Sunday, March 27, 2016

Why Do I Care?

I've been stuck during the past couple of weeks, not only because Jack got sick but because I have a post I can't finish. The post is about teaching my son to be a man, and I've been working on it almost as long as this blog has existed. The problem is, it caused a little conflict with someone back when I first started writing it, and I haven't been able to get over that.

I started asking myself why I care so much about gender. I am a white, straight woman with a husband, (almost) two children, and a nice house in a very progressive city. I am so white mainstream liberal that I will never understand or encounter the discrimination many people face because of their gender identity, sexual identity, or race.

No matter how much I talked or wrote, I couldn't seem to articulate what it was about living life as a girl and a woman for almost 35 years that had made me so determined to change gender norms for my children. Then, I watched this little video, and I felt like it said all the things I couldn't say.

This Is What It Would Be Like If Women Acted Like Men In The Workplace
Posted by SOML on Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I almost started crying when I watched the video. (Having someone say, "I can see you're really emotional about this," when all you're doing is stating your position rationally--that is my life.) This is it, I thought. This is how it feels.

I can't point to one defining gender-discrimination moment in my life. I can't say I write this blog and I think this much about gender because I was sexually harassed, fired from my job, or discriminated against in some horrible way. For me--and I would wager for most women--it's the small daily slights, added up over a lifetime, that make us feel the way we do. Because of all these moments that happen day in and day out, we can empathize with those who experience more extreme forms of gender discrimination. The discrimination doesn't have to happen in one big moment to profoundly affect your life.

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