(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.