To the person who called me ‘stupid‘
By LYNDSAY DAWKINS
You came on to my Facebook page, where I celebrated the power I felt during the Women’s March, and called “stupid.” I quietly deleted the comment, as this was my place — my place to celebrate. But then you posted it again, so I feel entitled to come to your page and post what I think, and you can delete it if you like.
Contrary to your interpretation that we are “stupid,” and that we come back to suckle our baby bottles after the event, because clearly “waaaah, we are widdle babies,” the Women’s March is something deeply empowering for more than half the people who share your community.
I have taken time in my life to experience a man’s world. I’ve hunted, fly-fished, thrown horseshoes with drunken Hell’s Angels in Chilcoot Charlie’s in Alaska, traveled alone in foreign lands, saved rattlesnakes that were stuck in a wire fence with my bare hands. I’ve smoked cigars, gambled and played as a starter on the UCSB soccer team that won the state championship.
I have worked and played hard to understand a man’s world.
I also love a woman’s world. Women value compassion, working together, tolerance, understanding, nurturing, gentleness, affection, bridges. We can be conflict averse. We can seem weak, when really, we are consciously choosing peace. We walk the high road when we don’t aggressively rise and respond to baiting, but chuckle or maybe mourn a little inside at insensitivity, arrogance and bullying.
I challenge you to imagine yourself stripped of the entitlements you’ve enjoyed for all these years. There is a hidden bias that exists against women, and against minorities in this country. Two interesting examples:
- In a study where identical resumes were submitted to 100 academic science faculty across the country, with just the name changed, from John to Jennifer — the ones with the woman’s name were less recommended for hire, and would have been offered 13 percent less pay. (http://gender. stanford.edu/news/ 2014/why-does-john-get-stem-job-rather-jennifer) Hmmm.
- Women pay tax on tampons, men don’t pay tax on Viagra or Rogaine. We don’t have a choice about menstruating, but men’s extended erections or hair growth are optional. Hmmm.
I have chosen to appreciate the diversity of experience in this world. I embrace many things about the women’s perspective, and many things about male point of view. There are some Democratic and Republican values that are great for the world. I embrace truth and fairness.
So please — instead of calling me “stupid” on my Facebook page, take some time and ask yourself, “What core values do I share with people who are different than me? Where is our common ground? What can I learn from them? What ideas can I share with them? What would it be like to be that person who seems so different from me?”
This world benefits most when we celebrate a diverse spectrum of behaviors, beliefs and feelings, and we strive towards equity and mutual respect. Don’t sell your soul to mean Facebook comments, “alternative facts” (lies), or championing leaders without compassion.