Paco Arizmendi: The Ally

“Men should learn and will learn a lot from Dream, Girl.”


 
The inclusion of men in feminism is a hot-button topic right now. There’s a debate as to whether or not the movement has space for men, and if it does, how can they best show their support and become allies?
 
The simple answer – show up, show your support, and listen to those affected.
 
When Freshbooks employee Paco Arizmendi decided to bring Dream, Girl to audiences in Toronto, NYC, and Chicago, he was excited to create a space where these conversations could take root and expand. Not only did he see the film as aligning with Freshbooks’ mission to make the world more inclusive and accessible for female entrepreneurs and their businesses – the new father also felt motivated by a big change in his personal life.
 
“My wife is really wanting to start her business and I see the hardships she’s going through,” Paco said. “The world is not currently built for entrepreneurs and small-business owners and the struggles they go through when starting their businesses.”
 
Community-building is a central component of Freshbooks’ work. For anyone who knows the accounting software, you’re already familiar with the warm way the company strives to create opportunities for its customers to meet other entrepreneurs at local networking events, workshops, and meet-ups.
 
Paco’s dream for his screening was to build off this tradition.
 
On International Women’s Day, he packed a cozy coworking space in downtown Manhattan with drinks, snacks and local entrepreneurs. When the lights went down and the film started, Paco, who had already hosted two other screenings, took our team aside and shared with us how the film is already inspiring his customers to follow their dreams.
 
Some of our biggest Dream, Girl fans have been men who have come to the film either directly or through the women in their life. To know that there are men who are just as committed to the fight for equality is incredibly inspiring. Their dedication to confront injustice only makes us stronger.
 
But what’s even more inspiring the way men have been brought into the discussion to gain a better understanding and appreciation for women’s unique experiences.
 
After watching Dream, Girl, some men have shared with us that they had no idea what barriers existed for women, or had perhaps not known the extent of the exclusion.
 
“For me it was a very big eye-opener of the work that’s still to be done,” Paco said. “And while I’m a very strong supporter of feminism and women’s rights, the world isn’t quite there yet so from my own camp, I think there’s still a lot of work I can do to help the cause.”
 
To welcome new faces to the movement or perhaps connect with life-long allies who have embraced the film’s message to further their advocacy is a powerful ripple effect
 
“Men should learn and will learn a lot from Dream, Girl.”

 

Check out photos from Paco’s Freshbooks screening in Toronto!

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