This topic has been rolling around in my head for months and I haven’t figured out how to write about it. I still probably don’t know how but here is a rant.
Let’s talk about women. Three things this week made me decide that I needed to write about them.
Not cat-stealing women but the other half- of- the- world- than- I, women.
I grew up with a strong woman. I am sibling-ed by a strong woman. I follow and am led by strong women. I like strong women.
My mother was always the majority breadwinner in my family growing up, more so after we moved to the southern US which is a paradigm shifter. She had the knowledge, desire and drive to succeed in a man’s world. I was taught from an early age that she could do anything a man could because she did. This rubbed off on my older sister who drove a 1976 International Scout II in high school and college. It was a tank for her petite frame, and a tank she commanded well. More than once, I remember her jumping up on the front wheel, opening the hood from the windshield side, shoving a screwdriver into the jammed carburetor, jumping down and slamming the hood in the same motion. She would then jump in the driver’s seat, give it a couple pumps and ROAR it would be gas guzzling. Few 18 year old men could have done that as fast, or have changed one of those massive tires on the side of an Atlanta freeway. She was quite a lady too, and is now a gentle, caring mother who is still as fierce when needed.
Most of my office working years, I have been managed by women- occasionally younger than me. It hasn’t once bothered me, but in more than one temp situation, it bothered male co-workers. I asked them what a good leader was. They never started with “a male who…” so I would call them out. That’s how I got my first 3 black eyes. Just kidding. They generally said “well, that’s different”…which it wasn’t.
With this rose-colored lens I view the world. When I read the news— or Facebook—and see articles about women leaders saying Michelle Bachmann is not ready to be President because she’s female—I see hypocrisy. Or watch Life in a Day and see an African man say a woman must bow to him when entering a room, because she is a woman—I see an ancient culture. When I read some of my favorite blogs, I use my Sunday slot to talk about it.
A few days ago, in response to a book I refuse to mention or link to Eugene Cho updated an old post. For some reason I read it, and regret it. Not because it was a waste of time, but because it reopened my eyes.
REALLY!?! Acid on her face because she rejected you? Because you didn’t provide for her?
This made me angry. It made me angry that only 2% of the cases have convictions. It made me remember the stories of FGM—which is too disgusting to write out, but if you don’t know what it is please click the link and be educated— and women protesting for the right to drive and seeing the vast difference in holiday-ers cultural dress on the beaches of Penang. Not to mention sex crimes, prostitution, and how gentleman’s clubs are anything but.
But more than that it made me angry that men aren’t being men. Respecting women as humans. Applying the golden rule (a foundation of all major belief systems) to their own life and the opposite sex. Respect not violence. Respect not force. Respect not oppression.
I feel like I should end by saying there are good men out there. I know many, and all close to me act like men.
While getting my eyes opened to the sex trafficking industry a couple years ago and noticing demand is the largest issue, I once made the statement to a good male friend, “Don’t those guys have someone that will punch them straight in the face when they said they bought a 12-year old. I mean, I can’t imagine someone confessing or bragging that to me.”
He replied, “You aren’t safe for them to talk to…and that might not be a bad thing.”
So, men go be a man and respect the women around you as your equal if not your better. Cause they probably are and you will get their obnoxiously beautiful respect as well.