Women need to act more like men* if we want to run the world (*with exceptions)

Photo credit: (c) alphaspirit www.fotosearch.com

Photo credit: (c) alphaspirit www.fotosearch.com

Here's the deal: In this country, women represent more than half of the population as well as more than half of those graduating with a college degree. So why then are we still lagging behind men in several areas: equal pay for equal work; representation in C-suite and government leadership roles; and how we are treated in social situations, at work, in parenting roles and in relationships? 

Apparently we still have a long way to go. Gender inequality and misogyny are still alive and well in this country. We saw that in this recent election. We see it every day at work, at home and on TV.

A lot has to change to correct these things. Some of it starts with a change in how we socialize of boys and girls as children. Some of it involves legislation. Some is just how women and men behave toward each other as well as how we conduct ourselves.

Let's start tackling the things we can control now.

There are lots of ways women are held back just by their own behavior. Behaviors that are typically "feminine" and are labeled as "weak" that we ourselves perpetuate, sometimes even unconsciously. 

We need to fuckin' stop that. We need to take some control back. And I think that means adopting some of the habits we see men exhibiting every day. Habits and behaviors that exhibit power, confidence and yes, selfishness - whether at work, at home or in relationships.

Will men like this? OF COURSE NOT. But do it anyway, even if you just change one thing.

Ladies, we should...

1. give our opinion whenever we have one, regardless of who is in the room. Men do this freely, without hesitation or remorse. 

2. express anger. Sure, some will call it "emotional" or "crazy" but who cares? No more holding it in. Men don't.

3. not play the caretaker of men. We should take better care of ourselves first. If men can't take care of themselves, maybe they'll start lagging behind us for a change.

4. never cry in front of anyone at work. Save it for your office, the ladies room or the elevator. Unfortunately this is seen as a weakness, even though it's a natural reaction to stress.

5. take the credit for our work. Individually. Don't say "Well it was all due to the team's contribution" or "I couldn't have done it without Bob." Just take it and own it. Ever had a man take credit for YOUR work? On the daily? I thought so.

6. not say "I'm sorry" any more. To men or to women. Stop apologizing for inserting yourself or your opinion. Stop saying "I'm sorry but..." before saying something in a meeting or in a conversation with friends. Don't say it unless you've done something to be sorry about.

7. learn how to take a compliment without diluting it. Say "thank you" confidently - no matter what it's about - and move on.

You learned something, right? There are some things we could all do to regain some power and change the way we are seen by others.

HOWEVER, since I am definitely still a woman and therefore have some extra tricks up my sleeve, there are several great things I wouldn't want to change about being a woman.

Women should continue to...

1. embrace and perpetuate qualities like compassion, restraint and kindness.

2. cry, in appropriate settings. Sometimes we need to let it out and it's too bad men don't feel comfortable doing the same. We'd have less war, for sure.

3. be fierce and passionate and stand up for what and whom we believe. 

4. keep a cool head. Collecting information then devising a plan. Being rational instead of impulsive.

5. talk with peers about feelings and challenges and using collective energy and support to build each other up. Women are talkers. That's definitely an advantage.

6. look good doing it! 

So there. We all know we run things right? Let's start acting like it!



Fool-proof responses to anti-Women's March backlash

Women's March, Atlanta, GA, January 21, 2017

Women's March, Atlanta, GA, January 21, 2017

We're a week out from the historic Women's March on...well, just about everywhere...where upwards of 3 million women, men and children of all races, religions and sexual orientations showed up to represent dissent with the new administration (et cetera).

Whether you marched or not, I'm sure you've seen the backlash; it's coming from all directions: from angry white men - of course - but also from angry white women and even from minority women. You've been on the receiving end of the questions, the ridicule, the smirks and jokes, the eye-rolls, the exasperation and the vitriol especially from those who don't seem to recall (or choose not to) that this country - and the rights they take for granted now - was founded and secured via dissension, protest and revolution.

I've gotten a few questions myself and I stumbled on my responses. It sucked. So I checked in with other women to find out some of the common questions they've been fielding and came up with "good" and "better" responses to each.

Oh, and in addition to these responses, it's also a good idea to arm yourself with your "elevator speech" - a 2 minute pitch that sums up your point of view in a nutshell - you can drop on anyone at a moment's notice. 

What were you marching about? 

Good response: "Because that motherfucker is not my president!"

Better response: "I marched because I am extremely worried about the future of this country. I marched to protest the policies and ideologies of the incoming administration and show my solidarity and support for groups (e.g. women, minorities, LGBT, immigrants, religious groups, refugees) that are at risk of losing fundamental human rights."

What do you have to complain about? Women/We have equal rights already! 

Good response: "Assholes like you."

Better response: "Women do not have equal rights, even if it feels like we do. Women still do not earn the same pay for working the same jobs as men. Women don't have equal rights when men still decide what we can do with our bodies. The rights we do have are threatened every day by this administration. Rights that were secured long ago - by women who marched and protested - are now at risk. Our newly inaugurated president is himself accused of sexually assaulting women. In some cases he bragged about it.

"But let's be clear, yes, it is known as the 'Women's March' but that's because it was started by women. Women are standing together to take a stand against ALL of the policies, values and of this new administration. We have a loud voice and we intend to use it to make change. Women's issues are just a drop in the bucket."

Marching is pointless. What are you really gonna do about it? 

Good response: "I'm going to punch you in the mouth."

Better response: "The March was just the beginning, it was symbolic and it was motivating. Going forward, I am going to educate myself and the people around me on how to make an impact locally; I am going to volunteer for the causes I care about; and I am going to get involved in local and state government to make sure a DJT never happens again. And yes, I am going to march - when collective action is needed, I will show up and add my face and my voice."

The election is over, Donald Trump was elected, why are you being a cry-baby? You should just get over it.

Good response: "Get over it like you fuckers did with Obama for 8 years?"

Better response: "One of the great things about living in a democratic country is the right to express your opinion - or your disapproval with - the government and its policies. I accept that DJT is the president, but I reject everything he stands for. He doesn't represent me. His ideological and moral views are the opposite of mine and of many Americans. I feel that this president is so dangerous it is my responsibility as a citizen of this country to make my objections known and to do everything I can to counteract the damage he will do.

"Plus, DJT did not win the popular vote. I'm actually acting on behalf of the majority."

Why do you hate Trump voters?

Good response: "Because you don't care about anyone but yourself."

Better response: "I don't hate anyone. I do think it was hugely irresponsible casting a vote for DJT and what he represents. He displays poor judgement; shows disrespect and disdain for women and minorities; and is not educated on the issues that are important to any of us. He is not qualified to hold our highest office and he puts our national safety at risk. So I am disappointed that so many of you put your faith in him.

"But it's OK to admit you made a mistake. We are inclusive. We will take you in on our side to add to our collective voice."

Where have you been up until now? I/We have been fighting/protesting/struggling for decades.

Good response: "I have been voting this way all my life too."

Better response: "You're right. I haven't been there. I have been a lifelong liberal who has voted but I have not joined in the fight to stand up for and secure rights for others. I have been apathetic and enjoying my privilege. But this is where that changes. I love this country and don't want to see it destroyed. The values that millions of us hold are in jeopardy. Our equal rights, national security, economy, educational system, livelihoods and the futures of our children are at stake. Our environment is in crisis. Those are all things I am now standing up for. We all have to work together to make the difference we need to make and I hope you will accept us into your movement.

"As Brittney Cooper of Rutgers University said to Vox.com, 'when we organize under the banner of shared womanhood, acknowledging all these moving parts makes our collective work not weaker but stronger.'"


Some of these rambled on but you get the point. This isn't just a "march," it's a message, a collective "fuck you," and a notice that we aren't taking this lying down. It started as a march and now it's a revolution.

I can't say it better than these women:

"I was not there to march for myself, I was marching for choice. ALL CHOICES that govern our bodies. I was marching for belief in science. I was marching for acceptance and open borders. I was marching for respect for all people's paths and stories. I am marching because we just put a fucking RACIST RAPIST in the White House. I was marching for people in more difficult positions than me."
"Today I had the privilege of marching with my girls and tens of thousands of others through the streets of Atlanta. I marched because of them. I marched because my girls deserve equal pay. I marched because they don’t need anyone mandating what they choose to do with their bodies. I marched because they deserve to have highly qualified and experienced cabinet members in charge of their education. I marched because LGBT rights are human rights. I marched because everyone deserves healthcare. I marched because black lives matter. I marched because climate change is real. I marched because kindness matters. I marched because I will no longer stay silent or sit idly by while others are treated unjustly. I marched because the United States of America is the greatest country on Earth and I am lucky that being American affords me that freedom. I marched because while *I* will most likely be 'fine' four years from now, there are many others who may not be, and I am with them."

"I marched because I want my new president to come to terms with the truth that he is a minority president and there are millions of Americans (and people all over the world) that fear him. We are desperate for his reassurance through action and absent that we will need to galvanize over and over again. We fear losing insurance and exclusions for pre-existing conditions. We fear a far right wing Supreme Court that doesn't represent the majority of centrist Americans. We fear that millions of low income women will lose access to mammograms, Pap smears, and birth control. We fear this nearly all white male cabinet he is assembling. We fear his apparent interest in destabilizing NATO that has kept Europe stable for 60 years. We fear corruption that he has brought to his business dealings and may bring to government. We fear the most partisan FBI director that this country has had in decades. We fear his interest in controlling our free and independent press which is essential to any democracy. We are asking him to govern all of us to a more centrist place than it seems he intends to.... We want our senators to know that we are watching what they do and we hope they maintain a government with integrity. We want to have a real answer to the role Russia played in our election. We fear his intention to remove environmental protection regulations; as you know, there is no Planet B. We wanted to come together to support others of like mind, to galvanize our political energy so that it means something. We don't want to whine; we want to DO! We are showing the world what democracy in action looks like and we are off to a great start."




This is why I will march January 21

Photo from eventbrite.com

Photo from eventbrite.com

Today is a shit day. Not as much as tomorrow, or the next 1,460 days of course, but it's still shitty. Not only is this President Obama's last official day in office (read his awesome farewell letter to America here), but today was the day I had a flight booked to Washington DC to attend the inauguration of the first female President of the United States. 

That plan obviously fell apart, but in its place I will proudly represent Hillary and all my fellow progressives as I march in my local Women's March in Atlanta on Saturday.

But marching and showing solidarity is only the first step. The real revolution comes from action. And from Saturday forward I will do everything I can to bring positive, progressive, democratic change locally and nationally.

So why am I marching?

  • Because Donald Trump does not represent me or anything I stand for
  • Because this is not a joke anymore; this is really happening
  • Because I need to take the first step toward making a difference 
  • Because I'm afraid of being passive
  • Because I owe Hillary Clinton
  • Because I already miss President Obama
  • Because I support women and the role we play in making real change
  • Because I support minorities, immigrants, the LGBT community and all others who are in jeopardy of losing rights and who fear for their safety
  • Because racism and sexism are still alive and well in this country
  • Because I can’t stand idly by while what I believe in is dismantled by an ignorant man and his followers
  • Because sexual assault is not OK
  • Because we all deserve the right to affordable healthcare and birth control
  • Because I believe in a woman's right to choose and I am afraid of losing that right
  • Because being kind and mature and supportive and educated and dignified are values I believe in
  • Because love trumps hate
  • Because we are stronger together
  • Because I’m a nasty woman
  • Because I’m bossy AF
  • Because I can

Because Fuck them, that’s why

  Photo credits: cnn.com, amplifierfoundation.org; today.uri.edu; wikipedia.com


10 reasons to have some hope after this terrible, no good election*

These people will save us (photo from theventureonline.com)

These people will save us (photo from theventureonline.com)

Well, here we are.

We are one full day out from the election from hell and it doesn’t feel any less nightmare-ish. The tears have stopped for most of us, sure, but the total devastation and terror and embarrassment will continue for some time (four years?). 

We continue to ask ourselves how this could have happened, how any rational adult could vote for Trump, how women or Latinos could ever debase themselves like this. But they did. 

We underestimated the hate and division in this country. We really did. We were naïve. We thought most decent, hard working people – even if they didn’t love Hillary Clinton – would never allow a loose cannon reality tv host with no morals to become our President. It just wasn’t possible. But fuck – we were dead wrong.

Apparently we live in a country that is almost equally divided: 62,979,636 (46%) cast a ballot for someone who represents xenophobic, racist, sexist, white privilege douchebaggery; while the other 65,844,610 (48%) of us voted for inclusion and change and love and progress and freedoms and equality (and yes, fucking rainbows too). It seems that the bigger number should prevail, doesn’t it? But no - the electoral college fucked us again (see Bush, George W., 2000)

I feel about 5% better knowing there was a slight majority of us who voted for Hillary. It doesn’t do any good but at least we know where we’re starting from. We have a good base; now we have to grow it.

And that means action. 

I thought about what I wanted to write about this whole mess. My first instinct was to put something together to articulate how awful this was for me and you and everyone else, including those who idiotically voted this way. But I think we can agree the real writers out there have that covered. Plus, we all feel it. Who am I to insert myself? We all know exactly what it means and that is why we are so scared. 

No, I wanted to write something a little more outside the box. Something hopeful. So this is what I’ve come up with. 

This is my list of the surprisingly wonderful things that are going to happen because of - or in spite of - a Trump Presidency. Trump voters might call these things “unintended consequences:”

1.    We are fucking pissed and we are going to start kicking ass and taking names.
I can’t speak for everyone who voted for Hillary (but I will anyway…) but the feeling I get – from the news, from social media, from friends and colleagues, from Pantsuit Nation – is that we aren’t going to take this lying down. We are going to work together to make sure this NEVER happens again. Have you ever heard the phrase “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?” Well, it goes double for gay guys. 

Us "nasty women" and "bad hombres" are going to come out of the woodwork and fight like hell to empower women, protect minority and LGBT rights, change the political process that allowed this to happen, and I don’t know – get free pizza for everyone on Fridays too. I think we can do it. If you thought we were meek, passive bystanders before, you red state, Bible-thumping, privileged white motherfuckers, look out now that we’re angry. We're “loaded for bear,” you rednecks might say. 

2.    Republicans and Democrats will start working together in Congress.
They will! They have no choice. They all know what kind of dumpster fire they’re dealing with. They know they will have to block and tackle his looney-tune bills and ideas and nominations. They will know – fuckin’ finally – that their allegiance lies with protecting the country not with their party. It will happen, trust me.**

3.    Hillary Clinton will head up an organization or agency that will get shit done in spite of being shut down in the election. 
Maybe she’ll even work towards taking down Donald Trump. I wouldn't be surprised if she found a way. The other thing she’s going to do? She’s going to start some kind of organization for girls and women. And girls and women are going to go there, perhaps it's a camp. And HRC is going to teach us ninja style tactics for taking over the world. You watch. You’re all in trouble.

4.    Donald Trump isn’t really a conservative so he won’t push or pass the things he promised.
Oops, did they not know that? Sorry (I'm not sorry). He’s not really religious. He’s not really pro-life. He’s not really anti-gay. I think his supporters are going to be disappointed in the things he doesn’t do that he sold to them. “Oh, you mean he’s a liar Jen? How could this be?” Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings assholes.

5.    The 46th President of the United States (Democrat, of course) is starting his or her campaign NOW. 
That’s a long time to prepare. And by 2018 or 2019 he (let’s be real, she) is going to be more ready than any candidate in the history of this damn country. And those folks supporting Trump right now will pretty ready for her too because after 3 years with Trump their asses will be sore from all the fucking he’s done to them.

6.    The Millennials are going to shake off their apathy and bring some Bernie Sanders-type socialist mayhem to this bitch. 
That’s right. It will be a new era of activism. The ‘60s right here in the mid-‘10s (or whatever we are). We’ll get those youngsters moving and they’ll start taking over. Marching, spreading love, being open minded and inclusive, generally making the lives of Trump voters miserable. They’ll be using the wrong bathroom just to spite you! They’ll be running for your Senate seat and snapchatting all their friends to show up and vote! Do you know what they’re capable of if they actually try? They've been using technology since exiting the womb! 
7.    We have Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Tim Kaine and Corey Booker, among others, who are also pissed off and standing up for our interests in Congress. 
These folks are fired up too and they mean business. We may have lost a Hillary but we have back up. They will protect us. They won’t let us down. They will make Trump’s presidency as miserable for him as they possibly can.

Oh and don't forget, we have Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee and John Oliver to make us laugh. 

8.    The embarrassment we feel having Trump as our President is nothing compared to how much he is going to embarrass himself in office. 
Just think of all the nonsense he is going to spew on a daily basis. The emperor has no clothes. The scarecrow has no brain. Sure, will it be an embarrassment for the U.S.? Yes, depressingly so – but the fact that he will be exposing his epic lack of intelligence, knowledge and vocabulary to the smart people around him gives me a tiny bit of pleasure. I bet his dick won’t work (if it ever did) for four years either.

9.    That kid Barron is going to go off the deep end.
Were you watching him when Trump gave his celebratory speech? He looks like a kid who’s ready to light your kitty on fire. It will be a delight to see what he will do to terrorize his parents (and hopefully Trump’s idiotic cabinet) once in the White House.

10.    Women are going to start working together and supporting one another, for real this time. 
Of course, I am not speaking for the 53% who voted for Trump, but the other 47% of us have had a moment. We celebrated each other when we thought we were on the verge of history, and we supported each other when things took a devastating turn. Now we are joining together to make a difference. If that can really happen, there’s no stopping us. We WILL overcome the nonsense we’ve been subjected to from men for ages. We WILL empower women to bigger and better things. We WILL run the world.

I hope even the thought of some of these things gives even just one of you some relief. I know it's a long road. I know this is the most terrible outcome possible. But if we stick together and be good to one another, there's no telling what the next chapter will look like.

Oh and let's get rid of guns too. 

Peace and hugs,

Jen sign.jpeg

*My original title was "10 things to look forward to from a Trump presidency" but that one made me throw up in my mouth a little.
**OK I’m pretty sure this won’t apply to Obamacare. That’s probably fucked. Sorry.

Updated 1/26/2017

What "Pantsuit Nation" really means for all of us

(Pant) Suit up! (Photo from timeout.com)

(Pant) Suit up! (Photo from timeout.com)

I'm sure we can all agree that this election has been surreal. S-U-R-R-E-A-L. Ridiculous. Disgusting. Just plain crazy. Up is down. Cats and dogs, living together. 

The thought that a racist, misogynistic, ignorant pig who lies, cheats and assaults could rob this country of the most qualified President we've ever had. It’s INSANE. How does everyone not see that? Are our realities that so much different?

I guess they are, because I cannot fathom a vote for Trump, let alone try to understand why anyone would vote for him. 

It scares the shit out of me (and everyone else I know) that he has riled up a fringe group in this country that want to go back to a time where the white man was king. A time of outward discrimination and racism against minorities, gays and women. How can this group be this large and vocal in the United States of America in two thousand fucking sixteen?

That’s why when I read this post last month from Matthew Yglesias of news site Vox I had some hope. Matthew wrote that there is a new "silent majority" in this country; a silent majority made up of educated women and minorities. A silent majority who is supporting Hillary Clinton.

Hmm…tell me more. I like that. I’m an educated woman. He’s talking about me! 

Here’s more from Vox:

“Clinton led in the Democratic primary from the first day to the last, and has consistently led in general election polling since the beginning of the campaign. Yet the Clinton voter has not made the same kind of impression on the media, in part because the new silent majority voter offers less visible evidence of being fired up and the new silent majority’s signature politicians — Clinton and Obama — do not do grand performance of anger, even at a time when rage is all the rage in American politics.”

So is that the problem? We aren’t hearing from all factions? We hear so much about the Trump supporters and Bernie supporters are we forgetting that there is a very large niche of voters out there who may be taking it all in and planning their coup? Are the sane folks the quietest? The ones that don’t show up at rallies to yell at each other? The ones who cast their vote and urge others to do the same by talking to them with civility and understanding? Who are diverse and fair and kind and want the same for their kids and their country? The ones who aren't driven by anger but by empowerment and hope and opportunity?

I think he’s hit the nail on the head. The other thing he notes that is probably the biggest piece of the puzzle: the silent minority has the most to lose in this election. Women, immigrants, minorities and the LGBT community. We've come so far, but a Trump presidency could set us back decades.

And that’s why this “minority” will be such a force on Election Day (today!). We are smart and motivated and we – as a collective group – are tired of taking shit from old, conservative white men like Donald Trump. 

And I don't think we're so silent any more.

This week we've seen that silent majority come out of its shell in the form of "Pantsuit Nation." 

Formed by Maine resident Libby Chamberlain (go Maine!), “Pantsuit Nation” started so she and her fellow Dems could talk about Hillary in peace, without offending anyone or starting fights in their social circles or on Facebook. They could gush about their feelings for Hillary and for what it means to them to vote in this election. The rules of the group were simple: only invite other people who you knew were supporters. It isn't a group for dissent or debate, it is a group to share and to bond and to unite. (Read more from The Washington Post).

Well, that group grew, as I'm sure you've heard. In just 17 days of existence, the “secret” Facebook group has become home to 2.5 million (and growing) passionate Clinton enthusiasts. 

What does this mean? I think it means a lot. 

It means we’re out here. And it means we aren’t alone. There is more allegiance, agreement and cohesiveness in this country than we were being led to believe. 

We may be quiet and reserved and respectful – compared to Trump’s supporters – but we’re out here. We are incredibly passionate and certain not only about our candidate; but of what it means for all of us for her to be elected. For what it means for our own freedoms and rights and jobs and healthcare and futures, and for what it means to and for women. 

And no, "Pantsuit Nation" is not just made up of women. Men are in there too. Men who respect, appreciate and support a qualified candidate who can lead this country into the future – male or female. Men who are not afraid of a woman with power and influence.

It means that despite all the noise, all the ruckus about emails and the GOP’s attempt to knock Hillary down; we are out here for her and we remain strong for her. We are here to push her to the top. We may be quiet but we are mighty.

And to quote the last line of Matthew’s great post:

"To win as a minority, you have to learn to play nicely and work well with others. Clinton’s voters — and Clinton herself — have mastered that, and in doing so made themselves the new majority."

The majority who will elect the first female President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.