Women Need to Stop Being Resilient

I grew up a tomboy, doing all the things the boys did, but making sure I did it better.

As a teenager, I still hung with the boys. Part of the deal was that I was “cool” and didn’t get rattled by the locker room banter. I was cool. I laughed. I even started to look down on the girls that would react to their sexual innuendos. They weren’t cool. Those girls were too sensitive, too prissy, and a buzz kill.

In my twenties, I worked in tech and got even cooler. I would ignore unwanted advances, roll my eyes at stupid, sexist comments, and I would continue to disparage the women that filed complaints. They just couldn’t hang.

In my thirties, I had a daughter. I was still cool. I wanted to make sure my daughter knew she could be and do anything she wanted in life. I encouraged her to not conform to female stereotypes like only wearing pink and only playing with dollsShe was wild, and rough, and a tomboy – my GIRL!

Photo by Kevin Jesus Horacio on Unsplash

In my forties, my daughter has grown into a young women. Trump became president. Most recently, the Kavanaugh hearings began. I am so not cool anymore.

I am so uncool now that I look back on my younger self and feel ashamed. Whatever we say about the current state of affairs between men and women, I realize now that I was part of the problem all these years, not the solution.

I thought I was being resilient. I took pride in withstanding the sexism that women face every day with a smile on my face and joke to back it up. I was STRONG. Stronger than the whimpy women that crumbled at an off color joke, submitted sexual harassment claims over a pinched ass or comment about her tits, and told off men catcalling her in the street.

Even as I write this, I want to smack the idiot that was me. Those other women were SO strong and I couldn’t see it. I was too busy toughing it out, building up my teflon coating.

I am now watching women rally for Trump, praise Kavanaugh, and belittle the women coming forward with sexual assault allegations against the most powerful people in our country.  All I can think is, I could have been one of them. I was not so far removed from their line of thinking – boys will be boys *smiley face**wink**wink*. I just drew my line earlier than they did with a little less tolerance.

I am not resilient anymore. I will not be flexible with my boundaries. I will not bounce back from the rude behavior of men. I will not let any women feel ashamed or belittled for feeling uncomfortable or unsafe because of a man’s behavior. I will not let my daughter see me be anything but supportive of the strong women that do the hardest thing of all – stand up for herself in the face of a man using all the resources of law and order available to her.

I will no longer be part of the problem by using my resilience as an excuse to look the other way.

—————————

This is not a popular position to take, this position of power as a woman. To say “NO”, I won’t accept the things that were OK to me before but not anymore. I’m changing the boundary line, and it’s not comfortable for the men around me. What they don’t know is that it’s far more uncomfortable for me. I used to take all the punches and now I’m throwing a few of my own.

 

 

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About Blurb My Enthusiasm
40-something-yrs-old and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. My resume reads like a food court menu: educator, dog walker, product manager, executive director, managing editor - and that's just the notable titles. I entertain all offers and consider myself up for the job until someone tells me I'm not. I've never been fired. What I lack in direction, I make up for in enthusiasm.

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