Greetings, readers. It’s a pleasure to write for a collective that boldly states the world worships idiots... Saltina could not agree more. I’m compelled to string a few words together in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8th) and March being Women’s History Month. Current conditions make it difficult to do much at all as I am convinced there is a size-able chunk of my soul that is solar powered and the Chicago winter killed it over a month ago, but I wish to do what I can to keep this conversation alive.
I’ve written about International Women’s Day in the past, often focusing on income disparity, still sadly relevant. At the current snail’s pace of shoring up the sides it may take over 100 years to get women paid equally. But the lady power initiative is stronger than ever these days, thanks to campaigns like #metoo and #timesup pushing to end workplace and social harassment, assault and inequality. The theme of IWD this year is “Press for Progress”, a fine goal in the face of last week’s announcement from our vice president suggesting that he is diligently working towards abortion being illegal on his watch so “life is winning in America once again”. I hope anyone sucked in by this horseshit concept of dealing with unwanted pregnancies also has a personal policy to remain celibate, because the only fucking they deserve is a big fat FUCK YOU.
But I’m not here to talk politics, I’m here to talk about the press for progress and how I intend to up my future lady power game. As with all things on the internet (and life in general), take what works for you and leave the rest behind.
I believe the punitive results of all these harassment/assault allegations are driven less by ethical concerns (as in the belief that women are PEOPLE and deserve equal pay and a safe environment in which to live and work...sorry that isn’t fucking obvi, world) and more by potential financial repercussions. I’d venture to guess the brass at Netflix didn’t have too many morality based discussions about Kevin Spacey’s actions at that party in 1986, but they sure as shit don’t want that pervy mother fucker’s past actions POISONING THEIR BRAND. Your house of cards just collapsed, Kev...oh, look, Robyn Wright’s president now, bitch. I can only hope the youth of today coming of age in these heady days of school shootings, trans bathroom laws and heated political polarity might end up with a more finely tuned moral compass, but for now I’m satisfied if dudes curb their shitty behavior because they fear losing their income and/or their status. WHATEVER IT TAKES. Harvey Weinstein, the grand puba of this harassment hot mess, set the stakes in play...if ladies didn’t agree to his bathrobe-clad demands, they feared for their careers. He messed with their ability to network, with their creative projects, with their professional identities because he had the power to punish them for daring to tell him “no”. The list of prestigious men accused of assault, harassment, and coercion of people within their sphere of control is growing ludicrously long, with some facing the consequences of complete professional annihilation. As this repulsive behavior is insidious in all walks of life, not just the entertainment industry, I hope this scandal remains in the public eye and continues to make its own gravy as it may cause dudes to think twice about rubbing their dicks against their subordinates just because it gives them a tingle to abuse the power dynamic. It would be optimal if these jags didn’t perpetrate non-consensual tomfoolery because it’s fucking WRONG but if they don’t do it because they fear for their paycheck and/or public humiliation, I’m fine with that too. If the end result is you keep your goddamn dick to yourself where it belongs, let’s put that in the WIN category.
As part of my personal press for progress, I vow to vote with my purchasing power. I can do better as far as supporting more diverse local businesses and less megastore/Amazon buying. A quick Google search yielded lots of women owned businesses as well as companies who employ women at top levels and value their efforts. Upon receiving an unexpected bonus recently as my employer benefited from recent tax cuts, I opted to donate a good portion of it to a local feminist bookstore and a women’s shelter. Supporting businesses and donating to local nonprofits that align with my values is my way of feeling like I have some sort of control in these days of hourly absurdity spewing from news. I will be kind to the women I cross paths with, at work and otherwise. Sometimes navigating the shark infested waters of being a female can be a real drag, I’ll do my part to make it better. I am fortunate to have a union job that I am paid the same wage based on tenure, not merit or other subjective variables, so there is no gender related financial disparity. There is, however, a good amount of sexist commentary, which I am obligated to call out as bullshit. I have reached an age (51, but who’s counting) where I am more or less invisible unless I’m passionately stating my opinion about current affairs and I’m getting more comfortable with that all the time. Being silent and agreeable is overrated and wasted a good chunk of my adult life. I’m not here to argue with you, but if you want to float your sexist/racist/homophobic/other narrow minded dickhead rhetoric in my presence, I will tactfully inform you that I’m not having it. STFU, please and thank you.
All men aren’t jerks and I’m sure many of them are sick of their brethren acting like entitled assholes too. It’s prudent to interact with an open mind and a compassionate heart, but should you witness misogynist shenanigans, shut that shit down. The press for progress is powered by zero tolerance for oppression. And if we all spend March 8th thinking about how to do better as far as women are concerned, wouldn’t that be a productive way to spend one Thursday? I know life can be trying for everyone, but dedicating one day to thinking about righting some deeply wrong shit that’s been done to over half the population for as long as we’ve all been alive can only be helpful, right? And not because women are your wives, your sisters, your moms...because they are fucking PEOPLE, and to acknowledge them as such is just basic human decency. OK, COOL.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, stay salty.