I was gutted when Hillary Clinton lost the election to Donald Trump. I think he wants to be called Donald J. Trump. How very presidential.
I’ve been so discouraged by the negative, hateful and fear invoking rhetoric of his campaign that I quite literally didn’t know what to do with myself. I was so excited to see the first female President of the United States, that it was hard not only to put that dream on hold (because it is on hold and WILL happen), but to face the very real fact that not only do women have to face sexism and deal with misogyny on a daily basis, but there’s a growing and very apparent rise of female misogynists.
That’s right. Women who dislike or hate other women.
It’s technically not our fault – we’ve been raised to live in constant competition with our peers. We have to be smarter, prettier, skinnier, sexier, than one another. Sure, we can be supportive of each other, so long as we keep the upper hand. I can want what’s best for Sally, so long as Sally doesn’t become a threat to me, my man, my job, my friends, etc.
This intense dislike for women has never been more apparent than during this presidential election.
If you presented voters with the resumes of both candidates without attaching their names or photos, Clinton would stand out as the more qualified party to be president. Attach a picture, or video, and all of a sudden Clinton’s femininity is called into question. Her style of dress, tone of voice, appearance, weight, marriage were all under scrutiny.
This knee-jerk reaction to women in power BY women is out of fear. If a women bucks traditional gender roles, goes against everything we’re raised to believe we have to be – polite, quiet, nurturing, attractive, youthful looking, desirable… then what?
What will men think? Will men not like us if we take roles of authority? Will men not like ME if I support a woman in power?
How do we combat fear?
We educate ourselves on the plight of women and the need for gender equality in the work place, in the home, in government, in religion… literally everywhere. Think of a place, any place. That’s where we need to be seen, treated and paid as equals.
I’m starting a Feminist Book Club. Each month* I’ll read books on women’s studies, by renowned feminists and sociologists to discuss and dissect the women’s movement and gender roles.
This is me educating myself to understand how I can make a difference as a woman, How I can be the change I wish to see. How I can free myself of the restrictions put upon me unknowingly since birth. How I can, more importantly, forgive myself for years of self hate because I didn’t feel as though I was growing into the ideal woman.
My first pick:
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
“Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire.” – Source
Sounds good to me.
*Each month or so. No pressure, babes.