A Few Thoughts on International Women’s Day

First of all, happy International Women’s Day! It’s nice to be recognized and celebrated. I’m glad that organizations throughout the world will be using this as an opportunity to speak out about equal rights. I’m thrilled that this will open up dialogues that many people wouldn’t otherwise have thought to have.

But at the same time, it frustrates me that we still need a day like this. Aren’t we women every day of the year? Don’t we deserve basic human rights all year round?

Recently I was sitting at a table with 15 other women, so I took an informal survey.

  • Raise your hand if you’ve ever been touched inappropriately without your permission.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve ever been cat called.
  • Raise your hand if anyone has ever discussed your breasts, behind, or legs without your initiating that conversation.
  • Raise your hand if your opinion has been dismissed as trivial.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve heard a man singing the words “bitch” “slut” or “ho” along with the radio.
  • Raise your hand if you yourself have been called a bitch, slut, or ho.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve seen nude women calendars in public places.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been interrupted by a man who insists on explaining something to you that you already know.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been treated like an idiot by a mechanic.
  • Raise your hand if men have assumed that you’re not intelligent.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been rejected based on your weight, age, or shape.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized because of something you were wearing.
  • Raise your hand if people have assumed you need to ask a man’s permission to do something or go somewhere.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been accused of not being feminine enough.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been accused of being too girly.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been told you do something good, “for a girl.”
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized for not having children.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized for having children.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized for working.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been criticized for not working.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to drive behind a truck with naked women mud flaps.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been paid less than a male counterpart.
  • Raise your hand if men that you’ve trained have been promoted above you.
  • Raise your hand if a man assumed you needed his protection when you didn’t.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been told something was women’s work.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been accused of being emotional or hysterical.
  • Raise your hand if you’ve been physically, emotionally, or sexually abused.

Try giving this survey the next time you’re with female friends. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone reading this that in the vast majority of cases, every woman at the table raised her hand. And that’s probably the most outrageous part of all – that it comes as no surprise.

The only reason that this happens is that we are not in the exclusive group of humans who sports a penis. That simple fact makes “us” not “them”. As far as I can tell, that appendage does not endow people with superior abilities of any kind. It just means we get to be easily identified as being on the other team. And society has arbitrarily decided that our team gets to be the losing team. It’s not rational. It’s not just. And it’s not acceptable.

I for one am sick and tired of being treated to micro-aggressions every single day. Case in point, I looked at my supply of Graphicstock pictures to see which one to use for this blog entry. This, below, is their idea of a good image for Women’s Day. Because we all should be depicted as naked, sexy, thin, with long flowing hair and luscious lips, arching our backs while floating with our heads in a flowery cloud.

Happy Women’s Day, indeed.

happy-womens-day-greeting-card_m1nzs5do_l

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The Age of Profanity

I strongly suspected that America was going down a shabby little side street when penis size became a major topic in the republican presidential debates. Little did I know that was only the tip (sorry) of the iceburg. Things were about to get a whole lot worse.

In the interests of full disclosure, when provoked, I have a bit of a potty mouth. The majority of my adult life I’ve worked in male-dominated career fields, and it’s hard not to have some of the vernacular rub off on you under those circumstances. I also feel that words are words. If you choose to endow them with emotions, that’s your choice. But there are some lines that I still try not to cross. I try to avoid direct confrontations of any kind, and gender-based derogatory terms.

For example, in 52 years of life, I never once used the word “pussy”. Now it’s in the news, on the radio, even in the name for the hats that many of us proudly wear on our heads. It has become part of the vernacular. It doesn’t even make me flinch anymore. I kind of wish that it still did. Thanks, Trump.

I am so far removed from pop culture that when Trump tweeted something about “Easy D” I had to look it up. Oh my. Well, now…

I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’d use that term. I’m not even sure he knew what he was saying. (I doubt he does most of the time.) If nothing else, this presidency is educating me. And based on his support of Betsy DeVos, he isn’t even in favor of education!

But I must admit that the latest one made me roll my chair back and howl with laughter. When Daylin Leach called Trump a “fascist, loofa-faced shitgibbon”, I wanted to kiss him on the lips. I had never heard that word before.  I hope shitgibbon becomes part of the American lexicon. It just makes me so happy.

This is the world we live in now. If any other president, whether I voted for him or not, had been addressed in such derogatory terms, the nation would have been horrified. How dare anyone soil the dignity of that office?

Well, Trump does it every single time he tweets about SNL or Nordstroms. He did it when he was recorded being himself on that bus. He makes a mockery of the presidency. So when Daylin Leach mocks him, I can do nothing but cheer.

Welcome to 45. May we make it to 46 with our sense of decency intact.

no-cussing

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