Recently I stayed at a hotel, and as I was going down to the lobby from the fifth floor a young man entered, and we immediately begin the elevator etiquette dance. I asked him which level he needed, and he replied, “The lobby.” I smiled and then pressed myself against the walls of the elevator as we spoke politely about the weather, looking anywhere but at one another. We said a quick goodbye as we exited the elevator never to see one another again.
As I exited the elevator, I thought, “No one teaches you elevator etiquette. It is just something you learn as you exist in the world.” And immediately I thought that is how it is to be a woman. No one tells you to shrink, to be quiet, to call yourself dumb or stupid before you ask a question. No one tells you to accept lower pay, to become the office wife, to expect that men will disrespect you no matter what you wear. No one tells you to put your dreams on hold to help fulfill the goals of a man, to allow men to take credit for your work, to expect less even though you are working twice as hard. These are things you silently learn and often merely accept as the norm as you navigate the world.
In the wake of the recent sexual harassment epidemic that has rocked Hollywood and beyond, in a symbolic gesture of solidarity, actors will be wearing black to the 75th Golden Globes airing tonight on NBC. Some have suggested that instead of wearing black, women of Hollywood should boycott the Golden Globes to make a statement. I thought about this and struggled with what would make a more significant impact. I decided that while I can see how some may believe they may have a bigger impact boycotting rather than wearing black, I disagree.
I am tired of women being punished for the bad behavior of men. I am tired of women being the scapegoat because men with power have written the rules.
These women have earned the right to walk the red carpet. They have worked hard to be recognized for their craft. They have sacrificed to be in their positions. They have done the work to be honored. They have accepted less when they should have been given more. They have told stories of sexual harassment they have endured just to do their jobs. These women have earned the right to be in that space.
I refuse to succumb to the belief that women should stay home to make a statement because a man cannot contain his need for control and his dick.
So, walk the red carpet ladies with your heads held high. Shine in your jewels. Clap hard then harder for every woman that has lost her soul on a casting couch. Stand tall for every woman that will never have the spotlight and financial freedom to say #metoo- for the secretaries, the nurses, the teachers, the waitresses, the housekeepers. Speak boldly and loudly for those women who life has silenced. Amplify the voices of those who have been muted in this movement that Tarana Burke initiated and ignited. Listen to the voices of African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and many more that have been screaming for centuries and no one has heard them and vow to never ignore or be silent any longer!
Categories: Current Events
Actually as a Black woman I got told all those things. From the time we open our eyes Black women given the message by all of society hat we don’t matter unless we’re white, (the irony is that white women receive the same message of unworthiness for not being men) which explains why so many WoC are loud, bold, and love attention, and it’s the reason why I encourage the white women I’m friends with to do exactly the same. Be unapologetically female and loud and proud of it, if that’s who you are!
Women’s Suffrage in America was about white women preserving their place in the racial hierarchy. And even though they are still not seen as equal to white men they remain more valued than PoC. I agree, though, that women shouldn’t boycott the Golden Globes. Unity is necessary for dismantling the pervasive culture of misogyny in Hollywood and beyond.
When I read the title I thought, you couldn’t be more wrong. Then I read a little further reading about them earning the right to be in that space, and realized…Nah, she’s right. But my mind wouldn’t stop thinking and critical opposing thoughts refused to stop forming. It was then, through a images of centuries of struggle to rewrite history; my convictions told me emphatically you are wrong. What about earning the right to change the space?While I do understand the sentiment; how much more would the cause of which you speak and the women everywhere that represent it; be amplified if there were no or very few women represented at the Globes?
What if every woman that’s nominated stayed home. And when they call the nominees, the camera shifts to an empty seat? I mean, rows upon rows of vaginaless seats. Hannah, just envision if women everywhere simply dropped out of the workplace? Since our homes are workplaces too, what if we sat out there as well? There’d be no: children being cared for, groceries bought, food getting cooked; no laundry getting done or lunches being made, no help with homework, no boo boos kissed away, no encouragement or uplifting of the men and definitely no one is getting laid. Talk about empowerment, that would shift the atmosphere! How much more would sexually predatory men, be forced to hear our pain while create the power to change? How much incentive would they have to get off this sexiest train and make lasting change…all for women. It would be a much longer lasting image wouldn’t it? Essentially, it would be the upper cut that sets the final blow. Imagine how theatrical it would be to have empty seats on the most expensive rows? Men would be forced to speak on it, before announcing the nominee’s name. But more importantly, it would force those good men to speak up and demand change. Right there, unscripted, on the world’s biggest stage.
While the actresses have certainly worked too hard and have earned the right to be in that space; no critical change has ever come without great, perhaps even the ultimate sacrifice. Essentially, it is that very work that gives them power to change the face of America. You know, like Arimenta Ross who escaped slavery, only to risk her life and her freedom to unfetter 1000 slaves. She confessed she could’ve freed 100 more, if they only knew they were slaves. Didn’t she work hard and sacrifice enough to die living the remainder of her life without bondage? All those years of rape, degradation and free labor, hadn’t earned her the right to enjoy her free space? But the greater good is never achieved, by putting yourself first. If the sacrifice is small, so too is the reward. These women chose to lead and procure change; they ought to do it wearing their sleek black dress on the red carpet in front of their couch watching their recognition on TV, not a masochistic stage. That would be monumental in demonstrating the worth our bodies and the value of all ourselves. Women are much more important than some: on cue appluase, fake smiles, shortlived notoriety, and an attention grabbing night in Hollywood; sharing the stage with the very people who made you do the perp walk of shame. Is giving a blow job, getting naked as the Weinsteins of the world jack off, or engaging in a humiliating 10 minute screw; only to get a chance to read for a part, gain an entry level role, or perhaps an opportunity for a leading one; really worth hearing applause as your name is called, reading a 3 minute speech filled with 2 minutes of unimportant names or losing an opportunity to send a great, life altering message while the most powerful men in Hollywood are listening? Nah. I think not.
Women are worth more,
deserve more and will get more,
when we demand more by respecting ourselves enough to stay home. The act of shunning a stage designed from their degradation and shame, to sit on their couch while the Globes give a roll call of absentee bodies that represent Hollywood’s best are the type of acts that change our society and make history. They will not only know you should be in that space, but through sacrifice of such a prestigious event; you take the power and reserve the right to shape it. All in your black dress from your couch. AND THE NOMINEE IS…
I challenge you to think about what if they called every name and the men were at home? How would that look?