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