“I asked the nurse right away if it was a boy or a girl. She told me it was a girl, and so I turned my head away and wept. ‘All right’ I said, ‘I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – That’s the best thing a girl can be in this world. A beautiful little fool.” – Daisy in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Last week, a man accused of sexual assault by three different women (one of whom gave extremely compelling testimony), was confirmed to sit on The United States Supreme Court. Last week, his aforementioned key witness, a research professor at Stanford University was accused of lying or being a democratic operative. Last week, multiple newscasters claimed that sexual assault was just “a part of life,” “a big hoax,” and something to “just move on from.”
And last weekend, I spent most of my time crying next to a bottle of gin.
I am sad about what happened. I really thought we had gotten past the point where Fitzgerald’s quote may ring true: A world where women were granted their autonomy, voice, and dignity.
But as so often happens, reality set us back. Reality set us back, but honestly: I have never been more motivated to continue this fight.
I am so proud to be a woman. Today and every day. We are the world’s greatest under-utilized resource and I will never stop fighting until we reach our full potential.
Here are just a few reasons why:
1. We’re strong as hell.
I know women have the reputation of being weak but that honestly makes no sense at all. Why? Women give birth. I know that’s a super obvious statement, but really just think about it: A human being grows inside of a woman, crushes all of her other organs, and then comes out a small hole in her body. And then she’s just?? fine?? Like she just needs some bed rest and maybe some medicine???? Yes, a woman’s body is forever altered by a pregnancy, but the point of the matter is that we can do that and survive. Like, sometimes I feel like my boyfriend will get a cold and then act like he’s dying. Oh, and fuck any guy who says that they “killed that pussy.” THAT THING IS LITERALLY CAPABLE OF DELIVERING A PERSON AND THEN WILL STILL BE ABLE TO FUNCTION PROPERLY. YOU ARE NOT THAT GOOD.
2. Female bonds.
Women are not always supportive. That is true. It is actually impossible to be 100% nice, 100% of the time. But I mean, have you ever been in a woman’s bathroom – Especially at a nightclub? How many times did you tell random strangers there how gorgeous they were? How many times did somebody say that to you? Give you a pad/tampon? Hold your hair while you vomited? Research psychologists have noticed this trend in female friendships as well. Women, interestingly, are very apt to see close friends as “sisters” or “friendship soul mates.” They’re therefore more likely to talk about the intimate details of their lives, aggressively support one another, and often go out of their way to help their friend in need. Many scholars have actually reckoned that these bonds make women more emotionally resilient to hard things like breakups; Something I myself have noticed on this blog. And frankly, it makes sense. When was the last time you hung out with your group of girlfriends? How much time did you spend validating the shit out of each other? Maybe helping one of the girls through her Tinder messages? Helping her take the perfect Insta photo? These are magical experiences that I personally love and cherish. They help us grow, laugh, and enjoy life on a monumental level. I would not trade any of it for anything else.
3. We deal with so much shit (And still get the job done)!
Every day my life, like so many others, is a jungle of sexism.
But remarkably, we get on with it. We get on with it and yet, still kill it so many ways. Just think of the women in your life. When you were a little kid, how many times did your mom arrange a kickass birthday party while cooking an amazing meal and breastfeeding your sibling? Maybe your auntie had a crazy job but was still somehow able to truck your cousin around to all their appointments and recitals. Women have also killed it in “more professional”** and male-dominated fields as well. It was a team of women who found Bin Laden. It was women who changed democracy in France and The Middle East. And it is still women who make up a majority of high school valedictorians and college grads.
Despite the systematic sexism, despite the harassment, and despite the everyday annoyances, we have somehow still managed to do an amazing job. There is truly no woman on this planet, none, who is not killing it at something. We have refused to let the eclipse of the patriarchy dim our shine. We cannot let anything start to.
So fuck Fox News, fuck the patriarchy, and fuck Brett Kavanaugh. I have never felt so motivated to fight for equality. Because if we can be everything I’ve mentioned in a world designed specifically for men like Justice Kavanaugh, then it’s just a matter of time before we dismantle that system. And once we are equal, Lord only knows what we will be capable of.
We are not victims of the patriarchy. We never have been.
We are warriors.
And soon, we will become its champions.
We can do this.
*And if a person experiences any other marginalized identities, then they probably get shit from that as well.
**I put “more professional” in quotes because if being an au pair has taught me anything, it is how much work being a parent is. I invite anybody who demeans childcare and/or stay-at-home moms to try and push around a stroller with a screaming two-year-old in it.
Nota bene: I use the term “woman/women” here to refer to any/everybody who self-identifies. I should also note that I recognize how the patriarchy hurts men as well as women. I believe, however, that is more suitable for an individual blog post.