Jane Caro, the 368th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, has a message for all the women and another one for all the men.
Women don’t need to be thinner or prettier to be good enough, she says. They just need to believe they’re good enough.
Men don’t need to act tough or repress their emotions to be a real man – because there’s nothing more appealing than a man who knows exactly who he is.
Jane says that for all the progress we’ve made, we still live in a patriarchal society that oppresses both women and men. Women are obviously harmed if they’re discriminated against; but men are also affected if they can’t be their real selves.
Jane established herself as an award-winning advertising copywriter in the first half of her career, before becoming a professional speaker, prolific author and popular media commentator. When she was younger, she used to suffer from severe anxiety, in part because she was worried about other people’s judgements. However, Jane came to realise that what other people said about her was none of her business. As a forthright woman, Jane can be the target of vicious social media attacks, but she’s able to ignore them because they say nothing about her and everything about the commenter.
Jane is a fascinating conversationalist and a lovely person, so I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. I’m also grateful to Jane for planting some interesting ideas, about cultural conditioning and social structures, in my head. From now on, I’m going to see the world differently.