… and I hate myself for it.
A part of me always thought I would be able to stand up for myself when the time came. That I would join the ranks of those women who persisted. Not to the point where I was spoken about in hush toned in feminist gatherings, but to the point where I helped the cause in one tiny moment.
So when my time came to kick up a fuss- I didn’t.
Looking back on it, I feel spineless. That all my talk of supporting feminism, after my learning that it wasn’t a dirty word, I chickened out.
Wednesday, as you are probably aware, was International Women’s Day. A day that is sorely needed to remind the world that there are more “John”s running the top business in the UK than there are women:
If you want to read the full article, it’s right here.
So that morning, I donned my faithful Pussyhat knitted to wear on the 21st of January. Proudly I wore into my office, which by the way only in the last six months saw the number of women triple to six out of just under fifty employees, and was asked to remove it.
That it was perfectly fine for me to wear it outside of work (I didn’t know I had to get permission to be politically active from my employer?), but I wasn’t allowed to wear the hat at work due to the political connotations of it. He went on to say that they would ask the same of any other employee wearing some form of political statement. I was welcome to make a ‘fuss’ if I wanted to, but I was told to remove it.
When I tried to point out that it was a symbol of empowerment and positive development, I got the first wave of “why do we even need a Women’s Day anyway? When’s the men’s day?”. Which was the first wave of childish remarks.
“Isn’t it a month after Valentine’s Day?” “Steak and Blowjobs?”
“If I throw myself under a horse, will we get a Men’s Day?”
Yeah. He went there.
Working for a tech company does mean being in a male dominated environment, but I didn’t expect to get ridiculed for simply showing what I believe in.
What should have been a tasteful reminder of women uniting and empowering themselves, was instead folded on my desk. The fabric I created myself so that my partner and I could swell the ranks in spirit as we couldn’t make it to the marches on the 21st of January, sat uselessly.
More than twenty four hours on I’m still bitter about how I didn’t step up.
How am I supposed to look my nieces in the eye, and say that I did everything I could to give them more chances and opportunities presented to those who came before them? That I helped sway the world so that there were more women than Davids in charge of companies?
I cannot at the moment.
At least not just yet.