Misogyny Lives Here

Today is election day. It’s one of those iconic moments in history where it could either go one or or another and the ripples will be felt in either direction. I’ve had a post brewing for a few weeks now so I thought today would be a good day for it. As the nation faces yet again the unmistakable glass ceiling and this election that was more about the treatment of women, and especially women in power, more than any other issue. This election that was in so many ways a slap in my face, the daughter of two generations of strong working women. That we are still fighting this fight and being told we are less than, is un-fucking-believable.

My own mantra has been that if I expect the world to be a certain way, then it better also be that way in my own house. And guess what, world… misogyny lives here too.

It creeps in. It’s sneaky. It happens when my husband tells me how to make myself happy even when I strongly disagree with him. When he insists that the things I want are not the things I want and the reason I am pissed/frustrated/annoyed are really because of something completely different.

It’s how I know where the baby socks are. Or where we keep the crib blankets. Or where the baby wipes live. And my husband has to ask me.

Its there when it is assumed that I am home with the children even though I work full time, sometimes more than full time. But I work from home, so that must also mean I can watch the kids.

It’s there in the gas lighting. THE GAS LIGHTING. That I try to battle by calling it out when I see it. To which my husband shrugs off, “I hate when you say that…” I know a fix for that.

It’s there when I have to work late and my husband is annoyed by this, tells me it shouldn’t be this way, that I work too much. But when he is on a deadline, and oh how he has been at the most inconvenient of times, we make that work. Not that I am a saint and have not been annoyed at last minute solo-parenting, but in general? It is, “you need to push that button at 3am? No problem. You need to go to that work function at 7pm? Totally ok, I’ve got it. You need to work through dinner with your laptop on the table next to your plate? I get it.” Where is my career support? I’m sorry me being tired is an inconvenient.

If misogyny lives here, then it lives most everywhere in the hidden nooks and crannies of our lives. And sometimes not so hidden. It’s in the assumption of primary care give for the children, or the uneven distribution of household chores, or the ability for partners to have hobbies outside of work or home that are just givens to their happiness without there being a balance.

Kamel told me a few days ago that he is voting for Hillary Clinton, not for himself – because he is a privileged man whose life wouldn’t change that much in either direction – but for me. Because he’s seen the bullshit. He’s seen the grotesque inequality and how much harder I have to work at it all. And these are kind, loving, empathetic comments. Even though they are wrong. He’s right about the privilege. But a world that is fairer and kinder and better for the most amount of people, is a world that benefits him too.

Even if we get our first female president today, there is still so much work to be done. And it starts at home.

5 thoughts on “Misogyny Lives Here”

  1. I’m so exhausted reading this. Not only does it fall on us to fix it but to even point out that it needs fixing; its just exhausting, the constant battle of being a woman.

  2. Yes. Good gosh. And the men claim to be so enlightened. Even I have to point these things out to my own husband, that YELLING at me isn’t the way to effective communication. He says sorry and he knows better but it just continues. Still working on all of it.

  3. This is so well said and so interesting…. We went to an all girls high school and were taught to be proud, self sufficient etc…. yet misogyny does slip in. And it may be unintentional and it may not be meant to hurt, or hinder or whatever…. but it does! And if it does in our lives. Where we choose partners who are thoughtful and educated and listeners… how bad is it elsewhere!!!! That is what is scary to me. That is the true measure of how much the lives of women in this country and around the world have NOT changed…. Thank you for writing this today. It really made me think!

  4. Our first female Prime Minister was treated abominably during her term in much the same way I imagine Hillary will be if she wins. Comments about her looks, about her relationship with her partner, about how her decisions were emotional rather than rational. Men haaated her but she was bold and brave and took the brunt of being first. Gillard’s misogyny speech is now on tea-towels and fridge magnets and always worth a viewing on You Tube.

    Also worth a gander is a book by Clementine Ford, an Australian feminist who’s taken on a landslide of trolls for almost every single comment she makes publically. ‘Fight Like a Girl’ was released a few weeks ago, a few weeks after she had a baby.

  5. I’m so annoyed with all the Facebook posts from former Bernie fans about having to vote for Clinton because she is the lesser of two evils. Nuh-uh. She’s an ass kicker. Strong, intelligent, powerful women are never liked.

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