I’m not going to write much, just watch the video and she says it all! Goosebumps and tears may follow!
Today we celebrate all the women who refused to accept their given place in society. Those who broke the gass ceiling. All those who sacrificed so that we could have more (rights). We remember all the women who marched and fought. Those that spoke up. And we acknowledge that we have come a long way – but also that we are by no means near the end. The struggle is real. Everyday. We fight on! For equal rights and an end to GBV, harrassment, rape and abuse in all its forms.
Not only do we as women need to fight on, we also need the good men as allies. It saddens me to see how men get offended by feminism, hiding behind the #notallmen argument. If you’re not part of the solution you are infact part of the problem. Do the right thing. Set an example to men around you. Be part of the fight for equal rights!
I wanted to write these words down as a reminder to all of us as I’ve seen how this day is being hijacked and turned into something resembling Valentine’s day with offers of a free glass of wine and discounts on spa treatments etc taking focus away from the true purpose of this day. Go ahead and enjoy your free wine but first acknowledge what this day is about! And no I’m not going to wish anyone a “happy women’s day” just as we don’t wish anyone that’s HIV positive a “Happy world aids day”.
By now this hashtag has probably appeared more than once in your feed and (unfortunately) many more will share in the days to come. You’ve most likely heard more than you’d like to about the Weinstein saga and what appears to be an accepted culture in Hollywood, but as this hashtag spreads it should by now be very clear to all that this is by no means an exception. It is something that is so common that us women need a hashtag to even reflect over it. Yes #MeToo. All of us. In our day to day lives. My husband heard about it on BBC (as he’s not on social media) and asked if I’d used the hashtag, I had earlier that day and he looked at me a bit surprised. Then he recalled the dick pic I’d received some time back but I told him it’s not just that. Its every day, every time I walk down the street, fully covered like a nun never mind in heat reaching 30+ on a cool day. In my case it is not the one time that was really bad (thankfully!) but the hundreds of times there was a comment to intrusive, a comment that made me uncomfortable, from strangers that think they can say what they want about me, and to me. It’s all the times I’ve put trousers on when shorts should’ve been the obvious choice but you know the comments would be so much worse. It’s every woman following an unwritten dress code made up in some men’s heads. It’s all the women living in a culture where they are blamed for men’s behavior, when debates like these turn into debates about how women should and shouldn’t dress.
I’m actually surprised that the hashtag #NotAllMen hasn’t had a revival yet. As at times like these “good” men tend to feel they have to defend themselves. I hope this time around the good men realize that if they look the other way they are part of the problem. Quoting a (male) friend on facebook: “The #MeToo campain has been a great eyeopener for me. For many women it’s just day-to-day life. It has made me think a lot. About other men’s behavior, but also my own. That is always a start.” I hope the #MeToo can be an eyeopener for men as much as it has been everyday life for most women.
Let this be a new beginning.
I just threw a little mini fit at the poor guy charging for public parking outside Shoprite in Kabwe. You could just say I’m having a bad day OR you could say I’ve just had enough of this pathetic municipal council! They want us, customers, to pay for what exactly? Today I had to drive past all the parking spaces in front of Shoprite as they were occupied by taxis, legal and (for the most part) illegal. I had to drive around the corner, to the far end and park where there is no tar, but mud and rocks and that’s the parking I was expected to pay for! This is just one small part of Kabwe municipal counsil’s total failure at running a town. I’ve blogged about the street vending before (here), and it has only gotten worse. Most parking spots in town center is now taken up but vendors, each one picks a slot! You can hardly get through Freedom way, the main road in town, as it is completely clogged up by taxis, minibuses (driving in any direction they care to) and vendors sitting right on the tar. It would be very interesting to hear what our dear Mayor and/or MP has to say about this mess, as it doesn’t look like any effort is being made in improving anything at this point.