I don’t hear that expression very often, and I wondered why.
I could quickly think of 5 men who would generally be accepted as geniuses; Einstein, Michelangelo, to name just a couple. I’d be hard-pressed to identify even 2 women who would be commonly referred to as geniuses.
I Googled “list, genius, female” and again for males. Interesting results. Give it a try it yourself.
A few thoughts. Margaret Atwood is the author of The Handmaid’s Tale. Could she be considered a genius? She wrote her book many years ago. Her name is not spoken in awe with the reverence as a host of male authors might be. Could Atwood and Hemmingway be considered to be geniuses? I differentiate between the terms of being a genius and being famous.
The door to geniushood is barely ajar for women.
This is a bias in our society that is so deep-seated, it is almost invisible. Yes, some female names will be spoken in the genius context. However, this application is not often widely accepted. Try labelling a female person you think deserves to be referred to as a genius to some friends of yours. Pay attention to the discussion. Are there attempts made to exclude her by referencing a definition of genius? Do others immediately offer their suggestions? Is your proposal compared to a male genius? Are there differences in the responses between males and females?
Before I end with my frequent “give it a bit of a think” nudge, I want to talk about changing the world. That is too daunting for me. However, I can try to change minds within my personal sphere of influence. I include in this sphere all the people I love and who love me. As well, in this sphere, I put acquaintances with whom I regularly keep in contact. I also accept and hope that they change my mind, too.
Here’s an idea, especially for the older adults amongst the readers. You have the life experience to help select a genius. Search out a female person who you think deserves to be referred to as a genius. Take your time and enjoy this part. Believe your find is obvious and should be widely accepted. Then commit yourself to promote your choice to geniushood, at least within your sphere of influence. Let me know how it is going and who you picked to advocate for.
Oh, here’s a quote from the September 2020 People magazine. “Gifted star and business genius Wayne Gretzky…”. Really!
My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.