Wanting equality doesn’t make me “angry.”
There is a narrative that emerges when people talk about women’s issues. It has been the same for centuries. We cry out for change and we are labelled angry feminists. We try and raise our children to understand that women should be paid the same as men and we are silenced with meaningless reasons related to our need to raise children. We should be able to make decisions about our own bodies but as we speak, those rights are being stripped away by governments full of people who are not us. Who don’t believe that we are equal.
I was writing down phrases for a tshirt I was designing for my community of working mothers — simple phrases like:
Ask for More
Underestimate me — that’ll be fun
I had someone close to me ask “would you actually wear that in public” and another suggest that I might want to pick something that wasn’t so obviously “anti-men”. I was dumbfounded.
When a woman asks for more — she is asking for the same. How sad is it that in 2020 we still need to ask. Have we not educated ourselves? Worked just as hard as our male co-workers? So maybe I should change that to — legislate equal pay. We live in a world that devalues women so much that we need to have legislation to get treated equally.
When a woman says — underestimate me — that’ll be fun. She is speaking from decades of people who told her no. That she wasn’t smart enough. Quiet enough. Loud enough. She was too much. Too little. Too fat. Too thin. Too agressive. Not agressive enough. Lean In. Don’t lean in. Just stay exactly the same. It took me almost 40 years to understand that I am powerful as fuck and I have been underestimated my entire life. So yes I will wear that tshirt in public thank you very much.
When a woman puts on a raising feminist tshirt — she means it. I don’t want my sons to have to be raised feminists. I want them to live in a world where the woman in their lives are paid the same as them, allowed to make decisions about their bodies, represent 50% of the world leaders, are CEOs and middle managers and artists and are respected.
I am not judged just by men to be angry or loud or agressive but by women as well. I am judged by people who I now know are uncomfortable with my truth. I am judged by those who don’t know me. I am judged by those who think they know me.
I advocate for women to ask for more, to raise feminists, to not underestimate themselves. I write it, I say it, I stand by you and help you.
So yeah I’m going to wear the tshirt. Because a woman is unstoppable after she realizes she deserves better.
Allison Venditti is a Career Coach, HR Expert and pay transparency and equity advocate. She is the founder of www.careerlove.ca and www.thisismomsatwork.com Canada’s largest and most awesome community of working mothers.