This is something that is always on the forefront of my mind, but a specific (and one could even say 'minor') incident is what triggered me to write about it today.
I've mentioned before that I'm a part of a social cycling group here in Austin. Well, last night while on one of our huge bike rides, an older man rode by me and jokingly (or so I thought) said "I just want to grab your suspenders every time I ride by you," I replied with a laugh, but very clearly said "no, don't do that" and smiled. Not more than five minutes later we were next to each other again and he grabbed my suspenders (on my backside, not front), slapped me with them and rode off. I let out a sarcastic sounding "ha. ha." and was going to drop it. But, then my girlfriend katie reminded me "Andrea, you said 'no', that was inappropriate, remember your boundaries" (wooo! go katie, huh?). I thanked her and sped off to confront the man. Which I did. Which I came off as a bitch for.
A minor incident, huh? But this is what is caused me to think: In our society, as women, we are either viewed as a frigid bitch or ditzy slut (excuse my language if you find it offensive). Those were the two options I had last night and I chose the former.
I believe we have these two options because these are the options the media gives us. Not to get into politics, but remember the '08 election? Palin was the ditzy slut and Clinton was the frigid bitch. And these were two women who were running for two of the highest offices our country has to offer. If the media couldn't take them seriously, what chance do the rest of us have?
I'm writing this without a real solution to offer. Other than let's take each other seriously. Let's respect each other. Let's vote for women. Let's go see movies directed by &/or written by women. When we see young girls, let's not tell them how cute they, but rather ask them what they want to be when they grow up.
On a positive note, this is why I love the blogging community. I really feel like we are taking our image into our own hands. I have women I look up to in the blogging world. Women who own their own businesses. Women who make art. Fashionistas who are not 5"11 and 100 lbs.
Let's show the world that we are powerful women not to be messed with ... and this does not make us frigid bitches. ;)
so much love and appreciation,
oh.. and here's a little rosie the riveter photo shoot for you! Including a rosie-nursing-mama for all my fellow breastfeeding moms out there struggling with our nursing rights and image!
photography credit to: John Acker