Dear My28Days Community,
Throughout history, women have overcome numerous obstacles in education, employment, sports, and healthcare. By working together, women and men can strategically position themselves and leverage their skills and resilience to overcome remaining barriers and meet women’s health challenges.
As someone who has dedicated their career to women’s health care and research, I have witnessed firsthand the power of collaboration between women and men in overcoming challenges. I have seen many women with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), and I have also seen many supportive men by their side.
Creating a metaphor that unites women and men in women’s health initiatives can be a powerful tool for change. For example, until recently, men completely dominated the sport of billiards, making it difficult for women to gain acceptance. Despite this, women have been enthusiastic players since the game’s inception in the 15th century. Today, there are enough women professionals to warrant a separate organization, the Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA), which organizes tournaments and solicits commercial sponsorship.
In my youth, my best friend Tom had a professional-sized pool table in his family’s game room. Our favorite game was 8-Ball, and I often think of the metaphor “being behind the 8-Ball” to describe situations where someone struggles to succeed or overcome an obstacle. Even when facing difficult circumstances, it is possible to overcome them with determination and perseverance, just like in a game of pool.
Challenges and setbacks are a natural part of life. However, they also present opportunities to learn, grow, and become stronger. Instead of viewing these obstacles as impossible, we can reframe them as opportunities to develop our skills and resilience. With this perspective, we can keep pushing forward and eventually succeed.
We can use the metaphor of “being behind the 28-Ball” to symbolize the challenges facing women’s health across all cultures and lifespans. Women and men working together can position themselves strategically, using their skills and resilience to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. By leveraging the power of femininity, we can unite women and men to improve women’s health, creating a better world for all.
Just like in a game of pool, where the 8-Ball represents the final challenge before winning, women often face additional hurdles and barriers that prevent them from achieving their goals. These obstacles can include unequal pay, limited job opportunities, societal pressures, and gender stereotypes. However, by working together and advocating for change, women and men can overcome these obstacles and succeed.
It is essential to acknowledge that everyone’s experiences and perspectives are unique. While the metaphor of “being behind the 28-ball” may resonate with some individuals, it may not resonate with others. We do not intend this metaphor to trivialize women’s health or minimize the challenges that women face. Instead, we highlight the persistence and resilience required to overcome these challenges.
Recognizing that women and men working together can create a more inclusive and equitable society is essential. While women have made significant strides in many areas, we still have work to achieve gender equality. Encouraging men to be allies and advocates for women’s health can create a more supportive and collaborative environment. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide how they want to contribute to this effort. Still, it’s essential to recognize that everyone has a role in creating positive change.
Remember, the path to women’s health may be challenging but not impossible. We can succeed and make a meaningful difference in the world with determination and perseverance.
Take care and be well,
Dr. Lawrence M. Nelson, MD, MBA
Director, My 28 Days® Initiative
President, Mary Elizabeth Conover Foundation, Inc.