Dear Gentlemen, it’s too bad about this whole feminism thing

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I stumbled upon a sad little blog the other day full of angry little trolls huffing and puffing that white men had become the marginalized minority, discriminated against, marginalized, and silenced. Between the venomous lines of hate, I read quite loudly the longing these men shared to return to the “good old days” of masculine power and white privilege.

I couldn’t help but want to scream, “You chose this! You gave your power away; you squandered it with violence, war, greed, and tyranny.”

The problem is, gentlemen, that the men who came before you destroyed the status quo you loved so much; they proved that you are not to be trusted with power.

For centuries, we gave you a pretty good deal: at home your woman provided three hots and a cot (made up with linens hand-washed, starched, and embroidered with dainty flowers as symbols of our devotion) and the great privilege that comes with assumed male superiority, and all you had to do was foot the bill and not behave like neanderthals.  But, too many of your brothers and fathers took advantage of these Sevres handcuffs. You left bellies empty, black-eyed wives,  and wounded young bread winners on the battlefield of pointless wars, and so we got fed up.

We warned you with small actions like Abigail Adams’ letter where she urged our newly formed Congress:

“I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

But, you gentleman refused to listen. You refused to concede your complete rule over female education, bodies, finances, suffrage, and sexuality and so we warned you again, louder, refusing to be quieted until full rights of citizenship were granted.

But, still, you refused to recognize our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You attempted to block our access to effective birth control, to reduce our income through unfair wages, and to pass insulting laws and laughable sentencing guidelines against sexual predators and domestic abusers. And so again, we expressed our displeasure, burned our bras, marched in the streets, and reminded you to keep the promises of our founding fathers. Instead, you patted us on the head and gave us Cosmopolitan Magazine and Roe vs. Wade, but you didn’t listen.

That’s okay. We don’t need you to listen. Because quietly, behind your backs, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We started to make things happen, one college degree, one Tupperware party, and one pink-collar promotion at a time.

We became doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and politicians – in spite of your tush pinching, bra snapping, subtle discrimination of low expectations.

We earned spots in your armed forces, even though sexual violence against our female troops was routinely used to humiliate, degrade, and marginalize those who tried.

We bought trucks, guns, groceries, houses, and tickets to NFL games – and you listened to our dollars, even when our words were silenced.

We shaved our legs, or not, on our own wims, and many of you started a little manscaping of your own.

And then one day, after ignoring our requests for millenia you looked around and realized that the laws of physics you’d enjoyed so much, had changed. White men no longer controlled the conversation simply by nature of less inky melatonin and the existence of your dangling participles. You’ve now arrived at the day where you have no choice but to listen to the women who surround you.

You report to us, appeal to us for leniency when you run stop signs, and pay $29 per month simply hoping one of us will decide not to swipe left on your selfies.

Oops! Sucks to be a late adopter then find out the price went up, doesn’t it?

Respecting Men Isn’t Anti-Feminist

I’ve been reading too many cutesy Pinterest articles lately. Seriously. Too. Many.

I have adorable workout-clothes crafts, probiotic gluten free vegan muffin recipes, and so many inspirational sayings I could start my own “Van Down by the River” sect. But, the most ridiculous memes I have been noticing a lot lately are the articles reminding women to “respect” their husbands.

Really? Why is this a problem?

Have women become such termagants that we need an entire interwebs meme reminding us to be nice to men? Apparently yes.

And, that’s pretty sad.

When did women (or men for that matter) decide that equality equals … for lack of a better word: bitchyness?

Now, someone will intentionally jump all over me that thousands of years of subjegation has forced women into subserviant roles that we must break away from. To which I ask: how are you, today, in this very moment being subjugated? 

Not in an escoteric sort of way, in a real and tangible way based on your own actions?

Are you making less than the men you work with? Did you actually negotiate your salary in advance?

Do you pull an unfair amount of weight around the house? Is that perhaps because your definition of clean is more arduous than your roomates/partners?

There is a world where women are treated horifically, raped, beaten, and forced into prostitution to avoid starvation and homelessness.

If you are one of those women, kick, scratch, bite and buck until you throw off the patriarichal unfairness that binds you. Please! For the future of your children’s children, Don’t respect the men who forced you into those dehumanizing positions.

If, however, you’re a mother of three living in the suburbs with a mortgage that’s paid by two people who work together (inside of the house and out) how about before you make another joke about your “helpless husband”, take a minute to ask yourself, “Did I marry a mouth-breathing moron who lived in a cage before I brought him home from the store and socialized him?”

If the answer is no, give the guy a break and throw a bone of praise and the good dirty lingerie his way every once in a while … you know, treat him like the boy you married.

No adorable retro-wall art or biblical post required.

Though the golden rule still applies: if you were a fly on the wall hearing your significant other say the things about you that you say to, or about, him, how would you feel?

Take THAT stupid cleaning commercials that make modern men look like domestic neanderthals!

She Who Gossips

I hate the phrase catty. I find it insulting, genderist, and diminishing to all women. But, sometimes a bitch and a cat have to get into a little scrape – and rare is the cat who comes out the winner in that battle.

Growing up, my mother always said, “He who gossips with you will gossip of you.” And, this week I was reminded again how true that is – when malicious gossip was aimed my way.

I’ve known this new career position I took would make me a target. It’s high profile with some very sexy perks. But, I didn’t realize how much of a target I’d become, or how closely I’d be watched.

I expected the standards for me would be higher. I expected the workload would be more demanding, and the stress level palpable at times. I knew I would be expected to keep an international schedule: twenty-four seven, three sixty five (with 15 days of PTO tucked in).

What I forgot, in moving from a field where I worked with all men to a universe where I am surrounded by almost all women, was that I needed to relearn the tricks of navigating the high school bullshit that comes from working in a leadership role while surrounded by “girls” just beginning their careers.

I wasn’t particularly good at navigating feminine nuance when I was seventeen. I dealt with the drama by deciding to pretend to be impervious to gossip.

I squared my shoulders, put on my sluttiest three inch “leave-on boots” and did whatever the hell I wanted – while staying firmly on the honor role.

Professionally, that isn’t quite so easy. I am required to “make nice” and I now have to repair the branding damage that some loose-lipped water cooler talk has generated.

Gossip is the behavior of the weak.

My newest career challenge: Playing an adult game with childish “girls” who haven’t learned that real power comes not from whispering in dark corners, but in keeping one’s counsel, and biting one’s tongue.

Powerful people say what they have to say boldly, directly, and openly – and the rest can lick my stiletto as I climb over them on my way up the ladder.