Equality is like gravity

… we need it to stand on this earth.

A friend wrote to me recently, asking if I wanted to do a panel at SXSW. She said, I was going to do it on good interfaces for participatory media, but if you want to join, maybe women and entrepreneurship? I replied that I’d rather not do a panel on women and anything.

I’m going to Blogher because it looks like it has a great lineup. But I dislike the proposition.

The percentage of men and woman online is roughly equal. But, like so many parts of our lives, power tends to lie with the less-fair sex. And so we respond: I’m gonna take my ball and bat and play with someone nice. I remember very well working hard on the first SFWow’s Top 25 Women on the Web site, and dreaming maybe someday I might be among them. It was inspirational and it made me determined to not let anyone stand in my way of growing into the person I wanted to be.

But now events that run on “separate but equal” no long have the same appeal. Before, they felt like they showcased women who were just as capable. Now they feel to me as if it’s noise about something I just want to be over, and it must not be over since we’re still throwing the damn things.

So I said to my friend, let’s not. What if we have a panel with four women and not have it be one on “women and…” but just be on a web topic. Perhaps that will make a stronger statement.

Or better yet, perhaps no one will even notice.