My expertise is not because of my body’s plumbing and orientation. It has come from many years of discipline, discernment, nonattachment and Grace. Someone earns the right to be called an expert by devoting many hours, days and years to their subject. Expertise does not come lightly. To think that anyone can take a workshop and then be an expert is crazy.
Also to include in the spirit of gender balance a man or a woman as a speaker when in fact they are not expert hurts everyone involved: the audience, the other participants and, more importantly, the speaker. Everyone is then belittled, and we unwittingly lower the caliber of the event.
If we wish to reach a place of gender balance then we need to mentor the relevant people and provide appropriate and supportive situations for them to practice. They need to feel they are accomplishing something rather than drowning. Maybe it would be best for them to practice in a single-sex environment so that they get comfortable stepping up to the plate and testing what they believe they know. We need to encourage and enable each of us to acquire expertise and then have a venue to share that knowledge. Also each of us should be encouraged to be comfortable in our own skin and not take on qualities that are not in harmony with our true expression. As the Gita says, “It is better to do one’s dharma poorly than another’s well.”
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