Asking people who are underrepresented in the wider influence sphere to join you isn’t paternalistic or patronizing, either. It’s being an ally. A patronizing/paternal response to seeing, for example, the lack of women on the Newsweek list would be to say, “Oh, the poor women! Let us say that women are great, and it sure is a shame that they aren’t represented here. Let us (us affluent white guys) start a program for women so that they can become better at what they do an end up on a list like this.”
An ally’s response says, “There’s something wrong structurally with how this list is built, and we need to prioritize lots of factors, not just how famous someone is. Gender and race are some of those factors, and here are some amazing people that are integral to a more equitable structure.”
My wonderful friend and badass activist Deanna Zandt launched her latest campaign today: Follow the #One4One hashtag on Twitter, indulge in its beauty and name your own #One4One candidate of course! This campaign shows yet again that the smartest ideas are often the most simple ones.