (or ensure that there are drugs at these parties). But my question is this... women, what does this make you? Attending an event like this that each woman that was pictured on social media had no business interest in as either eye candy or to fill the room with women that are "loose" because they are looking for their next line - isn't the making of gender equality.
I want so much more for women, and while they may be categorised by urban dictionaries as coke whores, it makes me think that we are not doing enough to empower women to have more respect in themselves. And men, by inviting these people and ensuring drugs are on tap through who you invite, is saying that "it's ok that your daughter take drugs from old men" because that is normal and that is something that you think is what having a business party is all about.
This drug issue seems a lot worse in Melbourne particularly in the Toorak and eastern suburbs scenes, and it is such a shame. The boys rightly or wrongly say to me, "oh, she is a coke whore, or a slut". Their reason, simple; the girl will sleep with anyone for drugs, or run from one party scene to another to score their next free line.
You would think the business world would be more thoughtful. It appears not. It seems to me that we are putting people in places of power that have little respect for women, but would never allow any of these things to happen to their daughter or sisters.
I know this subject is taboo, and I will have friends who are mad at me for writing it - but I ask, think about it. What if it was your daughter or sister? Would you think a fair exchange is drugs for cocaine or any other drug. Would you be proud that men used your daughter or sisters for the same purpose?
You are who you hang out with. If you are in nightclubs sitting with people who sell drugs to men and women, you are no different. That is also who you are. It's an accepted behaviour and while money or power may make you feel like you are ammuned to the whole situation, when you are photographed on social media with drug dealers, drug takers, girls who take drugs in return for sexual favours - you are saying this is fine.
While I try my best to empower women to believe in themselves, not take drugs and have goals in life that don't revolve around marrying a guy with money, or finding the easy option - I know that I am on a losing streak. I was chatting to a girl on the weekend and a nightclub owner came in and she said she had to go to the toilet with him. Immediately, I knew that I would never do business with her.
Another girl, promised me she wasn't into all these things and I believed her, until I saw it for myself - and from that day, I have had nothing to do with her. She is your stereotypical "coke whore" and I introduced her to some wealthy men - which may have been my currency for her as I would have been incredibly boring.
What we can do to change:
- Empower girls and young women to respect themselves. You don't have to have boobs hanging out, fat lips and look like you need a good feed to achieve your goals.
- Fitting in, is not hanging out at nightclubs or drug parties, but finding your place of happiness and people that are like minded.
- Have pride in yourself and believe you are worth it.
- Find a mentor that you respect.
- Gain the respect of men and help change how they see some women.
- Be kind to yourself and others.
- Say NO to drugs!
- Who you hang with, represents who you are... remember that.
Men, and some of you I know very well:
- That next girl you play with, imagine she is your sister or daughter - treat her with respect.
- Don't let girls disrespect themselves. Give them belief in themselves and their self-worth.
- Find meaning in what you do.
- Having sex with hundreds of women doesn't make you a good guy. Respecting hundreds of women does.
- Help change women's perception of themselves and what they bring to the world, and importantly to the table.
Having said all of this, my business girlfriends definitely do not fall into any of these categories. They all have goals, dreams and none of them do drugs to my knowledge. They certainly wouldn't attend an event as eye candy, or allow anyone to disrepect them in that way. That's why they are successful. But I have to say, men that promote this behaviour are not good men. They are people that have forgotten that maybe one day their sister or daughter will experience what they are putting out there on the table. That won't be a good day for them - no doubt.
Women, you have a chance to make a difference and you are special - sometimes you just need to realise it. Let's not fall victims then shout from the roof tops that we are not treated equal. Keep your boobs (fake or real) in, stop taking drugs and start respecting yourself.