Sunday, January 22, 2017

Why I am thanking Mr. Trump for his locker room chat

I was looking for the "feminist" photo to match:
perhaps the power suit? But then again, the mom in  pajamas
reading to/teaching her kids is a pretty close second!

I've long considered myself a feminist.

Equality and opportunity for women became a passion of mine since facing the challenges of entering a male dominated field, experiencing my share of discriminatory treatment, and more recently, becoming a mother. Unfortunately, I have found the connotations of the "feminist" label I proudly wear tend to bring a surprising amount of negativity, assumption, and sometimes ill judgement.

Thus, I am glad to see so many come out across the country to march for women this weekend! I take the appalling commentary on women from our now president as a twisted blessing. Today, we address behavior (that is seen and felt by women every day) publicly and head-on -- instead of silently and privately as women are told "stuff like that doesn't happen anymore" or "you are being too emotional" or "too sensitive."

I hope that after marching this week, we will remember to continue to support the women around us. Especially as women, supporting other women. We have so many issues to confront! Unequal pay, sexual harassment, birth control, sexual assault, the glass ceiling, maternity and childcare decisions, to name only a few. Unfortunately, I have found we as women are often our worst enemies. 

Because we haven't seen sexism, we won't believe it. 
Or because we accept it ourselves, we ridicule those who won't.
Because we didn't choose it, we will judge it. 
We often choose to harshly judge life choices that don't mirror our own instead of compassionately looking at the variables that brought those choices forward or to find a way to help. Instead of criticism, maybe we should ask, "What can I do?" 

Or we accept the objectification and sexualization of ourselves and our daughters. It is so prevalent we may not even notice. 
Or worse, we label it "female empowerment.

"Feminism isn't just bra burning; it shouldn't be man-hating; and doesn't have to be about abortion rights. I think it should be advocating for women. It should be respecting women and their choices. It should be refusing to expect or tolerate disrespectful treatment even when it may be as common place as over-sexualized marketing or even "locker room chat."

So thank you to Mr. Trump for your abhorrent behavior, because for once, I have found many women and especially men fired up about issues I have long cared about. But for many of us, this isn't new or unusual or even surprising talk or behavior.

And thank you marchers for your visible efforts. I hope we can all continue to march on because we still have a lot of work to do.


Se├▒ora H-B said...

THANK YOU for this.

I keep wanting to say more, but you've said it so beautifully. So again, thank you.

Erin said...

Thank you! That means a lot! (But I would love to hear more from you!)