It's Still A Bad Time to Be a Woman
It's been an interesting month for feminism. Between the Harvey Weinstein allegations and of Bill O'Reilly's and the neverending circus of comments from the President of the United States, it's hard to get excited by the immense reach of a movement like #MeToo. Moreover, it once again brings upon that sad resignation that once again, men continue to be surprised that sexism still exists even after we got the vote; that once again, it has fallen on the women to speak up and be the ones to fight against a system designed to have us fail.
Because, yes, of course, #MeFuckingToo
If you weren't able to say me too; if you hadn't had any sort of experience where you felt vulnerable or disempowered, you're probably a man.
It's not just about the corporate board or politics or Hollywood. It's every industry; it's every country; it's every day.
It's not always violent or traumatic. Even the scale of what sort of harassment is seen as traumatic is skewed because we still in a culture where girls are taught that certain levels of harassment are just normal and we have to suck it up. But it still counts.
It's the period jokes, it's the way they brush off your account at another guy's mistreatment. It's the roll of the eyes when we start talking about the prevalence of sexism or even the comments about how cute it is that we're worked up.
It's every wolf whistle or every drink they think is paid for through sex or at least an ass grab. It's the way they rate the girls they want to sleep with or the slut shaming with what we wear.
Sometimes, it's gotten to the point that no, it's not a big deal. But to deny that this is still symptomatic of a larger, institutionalised form of sexism is where the problem lies.
It is with a particularly heavy heart that almost a month ago I wrote about how I had come to peak empowerment and confidence in my feminism at Bestival, only to have that quickly dismantled by the world around me - both in the news and personally.
Step One: Don the Armour
Whether it's red lipstick or a push-up bra, a feminist tee or activewear, dress up for you and you alone. There's no easier way to fake it than to look the part. And looking the part is always just for you - no matter how others think you look. As Cate Blanchett so eloquently said,"Women like looking sexy, but it doesn't mean we want to f--- you."
Step Two: Rally the Troops
Femme power is best felt when shared. Gather the girl group for a girl's night or network with other awesome, like-minded bitches. Or listen about bad-ass #girlbosses to feed off their empowered voices or go down a Youtube wormhole of Hillary Clinton interviews. Surround yourself with powerful women. We do not do this alone and as sad as the fact is, we are all in the same boat with our experiences.
Step Three: Be Loud and Proud
Take every opportunity to make your feminism known. Drop casual lines or references in a presentation. Use the female pronoun where we'd usually hear a male one. Share your thoughts and affinity with the idea with a simple #MeToo post or even write a blog and share your stories or thoughts. While it certainly shouldn't be our responsibility, just a little resistance here and there not only helps to start fixing the problem but is also a little bit of cheeky fun.
There is still a long way to go to achieve equality and justice for women. It is easy to get discouraged and lose sight of why we are still fighting. But little pieces of resistance can be just what we need to keep going. In fact, the very refusal to not be bat down is resistance in itself.