I wrote this post two days before I turned 30. When I still felt like a somewhat innocent twenty-something. While I had to have a come-to-Jesus moment with myself to cross into this new decade, something clicked when I woke up that morning. I finally felt like I could own my power as a female adult. That my words are worthy. And I thought I had posted this post that morning. But something went wrong and it never actually posted. And then the last 5 weeks in-between turned into a media shitstorm of accusations against very powerful men from all types of women. And I became a little angrier. Which I wasn’t sure was possible after last November.
A good way to end a many months-long blog hiatus when I’ve let other things like working constantly, traveling, planning a wedding, turning 30, worrying about the direction of the world and all the crazies, etc. come first? Jumping into something that really lights a fire. Because I feel like at this point, everyone’s fired up about something. But maybe that’s a good thing. Because you know what does deserve a lit fire? A hot as hell, raging, green-embered fire? The small movements across the nation that are finally allowing oppressed women to have a voice like #METOO and #FREEDOMFORGIRLS.
In the states we pride ourselves on our “freedom”. Freedom from violence, intimidation, harassment, sexual assault, and the ability to choose what’s best for our own bodies. You know who deserves to be free from all of these things? EVERYONE. And that includes females. Me too, and you too. No matter who you are, you’re connected to these movements in some way. And it just so happens “connect” is my 2017 word. So if you feel like this is all just a media sensation that certain women are doing “for attention”. This post’s for you.
Luckily I had opportunities that enabled me to learn, grow, be independent, strong, safe (for the most part), and choose what I want for myself. I learned early that standing up to things that are wrong is very hard and very intimidating, and I’ve not always been able to do it. But thankfully I’m a positive statistic, out of many stacked against girls like me.
Girls like me that grew or are growing up in rural or impoverished areas without many positive female role models; girls who are told that girls are supposed to be seen and not heard; girls that are told not to complain because that would “draw attention to yourself”; girls told repeatedly that girls aren’t good at math or science; that girls don’t work in tech or animal science or on farms; that good girls shouldn’t need birth control; that girls need to sign “purity contracts” at church camp every summer from age 10 and up to protect themselves; girls that date men who tell them they’re more powerful than they’ll ever be; girls that are told not to ask questions; girls that are told to dress conservatively because men can’t help themselves; girls that have to call the police shaking and screaming in the middle of the night while their roommate fights off a serial rapist who broke through barred windows just to hurt them; girls that are told that “men don’t take direction from women” at work; girls that are slut shamed; girls that are told that if they tell anyone about intimidation at work they’ll be fired; girls who are asked to “go get the man in charge”; girls that can’t walk home alone without being yelled at; girls that get told to “calm down” or called horrible names when they turn down a man’s advances; girls that are told girls shouldn’t laugh too loudly; girls that are called a bitch when they tell someone not to touch them; girls that make less than their male counterparts for the same job; girls that have to sit through meetings, conference calls and work trips with men making terribly inappropriate sexist jokes; girls that are told they’re a danger to an office environment because women cause distractions; girls that are asked to turn a cheek to their male bosses’ inappropriate descriptions of coworkers because that’s, “just how it goes”; girls that are told not to speak in meetings because it’s a “boys club”…
I could go on an on… Because EVERY SINGLE ONE of those things has happened to ME.
And remember that I’m white, coming from a middle class upbringing, have a master’s degree and “good” jobs.
If these and more have happened to ME, what chance does a girl anywhere else with the deck stacked against her threefold because of the color of her skin, her economic status, etc. have?
The fact we still have to have people actively fighting for the basic principle of male and female equality and safety in the workplace blows my mind. And I’m just fed up. If this isn’t something that you’re passionate about, that it may seem like female equality just isn’t your problem, that keeping girls safe isn’t a big deal, just try watching this video and tell me it doesn’t stir you. (Actually, don’t tell me, just go ahead and keep that you’re a terrible human to yourself, nobody has time for that. Then get your head out of the sand and DO BETTER.)
Like a lot of other American women recently, I just couldn’t not say something anymore, because enough is enough. There is no room for this needless intimidation and juvenile inappropriate behavior that has thoroughly permeated every sector of the American workforce and lifestyle in mens’ treatment of women.
It’s truly enraging.
Every FIVE minutes a girl dies as a result of violence.
1 in 4 girls are forced into marriage as a CHILD.
71% of human trafficking victims are female.
This isn’t a war against men. We’re still in the middle of a war on women. And it’s time for it to end. Start by holding up the women in your life, standing up to what’s wrong, and not being quiet. There’s no such thing as being too loud. Especially when you’re laughing.
Cheers to being loud, winning, running the world, equal girls! – Amanda