I was in 7th grade the first time I really remember being harassed. A boy in my class had taken my teacher’s ruler and measured my rear end while I was bent over helping someone with homework. (A yard stick, really. Which made it way worse.) My teacher and principal told me that boys will be boys. Months went by and my dad told me to keep a journal of every time he did something to me. I got to the point where I was going to transfer schools. My mom finally told me to do what she had done to a boy in high school that had given her a hard time: beat him up. Mom had shoved a boy against a locker and he never bothered her again. I would have loved to see that about 50 years ago! I ended up scratching this boy on the neck and he had deep red tracks for a week. (He had to wear a turtle neck so his parents wouldn’t see it. I was so scared that I would get in trouble!) Do you what happened after that? He didn’t bother me anymore and we actually became friends. And I’ve forgiven him. But it was a great lesson that sometimes, ladies, we just need to pick our fights and take a stand.
Taking a stand isn’t becoming a man-hater. I’m a cool feminist. My coffee cup says so. I’m not “waging a war on men”, like a headline I read this week. I know it doesn’t seem like this if you watch the news, but you can be pro-something and by default, not anti-it’s opposite. I’m not going to stand on a corner and hold up a sign saying, “Boobs or bust”. (Oh my gosh, that would be so funny! hahahaha) But I do have a few tips on things you can do to take a stand for women everywhere. Because at the end of the day, money and power talk.
- Stop attacking other women because they don’t agree or feel the same as you do. Ladies, seriously. And it’s not even about those that attack others on the other political side. It’s when women choose to get mad because their friend isn’t as extreme as they are. I had a friend post about how mad she was all the white suburban women were marching in the Women’s March but didn’t say anything for Black Lives Matter. Really? This isn’t a contest to see who the biggest victim is. We’ve all had our struggles. We all end up on the same side at the end of the day. Men aren’t going to be the ones to bridge the gaps and find commonalities. Women will do it. Because we know that more gets done as a collective unit than by ourselves.
- Spend your money on women-run businesses. I’m not saying Jeff Bezos hasn’t made money off of me. I prime all the time. But something I’m trying to be more cognicent of is who I’m buying from. Who I’m doing business with. And if you really feel like you need to do something in protest to the harassment that is rampid in society, then say it with your money. If I could start some sort of movement in this holiday shopping season it would be #WithWomenWednesday. Shop with women-owned buisnesess the Wednesday after Small Businss Saturday and Cyber Monday. Send a check to a non-profit that helps women. You know what?! I’m going to tweet that to my Senator Amy Klobuchar and see what happens. I don’t think my other Senator Al Franken would be too effective in that regard.
- And on that note, vote for women and get involved in politics. My children aren’t quite school-age, but I’m already thinking about how I can be involved in the PTA. Maybe one year run for school board. And you should be thinking the same. Writing a social media post (or a blog for that matter) doesn’t make real change. Throw your hat in the ring. Support women candidates – Republicans and Democrats. I’m not saying there are no bad women in politics. But I’m not hearing about female politicans being accussed of sexual harassment. And it’s time we take a stand together as one large movement. And maybe, just maybe, the “boys will be boys” comments will be gone when my daughter grows up.
(Mug was bought from a woman-owned business called Buffalovely.com.)