I forgot today was National Women's Day. I got on Facebook this morning and saw a couple articles about it and against my better judgment, read a few comments. Of course the comments started with, "get a job." or, "they should be fired for being unreliable." or, "I'm a woman and I went to work today and I pay my own bills. You should too."
So many assumptions being made in these comments. Just so many. But the underlying sentiment seems to be, "your cause isn't valid." or "you don't represent me as a woman." and/or, "I'm strong and you aren't." or maybe, "I'm behaving and you're not."
After the women's march in January, I heard a lot of similar comments. The most common complaint I heard was, "Please tell me what rights women don't already have." Some women even posed this question to me assuming I would agree. But you get the distinct impression that they don't actually want to hear what you have to say. I get the impression that many people of both genders think, "you can vote, you can work, you can own property, that's enough. Be happy with what you have andbe quiet."
Meanwhile, the other headline I saw this morning was titled, "Devos employee likes to 'shake' his wife." His comment seems to have been made in passing - meaning it was so casual to him it didn't cross his mind he shouldn't say it:
Does he really shake his wife? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, the language is damaging and dangerous. But oops, I shouldn't complain about that because women have enough.
Ignore the statistics about violence against women and young girls. Ignore the rape statistics. Ignore the lack of funding for rape kits. Ignore the messages in the media women read and hear all the time making us feel less-than. Ignore all the challenges women face because um, helllloooo we can vote now! Also, did you hear that some women littered at a rally? INVALID! (Not that I'm ok with littering.)
I relate it to something I hear other white people say sometimes about black people. Because I am white too, these things are sometimes said around me with the assumption that I will be on board. Things like, "Black people need to get over it. Slavery ended a long time ago." Or, "If black people don't want to get arrested/shot, maybe they should behave."
My blood boils. And I speak up.
I'm not black and I could never pretend to know the challenges African-Americans face. But when they tell me they face challenges I wouldn't understand, I listen. And I believe them. I don't think, "slavery is over. Jim Crow laws are over. Most states have integrated proms now. Get over it. We're all equal now. You're just looking for something to complain about."
Am I saying we all have to agree with each other? No. But I wish we would listen better. And maybe not immediately speak out against each other. Maybe try to understand, try to find the parts we agree with, try to build bridges, try to feel more love instead of hate.
Or at least not make hate and anger our first reaction.
I live in Michigan. I'm a tiny bit older than you thought (fair warning: it's best not to ask). To spare my friends and family from listening to my every thought, I created a blog. It's sort of like a pensieve, only slightly less dramatic than Dumbledore's.
Rose: Last year the Woman of the Year in St. Olaf saved all the books from the library fire! She grabbed two books in one and and one in the other." Dorothy: Your library only has three books? What happens when someone reads them all? Rose: I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. - The Golden Girls
"A penny!? Worthless! It's the garbage of money!" - Barry, The Goldbergs
Danny: You wanna live in a ninth floor walk-up!? What happens if there's a fire? Mindy: Danny, you know my plan in an emergency is just to count to ten and wait for death's embrace! - The Mindy Project Chris: Leslie, I'm sorry. Anne didn't just go to Ann Arbor to visit her family. She went to sign a lease on our new home. Leslie: Ann Arbor sounds disgusting! Chris: She already has family there, and I have a new job lined up at the University of Michigan. Go Blue! It's a good town, and it's a great place to raise a family. Leslie: What is so great about it!? There's no JJ's Diner there, there's no Welcome to Pawnee sign! I mean, the stupid state is split up into two pieces! It's ridiculous! - Parks and Rec Tom: "Now, I know high-end, internet only magazine isn't really your scene, so Donna and I wrote up some cocktail banter and some conversation snippets for you to practice so you can fit in." Ron: (Reading) "Annabel, could I be more jelz of your low-lights right now, I mean O.M. squee, talk about bangs envy." Donna: "Oof, you got a long way to go, Swanson. Let's go again, from the top." Ron: "I regret everything." - Parks and Rec
"Hello, young man, do you carry Fat Steps Cankle Wranglers? They're for the problematic foot." - Mindy, The Mindy Project
"No one tells you how hard it is to be a parent!" - Frankie "That's because if they did, no one would do it. It's called punishing-it forward." - Mike - The Middle
"He gave us his magic and then he disappeared. Just like Toad the Wet Sprocket." - Gene, Bob's Burgers
"Listen to me. NOBODY on the computer is having as good of a time as you think they are." - Mike, The Middle
"It took me all day, but I got the ten signatures I needed! I'm running for student body president!" - George Michael, Arrested Development
"Life is precious. And if I die, I want my... son... to know the dealio. The dealio of life." - Michael Scott, The Office
"Somebody threw a snow-cone at my windshield today. I thought I hit a rainbow. It was terrifying." - Teddy, Bob's Burgers
"Stop calling me the Prince of Darkness. That's how rumors get started." - Monk
"I'm giving you an all tomato, meaning you give me the whole tomato or else." - Troy, Community Tracy, talking about Weird Al: Don't you understand? He's going to parady you again! That's what he does! That's all he does! You can't stop him! Jenna: Unless I write a song that can't be parodied. Tracy: Impossible. What do think Phil Collins was trying to do with Sussudio!? -30 Rock
"20 year old girls! They think I'm awesome! Look at them! They don't know what Saved By the Bell is and they've never felt pain!!" - Nick, New Girl
"Due to my campaign, the romantic aspect of our relationship is over, and I am totally fine with that. But Ben and I have so much in common! I mean, we're amazing friends! And friendship is better because friends help you move, they drive you to the airport! Boyfriends just.... love you and marry you." - Leslie, Parks and Rec
Claire: You know that really dangerous intersection? Phil: Where desire meets jealousy and the result is murder? Claire: Uhuh. The one where I almost killed you this morning. Phil: Oh yeah, that was my bad. I got lost in my jams! Dangerous combo: speed walking and Speedwagon. Oh! I wasn't even trying for that! - Modern Family
Tobias: As you may or may not know, Lindsay and I have hit a bit of a rough patch. Michael: Really. When did that start? Tobias: Well, I don't want to blame it on 911, but it certainly didn't help. -Arrested Development
"I don't want to talk about it Ken! You'll hear all I have to say about Jack Donaghy in my tell-all book, 'Betrayal, COLON, What Really Happened With My Baseball Team, COMMA, Disaster at Knuckle Beach, QUESTION MARK." - Tracy, 30 Rock
Burt: "You seem real happy to keep pining for her! You pine, pine, pine, but you don't do anything! You just sit there like a log!" Virginia: "A pine log!" Burt: "Which is the worst kind of log! Best log? Yule. Best Yule? Brenner. Best Brenner? David. Best David? That's where it starts to get complicated." - Raising Hope
"Camping sucks! It's super boring. And you can see the stars, which I hate. They're creepy." - April, Parks and Rec
"Andy!! I don't even want to be here! The air is too fresh - it's disgusting. I can't breathe. And there's a brook somewhere that won't stop babbling. SHUT UP!" -April, Parks and Rec
Shawn: "Gus, don't be the ribs that flip over Fred Flintstone's car. I know you're not completely sold on my hit man theory, but I need you to suspend your disbelief and hop onboard the streetcar named Shawnzire." Gus: "Dude, you know how that metaphor makes me uncomfortable." -Psych
"You had me at meat tornado." - Ron Swanson, Parks and Rec
"So dumb guys go for dumb girls, and smart guys go for dumb girls? What do smart girls get?" - Alex "Cats, mostly." - Phil -Modern Family
"The parade was awesome. Angela Lansbury was the grand marshall. Good times, she wrote." - Phil, Modern Family
"What?!? I don't have $30,000 laying around! I have it buried very deeply. And I don't want to have to dig past a certain someone to get it." - Dwight, The Office
"When you're a kid, I remember really loving going to bed. There was one time where I actually laughed myself to sleep, 'cause I couldn't believe me luck. - Karl Pilkington
"And so our employee of the month is the late Roger Dusset, who tragically died from complications due to union organizing." - Mr. Burns, The Simpsons
Ron: "I'm hungry." Leslie: "Ok, don't be such a baby. I cooked you some bacon for a trail snack." Ron: "I ate it already. I could smell it in your purse before I even parked my car. And now it's gone and I hate everything." - Parks and Rec
Shawn: "Lassy, where did you go? We were totally filming your speech!" Gus: "And we need you to sign a release for America's Funniest Home Videos." -Psych
"I've been with NBC for a really long time. A really long time. Remember the Cosby Show? I was Rudy." - Conan O'Brien
"A book hasn't caused me this much trouble since Where's Waldo went to that barber pole factory!" - Tracy, 30 Rock
"Can we go to Banana Republic? I have a crush on a mannequin there." - Millhouse, The Simpsons
"I just stopped by to thank you. You've been really supportive of me during my transformation to hideous man-beast." - Harvey, Sabrina the Teenage Witch
In reference to the date being 9/9/9: "I haven't heard that many nein's since I dated that German woman." - Conan O'Brien "
"Sadly, Teamocil has been discontinued. The sense of wellness it created in relationships was merely the first sign of complete pituitary shutdown." - Tobias Funke, Arrested Development
"I am single now. What we have here is the ultimate smackdown between the nard dog and crippling despair, loneliness, and depression. I intend to win." - Andy Bernard, The Office