I’ve never considered myself to be a feminist. I’ve written about it before, calling it the “f word”. With so much going on in my life and with this election – thank goodness the vote is tomorrow – I’ve been thinking a lot about the topic lately.
But first, a segue. For over a year now, one of my guilty pleasure television shows has been re-watching Murder, She Wrote.
I love Jessica Fletcher and Crab Apple Cove. That show was on for 12 seasons, from 1984 to 1996. I’m now watching the final season, and pacing myself so they last. It has been amazing to see how society changed during that time period using this show as a barometer. Not only did Jessica go from a manual typewriter to a laptop computer, female characters went from being nurses and secretaries to doctors and Vice Presidents.
One thing that hasn’t changed during from that time to present is that “boys will be boys” is still an excuse for poor behavior. Until this last month, I’d never really thought about it. Inappropriate behavior has been so ubiquitous that it never dawned on me to question it. I am now.
Most men are decent people and behave like human beings, yet I’ve never met a woman who hasn’t had an un-welcomed sexual advance, normally with enough force to be scary, if not worse. That’s not even including cat calls and all the other lewd comments that we’ve all endured at some point. What the hell, people? Why have I considered this to be okay?!?!? Why do we accept it as a society?
It is happening less as I get older. Yet another benefit of middle age! While part of it is that I’m no longer young and nubile, I’m sure part is that I now look like someone who would punch a stranger in the throat for grabbing my arm or a more private area.
If nothing else, this election has brought this conversation to the forefront of our collective consciousness, at least for its 15 minutes of fame.
Does this make me a feminist for wanting human decency? or Am I alone in never questioning this before?