As it’s International Women’s Day, I’ve decided to point out an instance of sexism I’ve noticed lately.
For the women reading this, have you noticed when you tell a man you don’t like something he does or that it makes you uncomfortable, often part of his response will be some version of “I am who I am”? This is often part of the response whether the man apologizes for his behavior or not.
Women, have you also noticed, whether you consider yourself a feminist or not, if you tell someone to accept you as you are, this is often interpreted negatively and people will say things about you like “It’s her way or the highway,” as though you are the most unreasonable person that ever existed?
Obviously, these differing reactions to people of different sexes saying the same thing are the result of sexism, misogyny and patriarchy.
Men are socialized to believe other people should adjust themselves to accommodate them. Women are socialized to believe they should be better contortionists than the people who work for Cirque du Soleil in order to accommodate others.
We’ve got to change this manner of thinking. I aim to change it every day by making it clear I “am who I am” and everyone who doesn’t like it can kiss the totality of my Black ass.
If you’re not ready to go this far, start small. If you’re a people-pleaser, start saying no to things. Stop explaining why you can’t do something or go to some event unless you’re breaking a commitment. Worry about pleasing yourself instead of other people. Stop caring about being liked. You’re an adult, you don’t owe anyone anything.
I don’t know how to get men to stop believing people should jump through hoops to accommodate them, but I do know some of the ways to stop women from doing the jumping.