Election Day 2016.
Normally I’m not one to talk politics online, but I recently had an unwelcome incident at work. Ironically enough, before my shift I was watching Amazon’s new show Good Girls Revolt, which revolves around a group of female researchers standing up for their rights to “write” at a Time-like magazine. It made me smile seeing these women convene in bathrooms, coffee shops before work, at consciousness-rising meeting after work. They were collectively standing up for themselves and didn’t want to take the sexist behavior exhibited in the office.
Back to why this is ironic. The show is set in 1970. Fast forward to less than a week ago, November 2016, and I had a man treat me in a way that took me back 40 years:
As I passed a tray of appetizers, I felt a strong pull gripping my waist. Turning around, I came face to face with a man who had a sheepish grin. My insides were churning. He had no right to aggressively grab at me. But I was at work, slapping him would not go over well. Instead, I forced a smile and asked if he wanted an hor d’oeuvre. He laughed and made a crude comment about “wanting me”. Are you fucking kidding me?? Needless to say, I was in shock, so I made a semi-funny quip, turned around and walked away. You better believe I heard the group of men snickering.
Later, new apps in hand, crude man made his presence known by calling me “Honey Pot” and asking for another beer. My name’s Natalie I said. Really were we back in the 60s/70s??? He didn’t care, he called me “Honey Pot” again.
At that point, a coworker had seen that interaction and alerted management. They were furious at the man, and promptly told me I didn’t have to walk around the floor anymore. Part of me wanted to stay on the floor- was I succumbing and weak to his words/action that I was just going to avoid him? Or was it ok to stay away? Believe me, there was nothing more I wanted to do than tell him off. But I realized I didn’t have to put myself through more poor treatment to prove I was strong, that I could handle the inappropriate verbal and physical behavoir.
In that scenario, I couldn’t vote him off the island. But you better believe that when I hit the polls today I will not stand for anyone who doesn’t see all humans as one class. Woman, Mexican, Elderly, Black, Arab, Man, White, Asian–we are all equal. And deserve to be seen and treated as such.
I’m standing with HER because no one deserves to feel less than their worth.
It’s 2016, own your sex and raise your voice! #IMWITHHER