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.