Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The maelstrom in my mind

I've been watching the #YesAllWomen trend continue to play out on Twitter, and have a mixture of emotions going on.

I'm proud of all the women who are sharing their stories.
I'm pleased by all the wonderful men who are supporting these brave women.
I'm pissed about the men who think this is a joke.
I'm furious about rampant misogyny.
I'm scared for my daughter's future.
I'm worried that I won't teach her how to protect herself adequately.
I'm raging that I have to teach her how to protect herself from men who should know better.
I'm hopeful that the women I know have raised/are raising their sons to be kind, respectful, loving men of honor. You ladies rock.
I'm sad that I've been on the receiving end of misogyny.
I'm proud that I stood up for myself and the other women around me.
I'm embarrassed that I could be doing more. Right now.
I'm paralyzed in that I don't know what else to do.

Please, join the discussion. Bring this issue into the light and maybe, just maybe, there will be a sea change. This isn't "rampant feminism," this is basic respect for others. We can all do better. We must all do better. It's time.

I posted this on Facebook tonight, tentatively. I've been pretty gunshy about putting myself out there due to the crap that happened at work (including a monk stopping by my office to chat about the profile pic I loaded months ago...that was an interesting conversation that mostly involved me wondering how the fuck he saw that since I thought I had all my privacy settings locked down), but tonight I wanted to say something.

What I didn't write about was that time a few years ago when I experienced a dickhead groping my ass at a convention, only to learn that he had done that and worse to most of my female colleagues. He was a vendor, and there were no women on the management team until me, so no one said anything. So I said something. Immediately. I sought out my boss, Brian, and right there in front of the hotel elevators told him what happened to me, what happened to my colleagues, and what to do about it. He was appalled, and apologized profusely. He set the vendor straight, and apologized to every woman on our team, whether or not they had been personally affected. None of the women were ever made to work the show booth without a "friendly" male present again. Brian is a good man. Brian is also happily married and is raising three daughters. He is working to make the world a better place for his girls than what his female peers are experiencing.

I also didn't write about how I was treated by my own family, being judged in the workplace because of my status as a mother. While this doesn't qualify as traditional misogyny, as it was perpetrated by two females, I was still castigated for my feminine decision of choosing to have a child. "She's not willing to put in extra hours...she's a mother." "She won't want to work an evening event...she has to take care of her child." These women perpetuated discrimination, which is both loathesome and depressing, especially since one of them is a mother herself (her children were older and self-sufficient, so she used my toddler to "prove" that she was more dedicated to her work than I could ever hope to be).

Right now, as you've read here, I'm dealing with some idiots at work. Two of them are married with children...both have daughters. How they can treat female colleagues so terribly comes as a surprise to me. I want to ask them, "Do you want your daughters to be treated this way? Your wives? Is this the future you want for them?" I'm growing increasingly angry that they have effectively silenced my voice by making me feel as though I need to set ultra-high privacy standards just to protect myself. They made me question my ability to write, having looked over a professional communication I drafted and deeming "it sounds like it's written by a girl." Fuckers. I am nearing the point where I won't give a shit, and will go public again. Let them come and try to get me. They'll learn what a real "bitch" really is.

I'm finding my voice again, and I'm learning to not be afraid to use it.

Yeah. Right now I'm writing like a girl, assholes. Jealous?

Today's photo is of a lone, pink Lego that came out in the wash, literally. I was doing laundry in preparation for our vacation and this little Lego came out. It gave me hope that my girl is smart and strong, and that I can do whatever I need to in order to make her world a better place. Let's roll.


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