Throughout her new book, “The Moment of Lift,” Melinda Gates notes that “the best way to fight back is to speak up, to say openly the same thing that others stigmatize.”
A philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls, Gates shares stories of impoverished women who have learned to speak for themselves, often in oppressive environments where their voice is not respected and their status as contributing members of their communities. .
Boldness also resonates throughout the book in the personal stories of Gates, who, for the first time, wrote about the path to parity in her own marriage to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. She addresses gender bias in the data, her search for support for contraception, and inequality in the Catholic faith.
‘Elevator Moment’:Melinda Gates on her new book and the courage it takes to fight for equality
Here are some quotes to remember
“Being a feminist means believing that all women should be able to use their voice and fulfill their potential, and that women and men should work together to break down barriers and end prejudices that still hold women back.”
ON MALE DECISION-MAKING
“It is the mark of a backward society, or a society that goes backwards, when the decisions are made by men for women.”
ON LOVE AS A FORCE FOR CHANGE
“Love is the most powerful and underused force for change in the world… To me, love is the endeavor to help others thrive, and it often begins with elevating one’s self-image.”
ON THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF HELPING OTHERS IF WE KEEP THEM AT A DISTANCE
“We have to open up to others. We have to give up the need to be separate and superior.”
“Great wealth can be very confusing. It can inflate and distort your sense of identity, especially if you think money means merit.”
ON MEN AND THE CHURCH
“Disrespect for women grows when religions are dominated by men… Some parts of the Church come from God, and some parts come from men, and the part of the Church that excludes women comes from men” .
ABOUT THE WOMAN PRIEST
“The Catholic Church tries to close the discussion on women priests by saying that Jesus chose men as his apostles at the Last Supper and therefore only men can be priests. But we could easily say that the Risen Christ first appeared to a woman and told her to go tell the men, and therefore only women are allowed to bring the Good News to men.”
ON CONTRACEPTION AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH
“It’s especially galling that some of the people who want to cut funding for contraception mention morality. From my point of view, there is no morality without empathy, and there is certainly no empathy in this politics. Morality is loving your neighbor as yourself, which comes from seeing your neighbor as yourself, which means trying to ease your neighbor’s burdens, not add to them.”
ON DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY
Diversity is the best way to defend equality. If people from various groups do not make those decisions, the burdens and benefits of society will be divided unequally and unfairly, with the people who write the rules securing a larger share of the benefits and a smaller share of the burdens of any society. If they don’t bring you, they sell you”.
ON GENDER IN THE WORKPLACE
“Gender diversity isn’t just good for women, it’s good for anyone who wants results.”
ON THE SUCCESS OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
“Many successful social movements are driven by the same combination: strong activism and the ability to bear pain without transmitting it. Anyone who can combine those two finds a voice with moral force.”
ON TRAINING OUR SONS
“One of the biggest challenges in changing culture is improving children’s self-image. Society, the media, and even members of their own family have planted self-doubt in them.”
ON THE ME TOO MOVEMENT AND LASTING ABUSE
“To me, an abusive culture is any culture that needs to single out and exclude a group.”
ABOUT BULLYING BEYOND CHILDHOOD
“Adults try to create strangers, too. In fact, we get better at it. And most of us fall into one of the same three groups: people who try to create strangers, people who are made to feel like strangers, and people who stand by and don’t stop it… Overcoming the need to create outsiders is our biggest challenge as human beings.”
ON THE POWER TO STAY TOGETHER
“…when women are trying to decide if we should stand up, we don’t know if others will support us. It often takes a lot of women, arm in arm, to inspire other women to speak out.”
ON THE ELIMINATION OF FOREIGNERS TO PRODUCE COMMUNALITY AND CHANGE
“Saving lives starts with engaging everyone.”
Hear Melinda Gates speak in Nashville
Melinda Gates, philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls, will be in Nashville on Wednesday for a discussion of his new book: “The Moment of Elevation: How Women’s Empowerment Changes the World.”
Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and has been recognized by Forbes magazine as the “Most Powerful Woman in Philanthropy.”
When: 6:15 p.m., Wednesday
Where: James K. Polk Theater of the Tennessee Performing Art Centers (505 Deaderick Street, Nashville)
Tickets: Starting at $37.50 at tpac.org. All tickets include a copy of Gates’ book “The Moment of Lift.” Gates will donate all proceeds from the book to charity.
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