I have learnt a very harsh lesson about a woman’s place in the world. About how women are expected to act in the face of confrontation, discrimination and out right intimidation.
We should be graceful in the presence of bullying. Be the bigger person. Be ladylike. Be demure. Be polite. Be everything but fierce.
I should stand still while you metaphorically spit at me and then thank you for it.
I thought our society had moved past this sexist categorizing of women, it hasn’t. The world has just gotten much better at hiding it.
They hide it in manipulation. Making you feel terrible for calling out their bullshit. By pointing out injustice you’re essentially drawing attention to yourself, sticking out like a sore thumb ready to be smacked back in line.
One straying sheep may disrupt the heard.
A woman should be ideally meek. Give her enough say that she doesn’t realize that she’s being silenced. Just enough rope that she doesn’t realize she’s being strangled. Just enough so she won’t fight.
I can’t accept that.
Women have been fighting for hundreds of years to give us the strength to say what needs to be said, when it needs to be said. They have died at the hands of oppressors to inspire our voices, they made a stand when the majority looked away and we owe it to them and ourselves to call for ‘equity’ not ‘equality’.
I don’t want the same exact rights as men. I want the same level of opportunity so that I may be just as successful. I want that for my sisters, I want that for my nieces and one day I’ll want that for my daughters.
I can’t accept that it is totally appropriate for colleagues to comment on the way another female dresses as though that has any impact on her ability to do her job. I can’t accept that we criticize working mothers, stay at home mothers and those who are not mothers at all.
I cannot accept that we berate single women to marry only to isolate and ignore those that walk the matrimonial path. I can’t accept that it is so easy for the world to pass judgement. And even less that we accept it with a smile.
I do not want to be self righteous, self absorbed or superior. No better and no worse than anybody else. I want to be fair, to be brave to be courageous. To know when to hold my tongue and when to raise my voice.
We have a right to stand and not made to feel embarrassed for doing so.
There are many ways to fight, and there will never be a one size fits all approach but I believe that integrity must be upheld. Whether we address it sweetly or take a more savory tact we must try.
If we do not, will our children one day feel the sting of our neglect?
I refuse to be ideally meek.