Archive | March, 2015

March 2015 Issue of Simply Hers

24 Mar

Hey there all,

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here…  Ok, maybe not, but the latest issue of Simply Hers is online! Yay!

You can read my latest article written for Simply Hers by clicking here.  There are some great articles in this issue, including one on the area’s influential women of days past and also a great piece on understanding autism.

My article is on page 30.  Enjoy!  And as always, thanks for reading!

Cheers!

Ashley

(Anyone in Southern Michigan you can “like” Simply Hers on Facebook to follow the publication or go to Issue.com – Or, just wait for me to post it… May be a few years so I recommend the other two options! Hah!)

 

 

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I’ll be your Huckleberry

8 Mar

Women of the world, take ten minutes out of your day and read this.  If you have daughters, sons, mothers, grandmothers, or any woman in your life, then this is for you.  So pretty much everyone.  Read this. 

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day.  According to their website,  “International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future”.  This day, which is actually a national holiday in places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria  (but not the United States I just want to point out), “suffragettes campaigned for women’s right to vote. International Women’s Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed. The first International Women’s Day event was run in 1911. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers”.

Why, you might be asking yourself, is she writing about this?  Is this even noteworthy?  The fact is that if that thought even crossed you’re mind, then my point is already made.  There is still so much about gender equality, women’s rights and the general treatment of women as a commodity that needs to be addressed.  ESPECIALLY in the United States!  Yes, we get most of the same rights as men and we’re able to do a lot more than women around the world, but I’m talking about how we are regarded, personally and professionally, why we’re held to a higher standard than men and scrutinized even more than men. And the way our youth and our men, and especially ourselves, treat and think about a woman’s role in the world is severely fucked up.

I’ve had some things happen to me in the past few weeks that have really been driving this home for me. I live in a heavily male populated area where testosterone is so thick, you can actually smell the musk in the air.  And in this male driven town, I deal blackjack in the town’s strip club.  So I am thrust into a Testosterone Apocalypse daily.  Rest assured, I’d feel much safer with Zombies running amok than half of these men (and I use that term loosely).

Just last night at work this is an actual conversation that took place between me and one of our regular douches;

Me: “Hey, you jumping in to play?”

Douche: “No, I think I’m just going to give all of my money to the strippers instead of you tonight”

Me: “Fair enough, but it hasn’t been that bad lately!”

Douche: “Yeah right, for as much money as I have given to you and tipped you, you should take of your clothes for me”

Me: *Fury shooting out of my eyeballs* “For the measly $2.50 you tip me a night (he is a shitty tipper but the worst kind of shitty tipper because he thinks he tips good), you’re lucky you get a smile let alone me taking my clothes of for you”

Douche: “Wow, mouth!” *With his jaw hanging wide open*

Me: “What gives you the right to think you can talk to me like that?  If you’re going to treat me like that, then why should I worry about how I treat you?”

Douche: *Jaw still gapping (I have the feeling he’s never had a woman talk to him like this before) “Well… uh… that’s.. uh, not what I meant.  You don’t need to get all bent out of shape over it” (victim-blaming at it’s finest, now I’M the one out of line)

Me: “Well you said, ‘for as much money as I tip you, you should take your clothes off for me’. How am I not supposed to take offense to that?”

He cashed out and went home.  If I would have known that’s all it took to get rid of him, I’d have tried it ages ago.

Sunday night, I had two guys playing, lets call them Sleaze #1 and Sleaze #2, and they were not winning.

Sleaze #1 says to Sleaze #2, “I’m cashing out.  I don’t really like blackjack I’m more of a poker guy”

Sleaze #2 replies: “Well you can poke her (referring to me) unless she’s married or has a boyfriend”

Me to Sleaze #2: “Or unwilling…..” (Sleaze #1 take great offense to this)

Then Sleaze #1 says to me: “I’m not tipping you anymore because you won’t have sex with me”

My response: “Well that’s quite alright seeing as how I don’t fuck people for money”

Then Sleaze #1 says to sleaze #2: “Fuck this. What a bitch, she’s probably a lesbian anyway” (Sleaze #2 smirking and nodding like the dipshit he is).

I keep it cool for a while (mind you, they are literally 18 inches away from me and treat me as if I am deaf and can’t hear their remarks).  I smile and relish in the fact that I am taking all of their money and that they’ll go away soon.  Which sleaze #1 does and as he’s cashing out with my coworker I hear him tell her that “I have no personality and was being rude”.  And finally I just say, “Yes… I MUST be a rude, lesbian because I don’t want to be objectified or hit on by sleazy old men”.  The Sleaze #2 gets all embarrassed and says, “that’s not what my friend meant” *bullshit* and that “he’s really a nice guy” *also bullshit* and that he grew up with 4 sisters, loves women, and was sticking up for us *largest, stinking pile of bullshit I’ve ever heard.. I was 18 inches away and heard him mucking it up the first sleaze ball*

This is the second time in a few week period that I have been called a lesbian because I stick up for myself and my co-workers.  A few weeks ago this guy grabbed my co-worker’s hand, spun her around and checked out her ass, and was like, “damn girl”, and he would not let go of her hand.  Poor girl was trying to be polite yet trying to get away from this predator. I go over there and seriously go off on this guy.  Telling him to never touch one of my employees again.  He says with a smile, “oh, you’re one of those”.  Referring to me being a lesbian because I was protective over the vile treatment of another woman.  It’s days like this I wish I was into women, because at least they’d understand how to treat a woman!!!

WHAT GIVES ANYONE THE RIGHT TO THINK THIS IS OK???????

No woman deserves to be treated this way.  Whether they are working in a titty bar or not.  I am so sick and damn tired of being called a bitch because I am sticking up for myself and others. Because I won’t stand for being treated as a second rate commodity that is there for you to say and do what you please with.  And I’m just supposed to sit, look pretty, and smile.  I got two words for you; Fuck you.

Like the famous Doc Holliday once said, “I’ll be your huckleberry”. (although I was told it was actually huckleberrer, but that is for another blog)  Come at me, bro.  You’d better be ready for a fight.  Because I will never lie and take it.

And what is with the way we treat women in the workplace?  Women CEO’s are held to higher standards than men and more publicly scrutinized.  We’re called things like emotional or that we care too much.  Not only that but we have to face sexism, discrimination, and sexual harassment in all forms.

According to a report published by the American Management Association, in 2014 women only account for 4.8% of CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies. That’s only up 4.2% since 1997 (THAT’S 15 YEARS!!).  Part of the problems is this barrier, a 2011 McKinsey report noted that men are promoted on potential where women are promoted on accomplishments.   This means we have to already prove we can do it before we’re looked at while men, they’re given the opportunity just based on potential that they can do it.   We have to prove ourselves more. Proof? Here you go, according to that AMA study I just mentioned, “For example, despite the fact that more women than men graduated from US colleges with bachelor’s degrees in every year since 1982, (OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS!!!) only 1.1% of women earn $150,000 or more compared to 4% of men”.

Let’s take this fight to Hollywood (a comparison that all of America seems to take pretty seriously for some reason..)

Actress Jennifer Garner is married and has a few kids with Ben Affleck, another Blockbuster actor in Hollywood. After attending a press event together, she commented;

“[E]very single person who interviewed me, I mean every single one — and this is true of the red carpet here tonight, Elle — asked me, ‘How do you balance work and family?’ and he said the only thing that people asked him repeatedly was about the tits on the ‘Blurred Lines’ girl [Affleck’s ‘Gone Girl’ co-star, Emily Ratajkowski], which, for the record if we’re talking about them, they are real and they are fabulous. Take a look and enjoy.”

“As for work-life balance, he said no one asked him about it that day,” she continued. “As a matter of fact, no one had ever asked him about it. And we do share the same family. Isn’t it time to kinda change that conversation?” (Huffington Post)

A professor at the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that possible root causes for this gender inequality could be sex discrimination, male driven workplaces that stifle women’s progress and success, childcare responsibilities, or demographic changes.  Well, duh.

Not only are their copious amounts of external barriers but there are also several internal barriers.  Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, wrote a book called Lean In.  In the book she describes how woman really can strive to “have it all”.  How to balance work with home life in our male driven world.  One thing she says is women essentially opt-out of the professional world or trying to build and advance their career because of the need and want to have a family.  Instead of leaning in, they take their foot off of the accelerator and coast through and focus solely on having their families, whether already in existence or the family they plan to have.  Although I don’t disrespect anyone for making this choice, we all have to do what is right for us, I will say that I think there is an intrinsic pressure that has come from generations of women staying home to raise babies while the men go off to work mentality.

Legendary business mogul Warren Buffett himself has attributed one of the reasons for his great success is that he was only competing with half of the population. Referring to the lack of women in power.   He is also quoted as saying, “I mean, my sisters are as smart or smarter than I am, and my parents loved them with the same degree of intensity that they loved me, but they had different expectations about them, their teachers had different expectations about them. And just think of the waste that occurred you know for decades and decades and decades. But that day is largely over. It’s in transformation, but as you look around here, that transformation is coming along”. (Genius.com)

I think the feminist movements in the past are largely seen as “complete”.  Although we have progressed beyond burning bras and a lot of women have advantages that past generations fought so generously for us to have, we still have a long way to go.  And this isn’t just bitter women griping to complain. We are still treated so poorly in society.  This isn’t just theory, I, myself have been severely mistreated in society and pressured to “act correctly”.  How do you think people are treating your wives, daughters, sisters?  What do you think your mother’s and your mother’s mothers had to put up with in our society and still do??

I feel this is a legitimate concern in our country if we want to be global competitors in anything.  If you have children, a mother, sisters, grandmothers, cousins, daughters, really for any of the women in your life that you love, then you’ll take notice too.  ESPECIALLY if you’re raising sons or in a position where young boys are being influenced by your decisions and attitudes towards society, and the role of women around you. Please teach them to treat women with  even a shred of respect!  And ladies, start treating yourselves with a shred of respect!  You men are crucial to our success.  Please, support us, lift us up, learn that if one of us wins, we all win. We’re in this life together.  Let’s lift this nation to a higher standard.

I think I’ve spouted enough facts and ranted long enough for one day.  But take today and really celebrate the women in your life!  If you are a woman, celebrate and give yourself credit for your place in the world.  We’ve been raising families, running households, taking care of men, and working towards our careers, day in and day out.  Our work never stops.   It’s not an easy job to be a woman.  Take pride in being you.  We, believe it or not, are what makes the world go ’round.  Today is for you and every woman in your life that you love, and for every woman around the world.   So enjoy the spring weather and smile in the sunshine today.  And thank God that you are a woman!