Dear Alma, Why is it never a woman?

Dear Alma, Why is it never a woman?

From our agony aunt’s mailbag:

Dear Alma,

WTF?

Making news in just the last week. Enough is enough. We have been patient, working hard against a wall of male privilege, getting passed over for jobs, pinched, assaulted and worse, demeaned, and last week a commenter confirmed our deepest fears – waiting for us to give birth so they can take our jobs. Enough of patience. Enough of forgiveness. Enough. Enough. Enough. It’s never about a woman. And I dare anyone to list one. Just try me. I am about a centimeter away from losing it. I am done with it and so everyone should be.

Bill VerMuelen
Liang Wang
Alex Klein
Francois-Xavier Roth
Slavko Popovic
Latham-Koenig
Matthew Muckey

WTF, Alma?

Dear WTF,

Yes. Sick to death of it all. The first time it happened, at age 5, with a dad at a social event touching my hair, telling me how pretty I was. And every day since then. The comments, the standing too close, belittling our talents, the incessant scenes in movies or books. Some things are minuscule, but they are of course tied to the larger events – the time when I was 10 and chased around a pool table by a college boy in my teacher’s basement, waiting for my lesson. Heart pounding and running for my life. For the unwanted physical contacts, the teachers asking me to meet them in their hotel rooms.

And the times when we should have said something. Of the men listed above, surely there were observers, hints, people who could and should have said something. And I should have pushed back. But I was taught to be nice, to be polite, and told (just like all of the victims of the alleged perpetrators above) that their careers would suffer, not to make a mountain out of a molehill.

But here we are. Molehill on top of molehill, mountains of molehills, with our feet being caught in the holes, sucking us down and covering us with the dirt of the next molehill. Our lives are a neverending string bull-s*** moments. It’s not a joke. It’s a blanket of crap.

WTF – we hear you. We have all worked hard, practiced our fingers raw, entered the competitions and auditions, and had to do it all knowing we live in an unequal world that will never, ever give us the equality we deserve.

I read the accounts of women who have been through it. And I feel every word, in my bones, because I have been there too. The misbelief, the disorientation, the embarrassment. We digest it, minimize it, smile and play our notes. It’s an ugly, nauseating stain, one that we can’t wash away. We are used to it. As sick as that sounds. We are.

The comments by guys, saying we should have scratched, slapped, spoken up sooner. Throwing dirt in the faces of women who have been dealing with this since they were children.

I am sick if it. We all are. And it is a societal sickness, one that expects women to be doorstops. Men – are you wondering why we won’t shut up about it? Why you are being thrown in prison, losing your jobs, and ending up in the media? Because we are all WTF, and you should be too.

Sincerely,

Exhausted Alma

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