Angry, Man-Hating Feminist.

man-hating feminist

That’s me and another woman on our staff, at least according to an old employee. And yes, it drifted back to me.

My first thought was, thank god! Thank god as in, this came from a former employee; reassigned to the workforce. Something wasn’t right there.

I’m pretty sure we’re not the first women he’s referred to as “angry, man-hating feminists,” and sadly, likely not the last.

But nonetheless, I decided to deconstruct this a little bit. (But first, let me address name-calling; that’s not something my parents let me get away with…) But then, what does it really mean?

Starting here.

Google: What is a feminist? A person who supports feminism.

Me: Well, what is feminism, then? Miriam Webster says:

1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

Hmm, really nothing to see here. So, if you are not a feminist, you could say that you do not believe in the theory of the political, economic and/or social equality of the sexes.

Pause: We should talk if you’re feeling stopped up by any one of those. And actually, not just for women, but for any human being. I’m an American, and I truly believe that everyone has the right to an equal shot. That’s it; not superior, just equal.

So, yes – I am a feminist. I hope you are too.

That term makes some people uncomfortable. But I’m done with seeing inequality for anyone and staying silent.

Can you be a feminist and stay home with your children? A feminist and not have children? A feminist who is pro-life? Pro-choice? Male, female, or other? Gay, straight, black, white, liberal, conservative, Christian, atheist? Yes. A resounding yes.

So, a warm welcome to any of you reading who just realized that you are, indeed, a feminist.

Now to the angry part.

Back to Miriam.

Anger: having a strong feeling of or showing annoyance, displeasure, or hostility;

Pause, again. Listen: not all anger is bad. Sometimes we must be angry to take action; it’s a natural response to people being mistreated, or if there’s a lack of equality.

I feel angry at what I’m hearing about families being separated at our borders; children being taken miles away, often by airplane, from their parents. I can be sad – and I am – but anger is natural and has certainly brought people to action so it can change.

So, am I an angry feminist? Sometimes! When it is apparent that women do not have equality in any sense, then yes, I get angry. I don’t live there; I don’t get up every day feeling angry. But my overall response to any human who experiences inequality simply due to gender, will in fact, be anger.

And now the rub. The man-hating part. Do I hate men?

Nope. Almost feels silly even writing that. But, no. How do I know? First, I’m married to one of the sweetest men you’ll ever meet. Sure, we butt heads and argue, but we love each other and have a ton of fun together, still going strong after 35 years. I do not hate him.

My dad and brothers all modeled what it was to be a kind and good man. I honestly never saw an iota of chauvinism or sexism in our home; and truthfully, I didn’t learn what those were until high school. My dad and brothers? No, I do not hate them either.

I probably have more male friends than women; always did. Whether they’re cousins, coworkers, friends, I’ll say it clearly: I do not hate men. They are for me; fun, spontaneous, frank, a little silly, and a blast to hang with. All of the men I love so much have one thing in common: they have no issues with women, they aren’t insecure, and they believe women are strong, amazing, and capable.

So where does the man-hating part come from?

It’s a myth. Put out there by guess who? Men who aren’t secure; men who don’t believe that women are capable. And men who are threatened by some myth of position they must feel will be taken from them if women are finally given an equal shot.

Do I hate those men? Nope. Just sad for them that they are missing out on friendships and relationships with women who don’t make them feel strong by projecting weakness.

Boom. That’s all I got. So yes, I am a feminist, and I am angry sometimes when it’s called for. But I am not a man-hater. To the ex-employee and anyone else who thinks being a feminist means hating men, be careful there. It’s a dangerous slippery slope to think that women who support the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes cannot lift each other up without pushing someone else down; that’s stuff you learn on the playground. Hey – we can BOTH enjoy the monkey bars.

To my ex-employee and everyone else who thinks feminism means man-hating: maybe your mama didn’t teach you that you don’t have to put others down to be lifted up. But mine did. And I’ve been happily playing with both guys and gals ever since.

#SpotlightOnHer Webinar Recap, Margaret Lake

 

female entrepreneur

Last week, I restarted a podcast-style webinar series of conversations with women, about women, many or most who work in male-dominated fields and have found a sense of something that works for them. Call it: success, adaptation, fervor, badass-ness.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to launch the series with my very good friend, Margaret Lake, who has had more than her share of experiences to share.

And she didn’t disappoint.

Coming from radio, film, music, venue management – just about every area of entertainment – her stories were perhaps more colorful than some.

My favorite gems were:

“You kind of try to fit in with the monkey talk. Everyone was yelling, so I started yelling too.”

female entrepreneur

“Women, more than men, believe that they have

to give up things in order to get what they want.”

“I realized that I was the only woman in the room not serving food.”

Why are these conversations so important? What do I hope to achieve by creating these conversations and asking others to listen in?

Because one woman can give a voice to many. Just in the week since this interview, we’ve heard from other women who said ‘thank you for saying what I didn’t know was okay to say; thank you for giving voice to what I feel.’

Here’s the interview – give it a listen and share it freely.

I’d love to hear from you on future #SpotlightOnHer guest ideas, comments and about your experience. Comment here or email me at lks@ticketforce.com

On Leadership with Gender Bias, Racism, Equality and All That…

gender equality

Sunday night I watched the 60 Minutes piece (yes, by the way, this is still a Sunday night habit since I was about 8 years old) featuring Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce being incredibly transparent and honest about what he discovered at his very cool company regarding gender disparity.

Please go watch the piece here.

Secondly, this weekend we watched a grave Starbucks error in judgement with the arrest of two black patrons who were doing nothing white patrons don’t do every day, and the company’s slightly slow and tepid response. I was frankly, looking for a little more anger here from CEO Kevin Johnson.

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