Heavy and cold, I press against you until you budge. The light creeps in, until I can see the day. You snap back, and slam back against me. Closed. Locked. I pause, and let all the air drain from my lungs. I breathe in deeply. I clasp both hands around your handle and wrench the lock open. I am determined. I am strong. I let out a loud roar as I force you open, the steel rattling as it hits the stone wall behind. I have succeeded. I have pushed you open. But, then I see in front of me, another door. Red this time. The bar handle at waist height. As I walk toward it, the floor below my feet trembles. Caution: door may appear further than it actually is.
Since the release of Herself.com, I have been contemplating my own stance on feminism. Brave and collected, the blog has inspired me to crystalise my own thoughts on the subject. When I returned to work this week, I realised just that extra bit more vividly the allowances made to men in the workplace. Working in an industry which is dominated by the male gender (consisting of just 11% women, compared to a whopping 89% men), I have come to learn that places like this don’t change quickly, if at all. They don’t stray from the norm, because they simply don’t need to. In the workforce I have found that no matter how loud your voice, or how soft, you are not noticed in the right way.
You raise your voice once, and you’re a bitch. You wear a skirt just that bit shorter than the rest of them; you’re a slut. You make one mistake, no matter how small; you’re an idiot. If you shout or be stern once; you’re emotional. Yet, if a man in the workplace shouts, he’s a “gun!”, he’s firm.
And, all the while, your colleagues of the opposite sex stroll around playing games, toying with you and constantly overshadowing your work with complaint, contradiction and contempt.
I am woman; hear me roar. I am capable. I am brave. I am equal. I am shrewd.
I don’t hate men. In fact, quite the opposite. But, I’m going to get behind equality. Sure I don’t agree with everything in the book of feminism, but I am going to support no violence, no workplace, sexual, physical, mental or emotional discrimination.