Women’s Experiences

(Note: Please read down to the bottom where a request is made of those women reading this.  Thank you. – SW)

 

I am a woman, and I am a feminist.  Therefore, it makes perfect sense that 99% of my online tribe are women and feminists; most of them also happen to practice a Goddess-centered spirituality.  We talk, we share experiences, feelings, opinions.  I also read quite a few feminist blogs.

Anyone who is familiar with these blogs is also very familiar with the term *mansplaining*.  While men may need to have this term explained to THEM, women will understand it even the very first time they see/hear it; after all, we are mansplained to almost every day, whether in real life, or in the media, etc.

For those living in caves who have are not aware of this term, Merriam-Webster online defines it as follows:

“Mansplaining is, at its core, a very specific thing. It’s what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.”

Here, also is a good article on the cultural history of mansplaining from the Atlantic.

So, with that firmly in mind, I will get to the point of this article.

I recently got into a conversation with a man on the harassment that women have to deal with on a daily basis; things like getting groped on public transportation, having men make comments to you on the street (which are, of course, meant to be complimentary), and then the comments they  make to you when you ignore them, which are always lovely to hear.  I’ve been a woman all my life.  I have personally experienced these and more, so much more.  Of course, it was pointed out that these were very much in the past, letting me know that I’m old and my experiences don’t have much relevance anymore.  I tried to explain that this happens every – single – day, everywhere.  It is something that women live with, plain and simple.  I’m told that no, it isn’t; he disagrees that this happens everywhere to all women on a daily basis.  I explained that no, it does not happen to every woman, every day, but that every day it happens to some women everywhere.

I am then hit with the “not all men” argument.  I am not arguing with that because we, as rational women (yes, there are rational women) KNOW that it is not all men; however, as the hashtag puts it so succinctly #YESALLWOMEN.

Well, if there are *some* men who do this, then they have mental issues.  I ask, “you think that all men who do this have mental health problems?”  The response is yes.  I ask, “so, construction workers that make these comments or any other man who does these things has mental health issues?”.  (I need to clarify this statement, hence the repeat.)  Yes, that is what he believes.

So, okay, what is my point?  There is absolutely nothing knew in this post.  We have all heard/read these arguments many times, in many ways.  So why bother?  This is why I have bothered:

For those of you who are willing to share your personal experiences  of  workplace, sexual and street harassment, I would like to hear from you.  You do not have to identify yourself; use your initials or an alias.  My email is: ShaktiWarriorSpirit@gmail.com.   I will follow up on this blog with some of the responses I receive; again with no identifying information.

Then, please share this blog, in the hopes of hearing from more women on this subject.  I think this is very important.  So much of what we experience is ignored or minimized because we are allegedly “too sensitive, have no sense of humor, or just can’t take a compliment”.  I love all of those buzzwords, don’t you?

I hope to here from you.  You never know, depending upon what type of response I get, it may turn into something bigger than a blog post.

Thank you,

Shakti Warrior

Random Thoughts on a mid-September Day

I tend to ignore my blog more often than not.  I have other articles I am working on, on any given day, and even though I tell myself every day I am going to pop on over here, I usually don’t.  Today, I actually made it.

It’s September 13th.  The country made it through the 9/11 anniversary.  I chose to not watch, nor read, anything regarding the anniversary and spent the day at the local Pagan Pride Day.  Why?  Mostly because I do not have to have a specific day to remember.  While I did not lose anyone that day, as so many did, my family came close.  My husband got on a plane that morning at 8:57, at Logan Airport in Boston (MA, USA) heading west.  It took my children and I six hours before we knew that he was not one of the dead.  We were fortunate; so many others were not.  I live in a smallish community and we lost one of our own.  My family was lucky; his was not.  So, I really don’t need a special day to remember something that stays with you like that.  In looking back and remembering all that sorrow, what sticks out is the unity that this country found in the wake of the attack(s).  That brings even more sadness in light of what this country has become; a place of bigotry and hatred, a place where people find more to pull them apart than to bring them together, a place that has allowed someone to run for president who appeals to the lowest in everyone, and apparently there are those who wish to follow and support him.  One of the lowest points in this country’s history became a unifying one that has  brought us full circle to another low point, on of our own making this time.

So, everyone is on Hillary Clinton because, first of all, she’s human and came down with pneumonia.  I have had it and I give her lots of credit for keeping the schedule that she did, while ill.  But the media has to make more out of it than it really is.   The plain fact of the matter is she did what women do every single day of their lives, more than they need to, because they have to, for just that reason.  There is always someone there to say they cannot do a job for *this* reason, when what they are really saying is she can’t do the job because she’s a woman.  It’s time for nonsense like this to finally stop.

She also stuck her foot into it when describing Trump’s supporters as “deplorables”.  Granted this was an awful thing to say, and that is not a word I would have used; however, there are many people in this country who are amazed, appalled and disgusted that he has gotten the support that he has. I do not see how anyone in their right mind can follow that man, for reasons that have been renumerated in more widely read spaces than this.  I shall figuratively be holding my breath until the election is over.

I wrote this post a few months back on the election; I still firmly believe this; if anything, I believe it more strongly now than I did then.  Bernie, sadly, is out of the picture, but the rest of it still holds true.  What will happen, not only to women, but to this country, if the GOP wins the ticket is too horrifying to even contemplate.  This country would never recover; it is going to be hard enough to recover from the damage done to this country from Trump and his ilk, even if they lose.

Ryan Lochte….wow!  Talented swimmer, stupid man.  What he did in Brazil was terribly wrong and a stain on the country.  However, he is being punished by the US Olympics, as well as by several sponsors.  He has apologized several times.  This brings us to his first appearance on Dancing With The Stars last evening.  Yes, I am one of those who watch the show.  As disappointed as I was in his antics during the Olympics, I was even more disappointed that there were those out there who felt that they could disrupt a popular, national television show to….what?  attack him physically?  verbally?  What exactly were their intentions?  Whatever their intentions, they backfired and now I believe there are more folks thinking that Lochte deserves his second chance.  I happen to agree with that.  I wish him luck in the competition and beyond.

On a last note, women everywhere can give thanks that the pay gap has gotten closer.  May we all rejoice!  

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