I am finding myself reading yet another book about power written by men and clearly FOR men. The examples are men, they use HE and HIM exclusively throughout. Multiple otherwise great podcasts and interviews about math, science, sports, business, drugs are often aimed at a male audience. HE HE HE. It makes me wonder if there is a place for someone like me, or if they just want me to go away, to dwell in Mommy blogs and chick lit……
And I am finding myself defending my feelings, again, about the constant barrage of sexual harassment on the internet, in this case within the fitness industry. “But men get harassment too!” Sure. And by speaking up, I don’t aim to harm men, but to bring us ALL to an equal level of safety in this culture.
We have been objectified in such a ubiquitous way that we have to tune it out to even get through the day. Our bodies have been used to sell every fucking thing, abused, controlled, shamed and ogled. It’s OK to say “I don’t know how that feels.”
And I am seeing people claim that food deserts have been solved, that poor people need to just make better choices, that positive thinking will solve ALL of your problems and attract money to you. Nothing against making good choices but why not just listen to people’s stories? WHY NOT JUST LISTEN? Maybe there are things out there that can’t be solved with a vision board alone. Maybe you don’t know how it feels to be the other. Maybe you don’t know how it feels to get your breasts grabbed on the bus. To be looked down upon.
How easy it is for someone to say “don’t get offended”. To make a joke. To blame the victim for feeling bad. Offended? Hell, no. Offended is like annoyed and people I am angry. Because this is not just one isolated person being annoying. It is other-ing. Dirty-ing. It is a long-term pattern of harassment, abuse, violence, systematic oppression and suppression and privilege which has worked to keep us separate, afraid, broke and confused for fucking millennia.
Look, it is not a contest. We all have problems. We all deal with judgement. But when you exclude women or harass women, you push us away. Most of us, anyway. And maybe we have something to add!!!
When you judge women, immigrants or people dealing with poverty you aren’t helping….When we include and integrate “the other” into our words, deeds and places we all benefit. OK? Let me say that again. Including women, as well as people of color, poor people, those with other religions, different abilities, LGBT people, basically any usually marginalized population into our words, communities, works of art and writing, we ALL benefit.
Stop shaming. It doesn’t work.
I am not too sensitive.
Women gaining power doesn’t mean men losing power.
Jut say “thank you for sharing your story. ”
And you won’t drop dead from saying SHE.