April 29, 2014

Think men & women are equal, at last? Not even close.

“Well, you shouldn’t have opened your mouth in the first place!”
 
… were the words that he screamed at my face.
 
In front of dozens of people.
 
Who were frozen in shock.
 
Just like me.
 
I was in the midst of a discussion with a guy I knew, and things had escalated … uncomfortably. I didn’t like the way he’d handled a particular situation, and I’d spoken up to tell him so.
 
Rather than considering my feedback, his response was:
 
You shouldn’t have opened your mouth.
 
Whoooa now.
 
Could you imagine a man saying those words … to another man? It’s hard to imagine.
 
And some people think that gender inequality is a “myth.”
 
That there’s no “need” for feminism anymore. That we’re all set. Total balance.
 
Uh, not quite.
 
 
Women make up 51% of the US population … but women comprise only 20% of congress.
 
35 women have served as US governors, compared to 2,319 men.
 
71 countries in the world have had female presidents or prime ministers. The US is not one of them.
 
U.S. women continue to earn 77¢ to every dollar that men earn.

 
 
These are just a few stats from the award-winning documentary, Miss Representation. (According to the film, at the rate we’re currently progressing, it will take 500 YEARS before those gaps have completely closed. Holy … nuts.)
 
I want to see all of those stats change. Dramatically. A lot sooner than 500 years from now. (I have a feeling my feisty daughter Emily is going to shorten the learning curve by about 480 years … we might be in luck!)
 
 
Statistics aside, I’ll know that we’re truly equal when a woman can speak her mind — on stage, at school, at the gym, at the grocery store, at her office, in her home and everywhere in between — and be heard.
 
Instead of being silenced & shut down.
 
(Or being called a “harpy,” a “ball-buster” or a “bitch.”)
 
When it comes to women’s rights, that’s my barometer for equality.
 
What’s yours?
 
And what are you going do to knock a few years off that 500-year timeline?
 
Let’s talk about it — over on Facebook.
 
Start here:
 
“I’ll know that men & women are truly equal when ___________________________.
 
And to help make that happen? I’m going to ___________________________.”
 
 
 
To your voice & mine,
 
 
xo.
 
Susan

XOXO,
Susan

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