Yes, this article is about a movie about a white woman. But it brings up something that I think pertains especially to women of color in public-facing jobs (see: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) (y’all - these articles though! These conservative white dudes really hate smart, pretty, women of color who don’t think their racist dadjokes are funny! I mean, we all knew this but I’m always so taken aback when they get this free with their inherently racist misogyny.) and that is: navigating the expectations that a male-dominated society has of women in the public forum. Key quote:
To try and successfully navigate American society as a woman — let alone a woman of color, or a queer or gender-nonconforming person — is to tirelessly poll the world around you and adjust yourself accordingly.
We’d all love to live in the kind of world where this isn’t true. Where you aren’t actively playing out all the different ways an interaction with a man can go south, and what answer you give to yet another dude on the street being like, “Smile!” will convey the fact that he is the fourth person to say this to you so maybe this is just what your face is like but also please don’t kill me because I don’t want to fuck you.
It also inevitably makes me think of Michelle Obama. Like, being brilliant, beautiful, and accomplished wasn’t enough to protect her from the rampant misogyny and racism that was thrown at her before, during, and after Barack’s presidency. And no female is at all surprised by this. But it is bonkers.
I have no answers, really. Anne-Helen Petersen says this:
Equity doesn’t mean men should have to suffer, self-regulate, and discipline their bodies in the way so many women do. It means dismantling patriarchal control so that no one has to.
My answer, tbh, is this: