#Metoo

 I’ve been hesitant to comment on this publicly because honestly, I feel incredibly lucky. In my 31 years of life, I have avoided so much of the kinds of abuse that many women I know have experienced. My face of the resting bitch variety, and the fact that I spent many of my thinnest, most attractive, and certainly horniest years surrounded by the comfort of several gay men probably helped me to avoid some of the douchiest of douche-bags.

I am lucky, but at the same time, I’ve been thinking about experiences I’ve had that I’ve laughed off because, well, dudes are creeps. And we’re used to it. I wrote in this blog about a man offering to impregnate me outside a bar. Once, at a bus stop, a man looked me up and down and said, “You look good,” as if I were actually a delicious food item. I posted something witty on Facebook about it and moved on with my day. Guys have grabbed my boobs “accidentally” in bar; a male friend of mine used to tell me that he liked my butt and was constantly grabbing it in public. It’s part of the female experience, and while it bothers us in the moment, we forget about it and move on.

Every time women are objectified and sexualized in this way, it impacts us. It creates this idea that women are pretty little things here for the pleasure of men, and our societal power structure has led men to believe that they can do anything and say anything without the risk of consequence. It chips away at our spirits, bit by bit. Hopefully, this moment we’re in right now is the start of piecing ourselves back together and reclaiming ourselves as our own. I hope it doesn’t fade.

I know there are good men. I’m with one, and I know a lot of them. I’ve also known a lot of shitty ones- like the former co-worker who used walk around the office talking about women he dated like they were nothing but orifices for him to fill while the other bros in the office laughed about it. He was finally let go, and I hope that he’s learned something. There are so many men like that, and all of those men have friends who are laughing like it’s no big deal. Stop laughing. Stop enabling. It would be so powerful it if you just said, “Hey man, that’s not cool.” Try it out.

P.S. Also, honest, opinionated, intelligent women are not abrasive, bossy, or bitchy. Stop being wimps, you guys.

 

Happy International Women’s Day!

Over the last year or so, I’ve found my way to comfortably calling myself a Feminist. Recently, someone said to me, “I don’t understand why this needs to be a thing. How about we just call it humanism?” Sure, it sounds nice, but this is kind of like responding to the Black Lives Matter movement by saying that all lives matter. Of course they do, but not acknowledging that some lives are treated as though they don’t matter is the same as shrugging off a very serious problem. I don’t know if I’m opening myself up to criticism by making this, albeit loose, comparison. My point is that I wish we could all just be humanists, but not all humans are treated equally to other humans. That’s why we have Feminists, Gay Rights Advocates, and movements like the Black Lives Matter movement.

I’m still working on articulating exactly what being a Feminist means to me because the truth is that some days I don’t know. I think it’s different for everyone. I will say that I don’t plan on burning any bras in the near future despite the fact that I would love nothing more than to light that sucker on fire at the end of the day.

What I know it does means for me is that I won’t give people the  comfort of my silence anymore because I don’t have to. Subsequently, I argue a lot, and that’s okay. This especially applies when someone spouts uneducated crap about women’s health issues (a subject I have proactively educated myself on) like that using contraception means you’re a slut. Spoiler alert: That’s bullshit. It also means that I try really hard to look at situations on a level playing field. I don’t think women are always right just because they are women, and I don’t think men are always wrong just because they’re men. I think anything other than that is the opposite of Feminism. Both genders have an equal propensity to fuck up.

That’s what Feminism about for me. Just plain equality—the reality that women are capable of doing the same things as any man because we are, and we should be compensated equally when the same work is done. Sometimes, women may even be better equipped to handle a task. It’s about speaking truth to myths and normalizing the female experience instead of continuing to make some things so taboo. Seriously, when do I get to walk to the bathroom with a tampon in my hand instead of shoved in a pocket or up my sleeve? It’s fucking biology for Christ’s sake.

Anyway, Happy International Women’s Day to all of the women of the world of all shapes, sizes, and colors. You are all amazing.

Being a woman is really pretty rad.