Tomorrow, In Mexico, A Day Without Women

Femicide. It’s a word I’d never heard until a friend of mine in Mexico introduced me to it. It seems that violence against women is an ever-increasing trend in that country. In fact, according to this article, they averaged three femicides a day in 2019 and one in three Mexican women is a victim of sexual harassment or violence. That’s horrifying and unacceptable.

As is typical of most governments these days, the Mexican government doesn’t seem to be taking women’s issues seriously at all. So there has been an outcry on social media asking women in that country to “disappear” for a day. Don’t go to work, don’t go to school, don’t go out at all. Women comprise 52 percent of the population, 50 percent of the students, and 40 percent of the work force, so this could potentially have a huge impact on the country.

According to the New York Times, this day was sparked, in particular, by two recent femicides that rocked the nation. (Brace yourself.):

Ingrid Escamilla, 25, a Mexico City resident, was stabbed, skinned and disemboweled. Her body was found on Feb. 9, and photos of her mutilated body were leaked to tabloids, which published the images on their front pages, adding to the public outrage.

On Feb. 11, Fátima Cecilia Aldrighett, 7, was abducted from her primary school in Mexico City and her body was discovered wrapped in a plastic bag next to a construction site on the outskirts of the capital.

If enough women participate in this day without women, it could cost the Mexican economy 1.37 billion. (I’m unsure if that’s pesos or dollars. The Times didn’t specify. Still, it’s a lot.)

Protest today, March 8th, International Women’s Day. Take to the streets, if you feel safe doing so with COVID-19 lurking about. (I know the Women’s March here in Seattle has been cancelled, and even though that’s understandable, it saddens me.) Then drop out tomorrow. Let them see that they can’t survive without you.

Please join me in standing in solidarity with the Women of Mexico in their efforts to feel safe in their own land. Every woman, every human being, deserves that basic human right.

#UNDÍASINNOSOTRAS, (A Day Without Us).

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QTIP

Recently I got to watch a video of a conference that took place in honor of International Women’s Day. It counted as credit for a work requirement. I have to have a certain number of hours of Race and Social Justice training every year. But I was actually looking forward to seeing this video regardless of its mandatory nature. It’s refreshing to see feminist issues being addressed when you spend the bulk of your time in a male-dominated workplace.

The majority of this particular conference addressed that very concern: how does one cope in a job where women are often discounted or shunned? So, I settled back with a notepad and a pen and prepared to be enlightened.

A lot of the pearls of wisdom were things that I had already learned just out of pure survival. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t try to change yourself into something you are not. It’s not only okay to be who you are, but it also brings value to your workplace. While this information was not new to me, it was comforting to have it validated.

I was also listening closely to what was being said because there was a short questionnaire that I had to fill out in order to get the training credit. They were questions you couldn’t answer unless you watched the entire conference. That makes sense. No cheating.

But of all the takeaways from this forum, I was a little befuddled by the one the training department really seemed to zero in on. The question was, “What is QTIP?”

It turned out that the subject was brought up by one of the last women to speak at the panel discussion toward the end of the video. Her main coping skill, she said, was QTIP: Quit Taking It Personally.

Sigh.

That’s their primary takeaway? The words of a woman who is propping up that male bias? Seriously?

How many times have we heard some version of QTIP?  “All you gals (and I hate the word gal, for what it’s worth) need to stop being so emotional.” “Don’t worry your pretty little heads.” “Stop being hysterical.”

Until people stop equating having emotions with weakness or a mental health issue, most women are going to be sidelined. Because most of us do have emotions. And when it comes to sexism in the workplace, we have a great deal to be pissed off and upset about.

How can you not take it personally when you’re being singled out because you’re the only woman in the room? That is personal. That’s highly freakin’ personal.

Now, I agree that how you express those feelings makes a difference. It’s never good to have your head explode during a staff meeting. But you have a right to be heard, and to speak your truth calmly and clearly.

No human should fly off the handle. It gets you nowhere. But take it personally? Heck yes. It’s personal. And anyone who tells you it isn’t is lying to you, gal. Make no mistake about that.

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Celebrating Women

Happy International Women’s Day!

Personally, I think women should be celebrated every day, not just on March 8th, but I figured this was the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the many blog posts I’ve written over the years on women’s issues. For a complete list, click on my “Feminism” category. You’ll discover that this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

I have shared one post, in particular, with various authorities in the City of Seattle, to no avail. Entitled The Cubic Yard Test, it highlights the city’s ridiculous and unnecessary test that pretty much excludes most women from ever being able to obtain a field work positions in Seattle.

I’ve participated in a few hashtag movements, including #WhyIDidntReport,   #MeToo and #ShoutYourAbortion.

I’ve spoken out about the thousands of indigenous women in this country that disappear without a trace in The Value of Human Life.

I’ve talked about the difficulty of being a woman in a male oriented job in Do a Search of Women and Drawbridges , Women of the Ship Canal , and I am NOT Made of Glass .

And I’ve shone a light on some of the absurdly antiquated misogynistic ideas that are held by our politicians in 10 Quotes That Should Piss Off Any Woman With Sense.

I’ve even lamented the insane practice of Corrective Rape.

One of the most powerful weapons that we have as women is the ability to effectively communicate. So I’ll continue to write about these issues. I hope you’ll continue to read these posts and spread the word.

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Make up a Holiday Day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day and I should have written about it. I’m a bad blogger. Bad! I really should stay on top of these things. These types of holidays are prime opportunities to create awareness about various topics. I’m sure I could have spoken in depth about the fact that 90 percent of the women I have known have either been the victim of physical, sexual or emotional abuse at least once in their lives, and how that tells you a great deal about the violent yet silent world in which we live. Or I could have spoken about women who have achieved greatness, and women who do great things every day and yet fly completely under the radar. I could have told you one of a million stories about my mother, who was pretty amazing in her own right. But noooooo…I missed it completely. Sorry ladies.

But there are so many things in the world that are unsung or ignored. Here are some holidays that should exist, and for all I know, do exist but have been overlooked by me. Feel free to add more in the comments section below!

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  • International Cease Fire Day
  • Thanks for Doing the Dishes Day
  • Resist Road Rage Day
  • Make Waves Day
  • Expand Your Horizons Day
  • Give Shy People Some Space Day
  • International Day of Peace and Quiet
  • Make a Fool of Yourself Day
  • Work in Your Jammies Day
  • Think Outside the Box Day
  • Try New Food Day
  • Learn from Your Irritants Day
  • Foot Massage Day
  • Explore Another Religion Day
  • Sleep Late Day
  • Get Your Own Damned Coffee Day
  • Spoil Your Pet Day
  • No Electronics Day
  • Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Day
  • Stay in Your Comfort Zone and Make No Apologies Day
  • National Day of Nurturing
  • Jump in a Puddle Day
  • See the Sunrise Day
  • Hug a Perfect Stranger Day
  • Don’t Underestimate the Elderly Day
  • Cook a Meal for a Migrant Worker Day
  • Stop, Look, and Listen Day
  • Teach Someone Something Day
  • Learn Something New Day
  • Breakfast in Bed Day
  • Defy Gravity Day
  • Burp in Public Day
  • Don’t Spend Any Money Day
  • Compliment a Stranger Day
  • Focus on Yourself Day
  • Tip Extravagantly Day
  • Stay Home and Read a Book Day
  • International Appreciate a Blogger Day
  • Be Kind to Bridgetenders Day
  • Skinny Dipping Day
  • Change Your Mind Day
  • Day Trip Day