Sam, I am writing this to you as you are rocking in a swing completely unaware of the change that is coming in our industry, completely unaware that you, my little man, will be part of this monumental change.
Equitas was set up by four Co-founders 2 women and 2 men. These are my hopes for Equitas and my hopes for your future in our world, my little man. Equitas has the potential to change so much for women, not only in the equine industry for women in everyday life. And you, little Samuel, are going to be part of this revolutionary change. You will grow up in a different world, with a different mindset and with equity, support, encouragement and justice for all. Sam, these are my hopes for Equitas and for our next generation. These are my hopes for you and the generation of women that you will grow up around.
Equitas is the changing point in our industry; we are going to change the narrative of what female empowerment within our industry is.
I want you to see women the way I see them, the way the world should see us, the way I see myself. I am not limited because I am a woman; I am limitless because I am a woman. “I raise my voice, not so that I can shout – but so that those without a voice can be heard, we cannot succeed when half of us are held back”. I am not lucky. I work hard every day, I dream harder, and I am unapologetically myself. I am a natural nurturer and a cheerleader, a supporter of the underdog and a champion of the brave and determined in life. I am fiercely independent, I am stubborn, I am tough, I am strong physically, mentally and emotionally and I ask a lot of questions. I like to question things, philosophies, teachings, injustices and choices. This makes me a powerful woman. This also makes me a threat to some people, but why should it? Some people are intimidated by women who know their mind and speak their mind and have opinions. Women are often pigeonholed as bitchs for being assertive or tough, whereas men in the same position are cheered on as leaders, revolutionaries and game changers.
The narrative is changing my young man, the world as we know it is changing. You will grow up in a world where Equitas has left its mark not only in the equine industry but in every walk of life. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time, we are the ones we’ve been waiting for, and we are the change we seek.”
My dream for Equitas is the same as my dream for you. To see women as the powerhouses that we are. For me and my peers to be judged by our talents and skills as a people and not because it was good "for a woman". I am a person first, my biology is only that, my biology, it doesn’t limit me in anyway shape or form. If anything, it empowers me for greater things. This is what Equitas is.
For women to have the same opportunities as men in competition yards, team selections for national level and international level, governing bodies and in the boardrooms of our industry. For women to have equal pay and terms in their employment, equal opportunities for progression both within the equine industry and future afield. This is what Equitas is.
For women to be applauded when they choose to have a career and a family and not have to choose between one and the other. We can have it all if we so choose and it shouldn’t be a case of one or the other. For women not to be bypassed because of their biology and the possibility that they might one day want to have kids, that should not be a defining moment in someone’s career. We should be celebrated for our ability to bring life into this world and to continue on competing and working if we so choose. This is what Equitas is.
For women to support each other, straighten each other’s crown and back each other when the world and his mother didn’t back us. For women to realize that encouraging the growth of other women in turn ensures the growth of ourselves and of all other women. This is what Equitas is.
Sam, I want you to call out all the bullshit injustice you see in the world. Saying nothing about injustice and unfairness in the world is saying a hell of a lot more than you think. This is what Equitas is. “As mothers raising sons, we have the power to change the trajectory of not only our son’s lives, but also of the culture at large”.
Stand up for something! I want you to look at Shane and Mike as male role models setting up and Co-founding a predominantly female ran magazine. And why did they do this? For the next generation, for your generation. For their mothers, their sisters, their girlfriends, their future kids. This is what Equitas is.
We, as a unit, can change the need for women to feel a need to walk down the street clasping their keys tightly in their hand, the need for them to constantly look over their shoulder for predators like they are prey in the Serengeti. We can change the wave of terror we a feel when we hear a group of men approaching us day or night. We, as Equitas, can change the way men, society and the world sees us. This is what Equitas is.
Sam, I want you to grow up in a world where your female friends and sisters can walk the streets at any hour, wearing what they like without fear of being victim blamed when someone attacks them because they "should have known better that to walk alone at night wearing a mini skirt".
Sam, I want you to grow up a world where if someone is shouting abuse at a woman in the street that you say something. You stand up. Be the change you want to see in the world. That is what Equitas is.
We as a unit can change this culture, this narrative that women are merely objects and a subspecies to men. But it has to start from this generation. Your generation. Children are born with a blank slate or tabula rasa; they are not born with predatory instincts to demean and harass women, or to think of us as inferior to men. This is thought by our culture and what our society deems acceptable behavior. Therefore, we can change this. Equitas can change this and you, my little man, Sam, YOU can change this.
THIS is what Equitas is.