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.

 

 

Advertisements

Now We Know That Actions Speak Louder Than Words

volunteer_handsI, like many Democrats, am feeling disheartened by the events of last night’s election. I had so much hope that today we would be celebrating the first female president, but instead I’m in mourning. In mourning for our country that is more deeply divided than I ever realized.

But I take responsibility for my part in the events. I thought I did “my part” by discussing politics in a non-confrontational way across my social media channels. I thought I did “my part” by giving donations to the Democratic party, who I truly believed would not only protect things I hold dear, but be in the best interest of so many that lack the abundant privileges I enjoy – good education, a secure roof over my head,  a job. I thought I did “my part” by voting.

I realize this morning that I was sorely misguided on how large my part needed to be to assure the majority of Americans that I deeply love and care for the well being of all of us, not just my privileged life.

My part should have included educating myself more on the way “the other half lives”. I should have been more active in LOCAL politics that would have created more – REAL – change in the lives that are suffering. I should have been been more active in volunteering in the fringe communities that feel left out, left to suffer, and left fending for themselves in this complicated world of reforms, tax codes, and laws, making the best decisions they can while trying to keep food on their table despite political conversations that float well above their educational level.

I should have spoken less, and acted more. 

The Americans that voted for Trump didn’t see my face in their community. They didn’t experience my care and concern for others at their local rallies trying to protect their jobs . They didn’t see a change in their paycheck when I didn’t vote for local measures that would have protected their jobs or increased their pay. They didn’t hear my voice on social media because they don’t know me, or I them.

So, today, I ask myself, “What does it mean to play ‘my part’?”

I have the choice to spend the next four years writing opinions on a blog (that no one really needs anyway), sharing ideas and throwing support through “likes” on social media, and continue to debate politics in my privileged, admittedly homogenous, circle of friends. Or I can shift my definition from words to action.

We all have this choice today.

If you are one of the millions of Americans that feel like I do – disheartened, fearful, and like we lost something really important last night – I hope you ask yourself the same question. What does it mean to “play your part” in healing this nation that is so very, very broken? How do we SHOW our commitment to the words we speak and the votes we cast?

 

 

Life imitating art… if NPR is considered art (which I think it is)

I came across an interesting piece today. Actually, it was completely uninteresting to me since it is merely a reflection of my daily life.

 

Apparently NPR has apologized to this 4-yr-old little girl for covering the presidential election so much that it made her cry. Sweet. It was nice of them to make nice with a viral video sensation. But honestly, 4-yr-old’s cry about E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

They are the mini embodiment’s of Goldilocks. Everything is too hot, too cold. Too loud, too soft. Too much attention, not enough attention.  If I apologized every time my 4-yr-old was unhappy with the world around her, the only words I would ever get a chance to say would be “I’m sorry.”

So I read the apology that NPR issues. It’s basically an apology for being who they are.

On behalf of NPR and all other news outlets, we apologize to Abigael and all the many others who probably feel like her. We must confess, the campaign’s gone on long enough for us, too. Let’s just keep telling ourselves: “Only a few more days, only a few more days, only a few more days.”

Really, NPR? Doesn’t anyone in your office have a 4-yr-old?

I look at NPR as the parent of the reporting world, offering content that is thought provoking, and at times moving, with a dose of kind admonishment of our sometimes misguided ways. All things considered, your apology was not only unnecessary, but a little annoying to this mom of a 4-yr-old. The presidential election is the talk of the nation, and I want to hear your reporting on it.  In fact, I want you to tell me more. In fact, I find your programming a breath of fresh air from the constant complaining in my car otherwise.

Why Libras and Politics Don’t Mix

Libra Traits

Diplomatic and urbane, Romantic and charming, Easygoing and sociable, Idealistic and peaceable

On the dark side….

Indecisive and changeable, Gullible and easily influenced, Flirtatious and self-indulgent

via Libra – All about Libra!.

I had the pleasure of hosting my in-laws over Thanksgiving, and talk often turns to politics with my “progressive” father-in-law – in quotes as I am not even sure how he would describe his political stance.

We spoke about Occupy Wall Street, the welfare system, and merits (or demerits) of our current president.  Let’s just say there was a fair amount of googling going on.  Searching for numbers, percentages and actual values.  I think my father-in-law was one part amused, two parts horrified at some of my off-the-cuff, unsubstantiated opinions.  My husband was all parts horrified, I imagine.

I’m not exactly sure where my opinions come from, and I just as easily and inarticulately argue both sides, depending on where the conversation started.  I am plagued with the brain that always tries to see the other side.  If you say black, I wonder what white thinks about that. You say left, and I try out a hard right, just to round out the map.  I’m cursed to travel in circles.

I am the first to say that “politics aren’t my thing”.  But then who’s is it?  Who are the people that vote in every election (and not just the presidential)? Who follows the actions of our congress and how our representatives vote for and against bills and measures that affect us?  Who is taking on the tomes of economic theory to better understand how things could and should be done?

We are entering into an important year – the job of “leader of the free world” hangs in the balance.  How are you and I going to determine who the best person for the job is?  I’m serious.  I really want to know how you decide where to cast your vote.

%d bloggers like this: