Recently, I’ve been writing a lot. I had that commentary piece in the newspaper, and, obviously, I started a blog all about feminism. Most of the responses have been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve had both friends and strangers telling me they appreciate my voice on the subject.
But as it is when any woman dares to talk about sexism, there are the negative comments, and more than a few. I’ve been told that I should be flattered when I’m harassed, or that I should post a picture to prove I’m hot. I’ve been told that if women want to be respected, we need to earn that respect first by not wearing tank tops or shorts. I’ve been told that if I were smart, I’d hook up with the rich men who hit on me. I’ve been told that women have traded being respected in relationships for the chance to be economically independent. And I’ve been told that when I’m 30 years old and not hot anymore, I will be sad and lonely.
All of this has convinced me of one thing: Writing about misogyny is very, very important.
Over the past few years that I’ve been reading about feminism, I’ve been inspired by many voices. There’s Anita Sarkeesian over at Feminist Frequency; Rebecca Solnit, the woman behind “Men Explain Things to Me” and plenty of other wonderful essays and books; Tatyana Fazlalizadeh at Stop Telling Women to Smile; Laura Bates and all the courageous submitters to The Everyday Sexism Project; bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and so many more I can’t remember them all.
I’ve always admired their creativity, their eloquence, and especially their courage. And eventually, it got to the point where I wanted to be that strong woman. I wanted to be courageous. I couldn’t just read anymore. I had to add my voice to theirs. Hope it would change something. And all this negativity convinces me is that it is very, very important that I speak up.
And I’m going to continue to be loud.