Monday, July 31, 2017

“The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of woman the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source.”

Since starting my new job as a receptionist, back in March, I've found myself with a lot of down time at work.  Between phone calls and paperwork, I have free reign of the desk and interwebs as long as it doesn't interfere with customer interactions.  With that, I've run out of internet.  It's all been explored...there is no more.  So I've been researching new hobby ideas that would be good to do at my desk.  That's when I ran across this gem:  Top 75 Best Hobbies for Men.

Okay?  What in the holy, fucking hell makes any of these seemingly simple hobbies to be gender specific to testosterone factories?  There isn't a single one on that list that was limiting to penis-definitive actions.  Do my ovaries produce a force field, preventing me from rock climbing?  Clearly I produce too much estrogen for composing electronic music, as well.  And don't get me started on how my vulva gets in the way of volunteering!  Sheesh, I definitely hate it when I'm helping my community and I just can't get it right without those important testes when serving soup to the homeless.  And my personal worst?  I shouldn't be writing this blog.  It's forbidden to my kind!  

For those of you who are probably thinking, "It's just an innocent article? What's wrong with listing more masculine hobbies for manfolk?"  There's a more threatening issue taking root in our society.  My kids will be the first to tell you that, "There are no such thing as boy things and girl things, just things."  In planting the idea that there are activities, colors, clothing, or toys that are too feminine for men and boys, we are also growing the notion that females are somehow less.  I am not less than my male counterparts.  I am not the weaker sex.  And I mean that literally; I have lifted and carried things one handed that my male coworkers have complained about being too heavy.  I am tougher than most people I know.  I've endured pain in extreme levels, both mentally and physically.  I am the most resilient person that I know.  It is not fair to label me according to my gender identity.  

I'm even extremely fortunate to be cis-gendered.  My body and mind match with regard to being female.  It is incredibly unjust to label people into these categories without thinking that there are people of all types on a spectrum.  There are not just two sexes, assigned by your genitalia at birth.  There are people who are born with XXY chromosomes who are biologically a gender of their own.  

Our society is so preoccupied with labeling, that gender is no exception.  There are racial stereotypes and financial statuses that are more obviously a problem in our communities.  And before you get butthurt and offended that this doesn't apply to you, just remember that the problem with ignorance is that one doesn't often realize what they are doing is considered ignorant.  Nobody does stupid things with the express intent of stupidity.  It's usually, "It seemed like a good idea at the time!"  Right?  So let me educate you on some examples of misogyny.  

1.  Assumptions.  Please do not assume that if there is a male with me, that he is in charge of what-the-fuck-ever I'm doing.  Last night, my parking receipt was directed to my male counterpart even with the reservation in my name and I had been previously working with ME the whole time. I was also in line at Goodwill to donate once, handing over boxes and bags by the carload and the douchecanoe in the back of the truck looked over me at the guy behind me and asked if he wanted the tax voucher.  

2.  Ignoring.  Often when I am standing with a man, I am completely ignored in the interaction...especially sales.  Know who I bought my van from?  It was the first salesman who spoke to me directly.  Out of 3 dealerships, asking questions about MY OWN CAR that I was going to be driving solely, only one person recognized me as a person of authority in the purchase of my vehicle.  
3. Sexualization.  So much to be said here.  It's everywhere.  Photoshopping women in magazines, catcalling, even telling a woman that she needs to smile.  I don't have to smile.  Fuck you.  If I'm in a bad mood, I have every right to look like a grumpy dude.  I'm not less of a person because I don't have pretty smile on my face at all times.

4.  Mansplaining.  I don't understand less because I am a woman.  Please don't over-explain concepts to me because you think I am dumber than a dude.  Just.  Don't.  If you think it might be something I'm unfamiliar with, simply ask, "How familiar are you with 'X'?"  Then reassess your approach accordingly. 

There are too many topics to address within this idea, but I'll leave you with those.  I don't want to overwhelm with all the wordy words.  

Today's subject line quote is from Lucretia Mott.  

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