Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sexual Harassment Isn't a Hollywood Thing or a Political Thing - It's an Every Day, Everywhere Thing

Matt Lauer, eh? Another one bites the dust. I'm sure there will be more famous guys added to this growing list in the next month... the next year.

But honestly, there's so much focus on "men in power" when the reality is that MOST women have been on the receiving end of this stuff. This is not a political thing or a Hollywood thing or a power thing. This is something that has been an entrenched and accepted part of our society forever and if you (speaking to the fellas here) haven't seen it, that means you haven't been looking for it or you have blatantly ignored it.

To those of us who have lived on the receiving end of it, this kind of thing isn't news, it's just the everyday consequence of being female.

It's bullshit and a rude awakening when it starts happening to you but if all goes well you learn not to internalize it and you do your best to advance in life knowing it's an uphill battle. I was 14 the first time a guy ever followed me, like really got creepy, followed me for blocks not at a distance but close enough to reach out and grab my hand. I was LIVID and told an adult. The response? That it was something I was going to have to learn to deal with.

I was like 10 the first time some gross adult man made comments, like sexual comments, about my body in a bathing suit when I was outside playing in the sprinkler with a friend. You get kind of used to the idea that going to a club or riding packed public transportation may mean some rando guy grinding his boner into your backside. You watch your drink like a hawk, you walk chin up through the catcalls, and you grin through the locker room talk so you don't get branded as not a team player at work.

That is life as a woman and frankly, I am so done with the wide-eyed surprise of men who are like, "Oh my gosh! I didn't realize!" It was all around you, dude. You just didn't want to see.

 Look, I have a daughter. And I've actually really been dreading the talk... Not that talk. I mean the "Most men will look at you and feel they have some RIGHT to your body and sometimes they won't hide the fact that they feel that way" talk. The "They will follow you and try to touch you and say disgusting things to you and then call you a bitch if you don't laugh" talk. The "Here's how to defend yourself against a rapist" talk.

And then having to tell her what that adult told me way back when. It's just a part of being a woman. Sorry.

But really, how horrible is that? Can't we do better for our daughters?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Let's Talk About that Mental Load

I'm tired, y'all.

Today at marriage counseling - we go for maintenance not some big issue - I told the mister that I'd love to go on dates but I don't want to have to plan them.

Why? Because I am the unofficial project manager of our home.

It's the unpaid part time job I do on top of my actual job. Like take today, for instance.

P. continues to hate not only practice but the very idea that practice is a part of learning. I guess she wants to be a child dance prodigy and a child cello prodigy and a child math prodigy. (Sorry, kiddo!)

What that means is I have to build her practice into my to-do list. And that doesn't mean just carving out time.

First I have to remind her to practice, then I have to oversee her practice, and through it all I have to convince her that most people are not amazing at 8 years old. Like, hello, needing to practice does not mean you are bad and should feel bad.

Also on my to-do list: figuring out why so few people have RSVP'ed to the Bo's birthday party. Turns out, quite a lot of people did not receive their invitations. Why? Who knows why! But I guess it's time to follow up with the folks whose info I know.

Why am I worrying about it? Because he's four so it's still my job to make sure he has a nice birthday. Which also meant driving around town picking up ball pit balls from locals who were willing to give them to me.

I also, you know, worked. And made time to play an abbreviated session of dolls. Yes, I put it on my to-do list.

Oops, forgot the check for the PTO party!

Tomorrow I will need to make P. practice again and resend specific invitations and get P. to dance and teach her dance class and finish the choreography for another class. I need to make sure Bo wears his swimsuit to school and has his towel and extra undies packed - then I have to be sure I do laundry so the swim stuff is available for swim class a few days later.

And also, you know, work.

After that there will be more dance and more teaching and there's a playdate for which P. has requested supplies and their swim lesson and more practice and figuring out just how many more ball pit balls we're going to need and driving here and driving there and scheduling playdates and making sure they have black and orange clothes for the school party and doctor appointments and Bo's sight words and the dentist and hey, what are we doing this weekend anyway?

Oops, forgot the check for dance!

This isn't really an issue where I'm a parent who doesn't have an engaged partner. The mister does the lunches (because I hate making the $%^&* lunches) and takes them to parties and has no problem overseeing playdates and such. The one area where I wouldn't mind help is weekend planning but I'll take what I can get.

Fact is I'm the at-home parent and so that means I'm the one placed to deal with the homework and the practice and the playdates and the appointments and the extra-curriculars. I plan, I execute, I plan, I execute, I plan, I execute, ad infinitum.

And also, you know, work.


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