This is kind of a different post. It’s not so much about being a housewife and mom with the events happening in our country over the last couple of weeks. Then again, it is because I am raising a daughter and I don’t want her to grow up in the world that I grew up in and into. Now, don’t get me wrong. The world we live in now isn’t horrendous. For me it’s great. I am a white middle class female stay at home mom. I chose to have that title (well, the white and female part was pre determined) and because of my husband’s job I can be a stay at home mom. I digress though. The last week has lasted a lifetime in terms of politics and media cycles. Donald Trump’s leaked tape about women has thrown open the doors to talk about sexual behavior in our country. It made me wonder, what’s been my experience?
Overall, I have been very fortunate. Let me explain what I mean by fortunate. I grew up in a house where I was told that girls could do anything boys could do. I had a mother that knew how to use tools and a father that would vacuum. I have never been molested or raped. My first job that I had for seven years (on and off) didn’t discriminate against me because I was a woman. I was a team lead in my department. I was given projects that were important to what we were doing and was surrounded by executives that were women. In terms of being a woman in this world, I grew up and and have been very fortunate in my experiences. The sad flip side to that statement is that I was fortunate because I wasn’t abused somehow. I was fortunate because I was treated as an equal in my company. I was fortunate because I didn’t grow up thinking women belonged in the home and that’s all they were good for. I was fortunate to have things that should be god given, not things where luck is a factor.
I have had my fair share though. There are two instances that I remembered when I started thinking about writing this post. In high school I had to do community service like most high schools. My father works heavily with United Way through his work. They were putting on a charity golfing tournament. One of my jobs was to watch a certain hole. If someone got a hole in one they won a car. There was an older man playing through who said, “Let’s make this more interesting and put some team bets on this. Shirts vs skins!” the other men chuckled and then the man who spoke looked at me and said, “You can be skins *wink, gross old man laugh*” I was 14. I was 14 and an older man thought not only was it okay to imply he wanted to see me with my top off, he laughed about it. Needless to say, I asked my dad for another job that day.
The other instance happened when I was 20. I was driving home from college. I was at a stop light that had two lanes. At the red light I stretched and looked over to the 4×4 next to me. Another older man held up a sign that said, “Show me your boobs”. Really think about that. Not only was this guy willing to pull up to random women and show them this disgusting sign, he made the sign in the first place. He sat down somewhere, took a piece of paper, a marker and wrote “Show me your boobs” and then thought “I should put this in my car to show random women. How will they resist?” and while it was super tempting to do so I somehow did resist his lovely offer and did show him something. My middle finger which was met with his middle finger and him actually showing anger towards me.
Those are the two incidents that will always stay with me. I am a curvy girl and have been since I was 12 (thanks, puberty on steroids). In college I was grabbed and I was told my nickname for a group of guys was, “The RA with big boobs”. In clubs I was invited to bathrooms to take a ride on a disco stick. Good lord, I feel so respected in our society why would I agree that what Trump said was completely disgusting? If you’ve seen my Facebook you know I am not on the Trump train to the White House. But this isn’t about politics. This is about women living in a country where we feel truly lucky if we aren’t raped in college. Are these the standards we want to continue for our daughters? How can I look at my newborn daughter in the eyes and honestly hope, “I hope you never have to call me one day with awful news”. By allowing what Trump said to go without consequence is us giving our consent to these behaviors for future generations.
Here’s what I know. I am a female and I was offended by what Donald Trump said on that bus with Billy Bush. That’s the end of the discussion. No one gets to tell me that I can’t be offended by this. No one gets to tell me that I overreacted when I was 14 and was hit on by a man in his 60’s. No one gets to tell me that the man in the 4×4 was just exercising his first amendment rights. No one gets to tell me what makes me uncomfortable and violated. There are so many posts I could write about this but hopefully I only have to write this one to get the message across to someone out there. People may feel like we are beating a dead horse but this is one worth beating. Mostly because that bastard keeps coming back to life. My daughter will be badass but I don’t want to add zombie horse killer to that list…or do I?