What Women Want #MeToo
I have held my tongue…or my keyboard…during this troubled time of #MeToo. After the debacle of the Supreme Court hearings last week, I find I can be silent no longer.
I still hear men speak of women as if they are mystified about what we want. It’s usually said sarcastically or cynically or hatefully…because, seriously, when we tell them what we want…they don’t listen.
So here goes…I’m telling you what women want…what we really, really want. Shut up and listen.
We want you to leave us alone so we can pursue what interests us. We want you guys to step out of the center of the friggin’ universe so we don’t have to revolve around you.
When we are little girls, we want to be free of tickles and koochie-koos. We want to make the decision of whether or not to give a hug to Uncle Ralph. We want to say No when we feel uncomfortable and not be shamed if we’re not polite to some old man, young man, or little boy. We want to be able to equally say, “My feelings are important. Listen to me.” We want you to stop telling us to “be sweet.” We are more than that and we don’t have to be sweet.
When we go to school wearing our first training bra, we want you to not pop our bra straps or say rude things about our burgeoning boobies. We want to mature in a natural manner without being ashamed of it, or worrying that damned old Uncle Ralph might look at us funny.
We want acknowledgment for being smart…not cute. We want you to know we are brave and strong and curious about science and math and wild animal taming and space and flying and climbing mountains and running fast. We want to talk about that too. We want you to get out of our way so we don’t have to prove our worth.
When we are teenagers, we want to walk down the hall at school without a shove, a pinch, a hit on the arm, a brief fondle as we pass by. Keep your hands to yourself.
We want to drink a beer…because we might like beer too. And if we drink too much beer, we want to be able to keep our panties on us and your genitalia off us. We want to sleep it off the same way you sleep it off: peacefully, carelessly. Guiltless and fearless.
We want to navigate our world unmolested. We want to go to school, learn a skill, earn a living, walk down the street, jog on a trail, go to a convenience store at night, walk through a parking garage…without being stalked like vulnerable prey.
We can do without catcalls and you calling us “precious” or telling us to smile when shit is just not funny.
And we want you to remember that the snarky things you say because you are insecure and want to make us feel insecure do not endear you to us. The sneaky little off-color remark or innuendo to test us just pisses us off, but we hide it and don’t slap you even though we know what you meant and you know what you meant while pretending you don’t. But if we react like we want to react, you will accuse of us of being a bitch or being hysterical. We want you to stop gas-lighting us. Because we are not crazy. We see what you did there, but we walk away with a bit of fear and dread ingrained. We look down the next time we see you, hoping you don’t start that shit with us again.
And when we are working to earn a living to raise our children…we want you to stop telling us that our performance is less than it is and you know what we can do to save our job. When we are working our way up the corporate ladder, we want to climb it without you looking up our skirt or grabbing our pussy.
We want you to be kind to our daughters, sons, granddaughters, and grandsons with no ulterior motives. We want you to leave them alone to find themselves without carrying the burden of your actions against them throughout their lives.
When we are old, as I am now, we want you to respect us for all the wisdom we have gained and all the BS we have lived through.
I’ve been living with this male behavior for a very long time. I’m on to you. Don’t catcall me or tell me I’m beautiful and all that bull. I’m just trying to walk past you to take out my trash or to go to my car. A simple “hello” would suffice.
I don’t want to have to look down every time I see you. I’m exhausted from all those years of trying to get past you and your ilk.
I am not going to lean in for a hug just because you offered to take my trash to the Dumpster. Keep your hands in your pockets, old man. I’m too old to fall for that trick. You remind me of Uncle Ralph.
This is what women want. Now you know. Respect it. #MeToo