Time for Our Global Takeover by Anna Kunnecke
But sometimes I meet young women who are just OVER feminism.
I mean we have equality, they say.
We can vote. We can keep our names. We can have our own money. We have maternity leave. (Unless you’re American; Americans don’t get maternity leave.)
What’s the big deal?
And then they go get a job and life wallops them a few times, and they start to wonder why being equal doesn’t actually FEEL equal, why they work three times harder than their male colleagues for the same promotions and still aren’t making as much money, and the whole thing feels vaguely fishy although they can’t quite put their finger on what’s going on, and then they decide to have a baby, and if they decide to keep working and be a parent just like every man gets to do, they very quickly realize that they have just entered the twilight zone of impossible and agonizing choices and a 36-hour workday, or maybe they decide to exercise their right to stay home and care for the baby for a while, because things are equal right??? and then one day they realize that while they love their kids, they were born to do more than wipe things all day long and be defined by the sacred but thankless drudgery of parenthood, so they start to volunteer, or advocate for a cause they believe in, or go back to work, and that is when they come into my orbit again and they say OH MY GOD. IT WAS ALL AN ILLUSION. THE WHOLE THING IS RIGGED. And WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK.
Which is why we still need feminism.
Whatever you think of the US presidential candidates, it’s undeniable that Hillary Clinton running for president has unleashed an incredible amount of misogyny into our awareness. I think it was always there, but now that we’re talking publicly about whether it’s ok to “grab pussy,” it’s opened up a portal where immense amounts of fear and rage are pouring through.
The guardians of the patriarchy are terrified, because they can feel their pillars crumbling.
And they should be afraid.
But we must not meet their fear with our own. Wise women, it is time for us to rise up with courage and heart and a certainly grandmotherly no-more-bullshit-now line in the sand.
We cannot hide behind the work that courageous women have done for us in the past. We cannot pretend that things are good enough for right now.
We owe it to our daughters and our sons and for crying out loud we owe it to ourselves.
My clients and I are women of incredible privilege. If you are reading this, you are too. Because you have a computer, with internet, and oh my god, someone thought it was okay for you to learn how to read! They probably even encouraged it. This means you also have a voice.
I believe that this privilege comes with an incredible responsibility. This isn’t just about voting, though that’s a given.
It’s about starting right where we are, in our own homes and families and language and boundaries. It’s about stepping up to leadership roles in our companies and communities. It’s about being a little bit braver than you thought you could be. It’s being strong enough to be gracious and diplomatic, but still say the damn thing that needs to be said. It’s not waiting until we are full of rage to speak– because then our furious voices are incoherent and hard to hear.
I know it’s hard. I know people will tell you that you’re being selfish and ungrateful and shrill. Those people can suck it.
I know you think you aren’t doing the world a service every time you demand a little more space, but you are. Every time you use those glorious elbows of yours to carve out just a little more space for yourself, you are making more space for every one of us. You are making more space for my daughter, and your niece, and the woman riding the bus making minimum wage because no one ever told her she could do more. You are making room for the woman who thinks her only asset in this world is her body. You are making room for all of us. And the truth is that if each and every one of us makes just a little more room, the world will change.
It’s already starting. We are rising, slow and steady, now is our time to be bigger, and bolder, and fiercer than we ever thought possible. We are the wise women. Hear us roar.
Anna Kunnecke is a writer and coach who helps women declare dominion over their lives. You’ll find free resources, including the five key phrases you can incorporate into your speech right away to help you be more powerful, more gracious, and get the respect you deserve, at her website DeclareDominion.com