CONFESSION TIME. Years ago I had a spat with a dear friend on International Women’s Day – because, believe it or not, I’d commented on Twitter that I didn’t understand why it was necessary and was there a male equivalent (I know, I know).
What the FUCK was I on when I wrote that?? If I’m being truthful I suspect I’d just woken up and pinged my first thought on the matter out into the ether without putting it through the filters first. I have well-documented filter issues. But more likely is that, certainly up until that point, I’d simply never had to think about it.
I’m a white, middle-aged professional living in the western world and this alone gives me more privilege than the vast majority of people. In fact the only way I could have *more* privilege is if I was a straight white man in the same position – and that’s the crux of the issue.
I thought I had ALL the privilege, but I didn’t (and I don’t). I’d simply become so used to the ways of the world that I’d never noticed the tiny insidious ways that even in my own relatively privileged existence I’d forgotten – or had simply never noticed – how I was marked down simply for being a woman. And although I have children, they’re both boys – so neither had I ever had to defend them from discrimination. I was basically living in a bubble.
That row with the friend who rightly pulled me up on my stupidity (I owe you one, Melissa – not sure I’ve ever said that) made me think and it made me research and it made me angry. Because I can’t be the only one who hadn’t ever thought about this shit for the simple reason that they don’t need to in order to have an okay life.
Ignorance isn’t always intentional, but there’s no excuse for not sorting yourself the fuck out once you’ve realised the error of your ways – and hopefully I have done that good and proper.
I love this image, because it reminds me that I was once That Fucking Dickhead who didn’t ‘get’ it.