Over the past few years, we have faced persistent efforts made by lawmakers to repeal and narrow some of the historic rights obtained by women along with the complete lack of respect given to those defending them. And if that is not depressing enough, we have been provided with a candid and controversial discussion of the changing economic and social landscape facing women today in Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”
Based on both personal and professional experience, the bottom line is that women continue to face inequities every day on a number of dimensions- payment and treatment in the workplace, access to and costs of health care, bodily integrity, political representation and economic outcomes, work-life balance and sexuality. Inequality in these areas has resulted in continued harm to women including discrimination within the workplace, sexual assaults and rapes, exploitation and poor treatment within the media, trafficking, lack of political participation, eating disorders and lower levels of happiness than our male counterparts over both age and time.
Grim, I know but in the words of Gloria Steinem… “The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.”
So, what now, you might ask? Do we just throw our hands up in the air and join the “Girls Gone Wild Feminism” and Mean Girls attitude that has been prominent over the last decade or so? Or do we take a stand and re-invent a modern-day feminism that actually embodies the term? I envision a resurgence of positive collective action among women (think more “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits” and less “The Real Housewives of…” television series).
In order to change the status quo for women, we need a “revolution led by women joined by men.” This blog is a space intended to rally and empower women to speak out against the inequities faced every day, and recognize that they are not alone. But simultaneously, it aims to enable dialogue with men- to empower them to stand with, support, and most of all respect women in their quest for equality. In the somewhat cheesy words of singer Helen Reddy, “I’m still an embryo with a long, long way to go until I make my brother understand.” We are strong and invincible—we are women, let’s roar!