Why we must get rid of all glass ceilings in society


bird windowGlass is a see-through material, with such a low visibility from certain angles that birds regularly smash into it and meet with a premature death. If you would ask the bird, a few seconds before the poor creature tragically breaks its little neck, it would say: there is nothing there, no worries! Our conclusion must be: not everything that exists in reality, has the same degree of visibility. What truly exists as a harsh reality to some, may well be invisible to others.

Glass ceilings are everywhere

Marilyn Loden was the first person to use the word “glass ceiling”, in a 1978 speech, at a discussion panel about women’s advancement sponsored by the Women’s Action Alliance. Ever since she coined the phrase, it has become an often used way to describe the invisible barrier that exists in almost every society. It is there, and it is preventing people of certain demographics to rise above certain managerial or societal positions.

While the phrase originally applied to female emancipation, her brilliant description of a “Glass Ceiling” quickly found its way to other arenas of social struggle. Immigrants, people of a different ethnicity, people with a disability, in fact, anyone that doesn’t fit in with the stereotypical image of the dominant demographic in a society, may (and in most cases will) experience a glass ceiling. Typically, it will mar their career path, it will lead to disillusion and disgruntlement, and it will cause a perpetual vicious cycle by the absence of an enlightening example to others from the same demographic. In addition to these injustices, society will fail to harvest its best and most capable leaders, by systematically sidelining people with invaluable qualities.

Privilege and denying the glass ceiling

Inevitably, the existence of a ‘Glass Ceiling’ is structurally denied by those who fit the ruling demographic profile. They feel that widening the pool of competitors for the top positions threatens their privilege (in many countries, a ‘white privilege’). They are quick to counter the argument with the predictable: they will assert that there is already a policy of ‘affirmative action’ in place, that causes ‘less capable people to acquire positions that they are not fit to handle’. Discussions on this subject are rarely fruitful, with people who embrace this line of thought. The basic drive behind their reasoning is the protection of their privilege, and they will let neither logic, nor fairness, stand in the way of it.

glass ceiling

The Glass Ceiling

The price of denial

There are many reasons why society must make an effort to dismantle all of its glass ceilings. There can only be peace and prosperity in a society that provides equal opportunity to all its members. Without this basic principle, unemployment and career blockage will continue to be tied in with demographics. Inevitably, they will identify with one another, and start banding together to either change the existing unjust reality, or to even cause disruption out of disgruntlement and resentment if they feel that positive change is too difficult to attain. From a more pragmatic point of view, wanting society to be prosperous in economics and scientific development, systematic exclusion of demographics that contain people with equally high potential as others, can only be seen as a societal disease that is holding back progress.

If society as a whole continues to deny the existence of the glass ceiling, in many ways it resembles the allegorical bird that flew into the glass window. Despite the warnings of others, and despite their ability to demonstrate the existence of the barrier, the bird insists on continuing its disastrous course. It’s quite something to be hit and damaged by something you were unable to see. However, it is inexcusably stupid to be hit and damaged by something that would have been visible to you, if only you weren’t so stubborn that you refused to look at it from a different angle.

Glass Ceiling: a new song by Doc Jazz

Doc Jazz

Palestinian artist Doc Jazz

Under my artist name ‘Doc Jazz’, I have released a song about this ‘Glass Ceiling’. My work covers a very wide array of musical genres, but for this song, I chose the Blues. In order to record it, I traveled to Beirut in 2016 to record with my long time friend Walid Itayim, a gifted guitarist who was a pioneer of the Lebanese rock scene during the eighties. He lent some powerful guitar solos to the song, that I believe have truly elevated the track to a higher level. I know that I tend to lose myself in rich arrangements in some of my songs, but I purposely kept this song simple and straightforward. I wanted it to sound a little raw, disgruntled yet not too furious, bluesy enough to express the disillusioning theme of the glass ceiling, yet punchy and groovy enough to be catchy. For the bass guitar, for the first time my son Faisal Shadid, 17 years old at the time, joined me in a recording. Maybe I’m just a proud dad, but in my opinion he did an excellent job!

The song originally came from a new album, but as that album never saw the light (although musically completed), this song just sat there on the shelf with the other ones. I’m glad I found a way to get it out there nonetheless. I hope you are too!

Listen now

I have released it both on Youtube and on Facebook. You can find them both here if you scroll down a little. You will find the lyrics posted between the two videos. If you wish to have an mp3 of the song, you can do one of two things: you can either rip it from the video (I know some of you are very good at this), or you can send me a message through this website (see contact form at the bottom of the page), and I will mail it to you for free. Be sure to include your email address in the message!

I hope you will enjoy the song – as well as this little article that I published with it! If you want to check out my repertoire of over 100 songs, check it out here, and help yourself to the free downloads!

Tariq Shadid
aka Doc Jazz


Glass ceiling: the lyrics

Glass Ceiling – Doc Jazz
Genre: Blues/Rock

I know the smell of success
Cause I came close enough
And my ears were treated
To the echo of true love

And my eyes got a view
From the mountain top
But the flag I tried to plant
I was compelled to drop

But then the crowd went crazy
And my mind got hazy
Not that I’m too lazy
But what the hell is going on?

And when the signal rang
I ran that extra mile
Major effort fuelled
By an admiring smile

My hands felt the touch
Of the winner’s cup
Wasn’t written in the stars
For me to hold it up

But then the crowd went crazy
And my mind got hazy
Not that I’m too lazy
But what the hell is going on?

I’m an achiever but I just can’t win
Just can’t win, just can’t win
I’m a believer but I just can’t win
Just can’t win, just can’t win
I get that fever but I just can’t win
Just can’t win, just can’t win
I’m not a griever but I just can’t win
Cause there’s a
Glass Ceiling
And they just won’t let me in

I felt the cold embrace
Of the deep blue sea
Though I dove so deep
Someone went deeper than me

I saw my name in flames
On the silver screen
It was just a dream
Was never meant to be

But then the crowd went crazy
And my mind got hazy
Not that I’m too lazy
But what the hell is going on?


Words, music, vocals, production: Doc Jazz
Electric Guitars: Walid Itayim
Bass guitar: Faisal Shadid
Mastering: XOKK

Glass Ceiling on Facebook



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