I am on a flight over the Pacific and I am angry, confused, motivated and sick to my stomach after watching the movie Suffragettes (2015) . I know I am late in seeing this movie but I must say no matter when you watch it, it will touch you deeply. To watch all those women severely beaten, imprisoned, their children removed from their care, their husbands condemning them as no longer “their” property and out on their own, the list of atrocities are endless.
It is 2017 and while women have the right to vote, they are still or once again, I am not sure which, often subjected to similar atrocities just like the suffragettes.
A female sports broadcaster was stalked by a man, photos taken of her undressing in her hotel room and then posted on the Internet for all to see. Her humiliation was compounded with her employer requiring that she do a television interview BEFORE she could come back to work. She did not ask for the humiliation, she did not encourage anyone to harm her; she was only guilty of being a beautiful, fit woman working in a predominately male world of sports.
A female tennis player has been suspended by her sponsors because a drug she has been taking for 10+ years is now on the doping list. She admits that she did not look at the communications sent to all players that this drug was now banned. She accepts the responsibility that she made a mistake. She stood up and faced her peers, the press and the rest of the world and said “Yes, I have been taking them for over 10 years and it was my mistake to not have been better informed. She did not hide, she did not say she did not inhale or she thought it was candy and not drugs or whatever million excuses we hear from other athletes. She “womaned” up!!!
In contrast to the University Law School dean who sexually harassed his executive assistant. He claims he “was just thanking her for all her hard work” Seriously? The assistant filed a lawsuit and the first “punishment” doled out to this gentlemen was a 10% reduction in salary and a mandatory sexual harassment course. Overtime, others came forward complaining of similar treatment from the dean. The University administration had intentionally not seriously punished the dean because “they did not want to hurt his career”. Now they have finally suspended him BUT with full pay.
Women continue to be held to a different standard, continue to be marginalized but yet we are the over 50% of the population, 70-80% of the buying power. The suffragettes turned to violence to make their point and to get the attention they were seeking because they said, that men only understand war. It took one of them being killed to provide the movement what it needed to be taken seriously and soon after effective.
I am not suggesting we should incite violence as that in my mind is sinking to the lowest common denominator. There is more than enough violence in this country today so asking for more does not seem right. However, I do think its time women stood up for themselves and their sisters knowing that we have their back. The double standards in the workplace, in social circles, in government need to stop. The suffragettes said, we need action not words, but I think we need both. We need to spread that the word about these inequalities but we must also take action to stop them whenever and wherever we see them, hear of them etc. Until we are moving together everyday, this crap will continue. We need to educate our male friend, colleagues and family and bring them on board our train. We need to not let what the suffragettes endured for the right to vote, which led to Roe V Wade etc., be taken away. It appears to me that overall women’s rights are slipping away and we need to boost each other up. An excellent example shown by Ellen DeGeneres on the BIC Pens For Women.