Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Smash the patriarchy. Stop the bullshit.

Before we get started, I just want to say that I had intended to start this post with some sort of definition of “smash the patriarchy” that was better than what I could come up with. So I Googled it. Pro tip: Don’t do that. It will send you into a rage you didn’t think possible because some of the definitions and opinions floating around are exactly why this phrase needs to exist. 

Okay. Confession time. I’ve never really considered myself a feminist. I mean, I didn’t NOT consider myself one but I never put myself in the same category as the women out there campaigning and championing women’s rights. I mostly kept my thoughts and feelings to myself, even though I’m a raging liberal with a need to see justice and fairness and equality. I didn’t find it necessary to speak up or out or engage with people who are so blind as to see why equality and diversity are essential or have overt misogynistic or homophobic or racist tendencies (mostly because I hate confrontation but also because sometimes it’s easier to smile, nod, and walk away than engage. You know who you can have a conversation with and with whom you cannot).

But now I’m raising a daughter in the Trump era and my God, I just cannot keep my mouth shut anymore. 

Because I refuse to have her believe she can’t do anything she wants or be anything she wants or look anyway she wants simply because someone else told her it’s not ladylike or, the even more demeaning, “girls don’t do that”. Oh, really? Says who? I certainly didn’t tell her that. So who the fuck are you to say it? (And what the fuck is “ladylike” anyway? It’s a bullshit term that needs to go.)

Because I refuse to have believe her body doesn’t belong to her. And it’s bullshit that this country is passing laws that takes her autonomy away. 

Because I refuse to have her believe she has to be ashamed of who she loves, whomever that may be in the future. And it’s bullshit that gay marriage is still up for debate. Or that it’s even called gay marriage. Why can’t it just be marriage?

Because I refuse to to have her believe that she can’t change the world if she wants to. And it’s bullshit that people are still threatened by powerful women. Aren’t there countries in the word LED by women? (And hey there, RBG and Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. I see you. My daughter sees you. And we thank you.)

Because I refuse to have her believe that our laws are purposefully designed against her and she has to fight for equality. And it’s bullshit that women still don’t receive the same pay and are told things like take off your engagement ring before a job interview (it’s true. I don’t even want to link to it because it’s so damn offensive on every level possible, including his response to criticism). WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK? 

Because I refuse to have her believe she doesn’t have choices. And it’s bullshit to think she’ll be scrutinized regardless of what she chooses. Women, this one’s on us, too. The mommy wars and mommy shaming and sanctimommies and career moms vs. SAHM and moms vs. non-moms needs to fucking stop. PRONTO. We need to support each other and stand up for one another. You don’t have to agree with someone’s choice, and it might not be what you would do for yourself, but you do have to respect it. All of these problems will persist like herpes if we can’t get it together and unite. 

I know that the ideals in this country run deep. It’s how things have operated for…well, basically forever. But we’ve changed our minds before. Women can vote now. There’s term limits on the presidency. Hell, prohibition existed and then a few years later, it didn’t. Because people realize that once worked no longer does. Or that some laws are just fucking stupid.

That’s where we stand now. 

What used to work in this country doesn’t work anymore. 

Now is the time to redefine old fashioned ideas, ideals, and vocabulary. 

Now is the time we smash the patriarchy.

Now is the time we stop the bullshit.

Smashing the patriarchy isn’t about violence or hating men. It’s about eliminating the double standards and nonsense laws and absurd standards placed on women (and minorities and any other disenfranchised groups). It’s about making the elite, white men given the enormous responsibility of creating our laws understand that different means just that. DIFFERENT.

It doesn’t mean bad or threatening or scary.

And different deserves respect, rights, and protection, too.

 

14 Comments

  1. Linda Sheridan

    Equality for all is a simple concept. Greed for power and money is so ugly and the cause of all that is wrong
    ! Can we make the Golden Rule a law? Trusting the universe for the best to happen for all.
    It’s just unreal right now.
    God bless us all!
    Love, Steph’s Momma

    Reply
  2. Elle

    There are about 9 thousand reasons I despise that man, legit always have, but never like once this election started…but recently when he went on about how Time Magazine should change it back to Man of the Year (and the audience cheered with him!) I just lost it! What do I tell the 7 year old when she cried because a woman wasn’t President? Why can’t the woman win, she kept asking. I had no good answers for her, but one day, hopefully one day.

    Reply
  3. Allison

    Yes, yes, yes to all of this. I’m so prepared to fight, and I’m so glad so many other women (and men!) are, too. We’re not gonna stand for all the shit this administration is trying to do. We need to go forward, not backwards. Your daughter is VERY lucky to have you as her mom.

    Reply
  4. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    NOW IS THE TIME!

    Reply
  5. Tanya @ A Mindful Migration

    Beyond my initial surprise that you don’t like confrontation – you always seem so bold and confident to me that I always imagined you gave articulate beat downs as needed – I agree 1000% percent with you. It’s appalls me deeply that so many people (which sadly includes a fair amount of women) believe that men come first. And specifically white men. Why are they best? They complain about the best jobs going to women, to minorities. Well, here’s a thought: maybe they are better than you. Maybe they earned that job. Because – surprise, surprise, being white and having a dick does not automatically make you smarter, more talented or worth more. ACK! And that crap about being ladylike and dictating what she can and cannot do and should and should not think is so Victorian bullshit. The best thing that can come from an Orange Troll administration is that he does unite women (and we absolutely have to stop the BS between women) and we claim what is rightfully ours.
    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted…My List for Erin’s 6.0 Reading ChallengeMy Profile

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  6. Lauren

    I love that you’re teaching your daughter about these kinds of heroes. And I’m with you on being new to the feminism thing. It always seemed like such an extreme POV. It isn’t. It’s good to have reminders out there that being a feminist is something we should all aspire to.

    Reply
  7. Heather Lockhart

    Love everything about this post. I don’t have kids, but even so, I don’t understand the mommy shaming. A dear friend of mine with a young child shared with me this week that she put in her two weeks notice because she’s chosen to stay home with her child. My response? “Yayyyy! I’m so excited for you.” Because, I AM. I’d be just as excited if she had texted me that she got a job promotion that she really wanted. I don’t understand what’s hard about supporting each other’s choices…

    Reply
  8. Mattie Dulka

    Bravo!!! I totally agree with Tanya’s comment in that I’m surprised to hear that you don’t like confrontation. But I get it, because I don’t like it either! Also taking from Tanya’s comment that some women believe men come first–I remember a female blogger once posting a passage from the Bible that was COMPLETELY about being subservient to your husband, and basically agreeing to that. I’m not religious and certainly don’t judge anyone who identifies with any religion out there, but I don’t understand how any woman can agree to that! (Nor do I understand people taking some parts of the Bible literally (i.e. gay marriage) and ignoring others (i.e. a menstruating woman must sleep outside, no touching pig skin, etc)). Anyway I got off topic but I loved this post, and you are making the world a better place by raising your daughter the way you are!

    Reply
  9. Alyssa

    It’s about dismantling a system that serves NO ONE, men or women, other than fat cats (so to speak) who use their unearned power to bring brutality to others. Fuck the patriarchy, fuck anyone who needs the concept of equality as essential explained to them. A-freaking-men.

    The incoming administration has me terrified enough for my loved ones and myself. I can’t imagine having another human whom it’s my job to guide and raise in the day and age. Good on you for making sure your daughter has what many others unfortunately won’t: an education, and the ability to think for herself. Go, you guys.

    Reply
    1. Alyssa

      Oh, and I wanted to add that I completely agree about the women-on-women hate. I firmly believe it’s bred from a combination of natural competitiveness with a HEFTY dose of indoctrination to believe that because there’s such little room for women at “the top,” we need to be constantly competing with each other and beating each other down so one woman can achieve half of what is promised for nothing to virtually all white men. It’s gross.

      And another note, I think it would be fun (if you think it’s age-appropriate) to show your daughter some clips of Wendy Davis’s filibuster on that Texas abortion bill a few years back. Just a fierce representation of a woman being badass, strong as hell, and still wearing pink ‘cuz she wants to.

      Reply
  10. texerinsydney

    Your kid is lucky that you are her mom. Read those 9 words again, please. Read them every day. I believe them with all my heart and soul. Your kid is lucky that you are her mom.
    texerinsydney recently posted…Aussie Author Challenge 2016 completionMy Profile

    Reply
  11. Micah @ Unabashedly Me

    OMG. So much yes. We have some work to do for the next generation of women, just like the generation before us worked for us. And the generation before them. I feel like the work is never done. And maybe it never will be. I don’t know if that’s depressing or invigorating.
    Micah @ Unabashedly Me recently posted…Twitterpated, Part 2My Profile

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  12. Christina

    AMEN!!! I have to admit, I was really disheartened after the election after learning about how many women voted for Trump. It’s so hard to believe there are that many women out there that don’t feel this way. Just like you’re doing amazing things for your daughter, I’m raising boys who will know and support AAAAALL of this.

    Reply
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