Some idiotic person posted the dumbest “Christmas” card image ever, and no I’m not going to share it or link to it. Facebook actually removed it, thank goodness.
But the image showed him and his young son (cheering, no less) above his wife and two daughters. The wife and daughters had their mouths taped shut, and the grinning man was holding a chalk board that said “Peace on Earth” on it.
It’s not a funny image. It’s not a joke. I get that it may have been intended as a joke, but it’s not a joke. It’s a tone deaf, ignorant, unfunny image that pretty much captures what is wrong with the “boys will be boys” culture we continue to amplify in America.
If you need proof about how women’s voices are still silenced in this culture, go ahead and read this.
New friend, a business woman, presented today. Her colleague said, "You're good! I thought you were just another PENCIL SHARPENER."
— Katie Khristmas (@tikikate) December 17, 2015
And women of color are even more silenced, and they get double and triple whammied, because plenty of white feminists tell them to sit down and wait their turn, and plenty of men of color say they don’t get to speak unless spoken to as well.
I’m not raising my girls to be nice and quiet and to not speak up. I am not nice, or quiet, and I am not afraid of speaking up. I have talked to a boss when I needed to about being sexually harassed (this happened in my 20s), and I have asked for raises, even though we are told women don’t ask for raises or negotiate.
I am not raising a son to think he’s allowed to treat girls’ and women’s bodies like a plaything. For that matter, I not raising any of my children to think they do not have bodily autonomy. My children are allowed to be mad, but they are not allowed to be mean. And all of my children are allowed to speak. We are all working on not interrupting each other, and next we have to work on not correcting each other (when it’s not necessary).
Domestic violence and sexual assault are still problems in this country, and they disproportionally affect women. Telling women not to speak out helps perpetrators of these crimes. Telling women not to speak out serves no one. Except the people afraid to hear what we have to say..