Yeah, I guess I’m a feminist. I’m a female, and I believe that my rights matter just as much as men’s do. And women definitely deserve equal pay and opportunities in the work force.
However, it seems like many people who use the #yesallwomen hashtag are into male-bashing, or reposting/re-tweeting things without adding anything to the discussion, or are people who want to bash the females who have valid points when using the tag. Fucking trolls.
I used to spend a lot of time with my Grandma and Grandpa Robinson when I was a kid. I was the first Granddaughter on that side of the family, after Gma and Gpa had four boys and the first grandchild was also a boy. I was Grandma’s favorite, for sure. I stayed with them for many days and nights at a time, and always had a lot of fun. Since I spent so much time there, I took baths during my stays. Grandpa liked coming into the bathroom and helping me wash myself. He really liked making sure my female parts were clean. When I was about 7 or 8, I told Grandpa that I did not need his help anymore and that I was perfectly capable of washing myself, and he got REALLY angry that I didn’t want him “helping” me in the tub anymore. He tried giving me a major guilt trip about it, but I went and talked to Gma and she put an end to him coming in the bathroom with me, thank goodness. And I made sure I looked out for my little sisters when Grandpa was around.
Some years later, we were at a big family party for Grandpa. One of my sisters had weight issues, but she was my sis and we all loved her no matter what her weight was. I went over to say hi to Grandpa because I had just gotten to the party, and I said something about feeling bloated and fat because I had just drank an entire soda, and he said, “So what’s your sister’s problem?”
My dad cheated on my mom while they were married, and she finally kicked him out. However, while they were married, he had sold one of his companies for something like $10,000,000. During the divorce proceedings, she used his lawyer and agreed to all of his conditions, at least partly because she was still in love with him. I was 17 and told her she was being stupid, and she could have gotten a MUCH bigger divorce settlement. Years later, after Dad had been married and divorced a second time, we were all again at a family party, and Dad was talking to some of our male relatives at the table next to where I was sitting. One of the guys asked how he managed to keep all his money while getting divorced twice, and Dad replied, “Because i told the bitches they’d agree with the settlement or I’d go blow it all in Vegas and they’d get nothing. I can always make more money.”
Years later, I enlisted in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician, a predominantly male occupation. I was one of the very few women in Basic Electronics school, and in my first “C” school for SHF satellite tech, I was the only female in with about ten males. And while I had the highest score in our classes, I was not treated like the best student by ANYONE in the chain of command. I was treated very well at my first duty station in England, as was everyone else there. But then I got assigned to a ship, and my Chief and I were the same age, and I was the first female sailor he had ever been in charge of in his lengthy Navy career. He obviously had not dealt with many women at work, and also did not seem to understand that different people have different temperaments and different ways of dealing with things. He was bitching me out for something I hadn’t even done, and afterwards I walked away to compose myself, and he kept coming after me. I told him that I just needed a minute to myself to calm down and then I’d be fine, but he did not listen to anything I said.
I was a single Mom at the time, and he told me multiple times that my kids didn’t matter because they weren’t issued in my sea bag. His wife was pregnant and he wasn’t even going to take leave the the birth of their first child until the Captain told him he was indeed going on leave. And, I was terribly seasick and asked if I could go see Doc, and he said no because he thought I was faking it, even though I had lost about 30 pounds in two weeks and couldn’t even keep water down. I did not go see Doc, and instead stayed in the workcenter and then went to lunch with the guys I worked with. I passed out, got carried over to medical, and then had an IV in each arm and each ankle because I was so dehydrated. But yeah, I was completely faking it, right, ETC?
My ship’s home port was Pearl Harbor, HI, and it was amazing being there. I volunteered to work at the Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium, and the day started off great. I worked out in the parking lot directing cars, and met some very fun, interesting people who were tailgating. All the volunteers also got tickets to the game, so after my shift in the parking lot, I went to find my seat. I think I was the only female from my ship who worked the game, so my seat was among a lot of my male shipmates. That probably would have been fine, except that many of the guys were drinking too much. (Yeah, it’s the Navy, so the drinking is not surprising.) One of the Chiefs from my ship was sitting next to me, and was quite drunk, and kept putting his arm around me and asking me what I was doing later and if we could get together. I kept trying to nicely turn him down, until I finally left the stadium and went home, before halftime.
I worked at Domino’s Pizza as an Assistant Manager, and did a darn fine job of it, too. The franchise owner I worked for came into the store one day to see how things were going, and as usual, things were going just fine. We were standing by the orders that needed to be delivered, while waiting for my drivers to come back and take them, and he put his arm around my shoulders and slid his hand down to grope my breast. Luckily one of the drivers came back just then as I was puling away from the boss, and totally backed me up when I called the corporate office to report the owner. However, I was told that trying to go to the police or a lawyer or something wouldn’t make a difference or matter, and to this day I kick myself for not reporting him to the authorities.
These are only some of the things that I’ve gone through as a woman. And yes, I do believe that ALL women have experienced harassment, discrimination, or worse. But being given pepper spray by your parents instead of a watch is not the worst thing that could happen. I wish they’d given you ALL both the pepper spray and the watch. I’m GLAD your dad taught you self-defense skills, and I hope he taught the rest of your siblings, too. But when you act like it’s unfair that you were given pepper spray or taught skills, that makes me mad. I wish I had had some fucking pepper spray to use on the assholes who groped my breasts without my permission. I WISH I had known enough to fight back during some of the things I’ve gone through. And I truly wish that you never NEED to use your pepper spray or defense tactics.