not all men but. . .

oh boy. so here i go into a potential misstep in political correctness but you know what? i’ve stopped caring. i usually keep quiet on TDP RE:major news stories to keep it a light and friendly place. a spot where you can come share your thoughts and ideas, see some tasty food or make something fun. i share things i’ve learned and little glimpses of my life with you all. this is one of the most personal posts i’ve ever featured here so please forgive any typos. i am speaking from a place of emotion, and i hope it stirs something in you as well.

a few days ago, you might have heard about a story of a guy who decided it was ok to kill people because he couldn’t get what he wanted from them.i am aware that he didn’t just kill women but it is clear from his manifesto the gender in which his hate stems. aside from the obvious mental illness in which he suffered, there was something i couldn’t shake from this story.

before i go into this, i just want to say that i am heartsick for those who were injured and traumatized by this attack. we can’t bring them back, only learn and spread awareness. finally, please understand that this post is not meant to be ‘all about me,’ but in that sharing from my personal experience others can reflect on similar accounts. ok. now that i’ve disclaimered myself ad nauseam…

i’m a woman. one that has often felt the undercurrents of sexism and misogyny along the way. sometimes i intentionally turn a blind eye to a situation so as not to upset myself. things like a cat call when i’m running, or someone honking/shouting out their window when i’m walking home. i turn my gaze downward to avoid the leering looks and appear insecure. why is confidence something to hide in order to protect oneself?

i don’t look at anyone on public transit because i fear giving them the ‘wrong impression.’ i’ve been called cold or standoffish on numerous occasions. can’t you see i do this because i’m trying to protect myself from you? i know it’s not all men but guess what? i’ve heard too many stories/had experiences of my own to make me afraid.

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” - Margaret Atwood

i can remember things from my early teenage years that i now look back on in horror. i was told not to wear tight shirts and jeans because i might be tempting boys in class or church group to ‘stumble.’ um. what? this was the 90s…era of delia’s baby doll tees and mudd denim. how about a little self control? why was this my fault/problem?

i was given mace as a ‘gift’ to protect myself because apparently being a female automatically made me a target.

when i didn’t want to ‘go all the way,’ i was called a tease. no matter that i was not emotionally or morally ready. i had my own convictions but no one seemed to care about them.

i’ve held my tongue on many occasions in regards to feminism because i didn’t want to appear ‘bitchy.’ since when is voicing an opinion on the rights of other humans considered unsavory in this country? the wage gap exists and believe me it.is.REAL.

i’m feeling a revolution coming on and changes for the better. quiet women are starting to speak up. i am looking to the past for inspiration and ladies…isn’t it time we started eating pizza in bathing suits comfortable with ourselves again?

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be the change ladies. . . x- melissa

women’s health hotline
women’s shelter in pittsburgh

8 Responses to not all men but. . .

  • maggie @ say yes to salad says:
    May 27, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    great post. i’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. i think the time is ripe for a change. I’m reading “Lean In” right now – a different area but also about women’s rights.

    • Melissa says:
      May 28, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      thanks maggie! i’ve heard so much about that book but haven’t had a chance to read it. how are you doing with the new babe and things? x

  • Akirah says:
    May 27, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Word. I will gladly eat some pizza in my bathing suit. I hope, if and when I have a daughter, she will too. I also hope it won’t take her as long as it took me to be comfortable in her own beautiful skin.

    Great thoughts.

    • Melissa says:
      May 28, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      :) keep spreading that good stuff akirah. i love your musings!

  • Katie says:
    May 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Oh, man. Brien and I have been talking about this SO much lately, and that Margaret Atwood quote is too perfect. I kind of want to blow it up and frame it for my living room, but I think that might make our guests uneasy… oof. We have to talk!

  • Mego says:
    June 19, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I love the idea of being able to eat pizza in a bathing suit. LOL

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