Tuesday, 9 September 2014

totally a feminist

This summer was a lucky string of good reads. I loved almost every single book I picked up and it's something that hasn't happened so often recently.

One of the best book I read was Lauren Bates’s “Everyday Sexism”.
The first time I came across the Everyday Sexism Project was on Twitter.
One of the many possible harassment I could be victim of just because I'm a woman had just happened and I got back home feeling angry and upset.
To quote my sister quoting a De André's song, "it's easier to vent your rage on Twitter rather than doing the same in a movie studio", so I took it to the internet and found the Everyday Sexism website and pour all my frustration in a post.
I start reading the other posts: the more I read the more I felt passionate, angry and tired about this whole fuc**d up situation.
It made me also more aware I'm not alone, it's not just me and it's not my fault. 
I mirrored myself in the words of other women from all over the world: I could see my old self in the tweets from teenagers and I fear my future can be read on that website too.
I took it as my personal daily homework to repeat it to myself. It didn't solve anything per se but it helped.

When the book was published I knew it was a matter of time before I eventually bought it. 
So far I haven't found a better way to explain it but bear with me: by reading this book I detached myself from the world around me in order to plunge deeper into reality. This book hits a lot of painful chords. 
Sometimes I caught myself laughing out loud while reading it on the metro.  Some other times I felt tears in my eyes, because nobody should ever be victim of abuses.
Way too often I felt angry because I recognized how many times I left the catcalls, the abuse and discrimination pass by because I was tired, because "I'm not going to change it by myself alone", because it's downright dangerous, because "that's the way it works".

Yeah, the way it works is that you just shut up. The way it works is that when you try to talk about it with a colleague or a male friend, he shuts you down saying that those are not abuses or violent acts, no, no,  it's just that men need to get laid (sic). It's oh-so-so-so tempting to give up already, thinking it's not worthy the headache and disappointments.

But then, something small and ordinary happened few days ago that changed my whole feeling towards this whole matter, making me thinking humans do stand some chances after all.
Yep, one more thing happened.
I don't really talk about work and colleagues that much, but this is something I just need to tell somebody; or anybody; well, everybody really.

Few days ago, I was chatting with my colleague Mo, telling him how my intention of posting a feedback ended up in a small paper on being a woman in IT and being a woman in IT in Italy.

This is the short chat that followed:
Mo: Totally a feminist
Me: I’ll take it as a compliment ;-)
Mo: It is!

5 words and one exclamation mark. That's it.

Can it get any better? Probably no, and you want to know why? Because it felt natural, normal.
It didn't feel like a struggle to claim a right, or yet another battle to win.

Of course it is a compliment, why should it be something else?!
Life and society have made me feel as if I had to justify my demand of equal rights (and pay, and treatment, etc.), Mo simply reminded me that I didn't have to justify myself but be proud.
And I am; I'm totally a feminist.
I'm proud of being so. And proud of having as colleague and friend some great men, just like Mo.

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