New In The Shop! The Gloria + Dorothy Sweatshirt
Me, f&*king too. I am a 38 year old woman who has grown up in this country so, of course, I too have felt my fair share of harassment in the work place.
For much of my youth I worked in restaurants. There was that restaurant in Del Mar, California where I was told I couldn't make more money as a busser because I was "too pretty for that," and when I would take on extra janitorial work on my day off I was referred to as "princess" by the management. There was that bar that I worked at the summer before law school. It was THE sports bar in Baltimore. A few weeks after I began working it became clear that the brother of the owner wanted to take me out. He was nice enough, but I wasn't interested and I politely declined. As soon as I began dating someone else I was completely shunned by the owner and his wife and eventually my hours were dramatically cut, forcing me to leave. Then there was that famous Italian restaurant that I worked at right after my husband and I moved in together. Again, the owner's brother (seriously, what is the deal with the brothers?) was very handsy with the female staff. I was told he was italian and that was just his "way" and that if I couldn't handle it then maybe I wasn't the "right fit for the job." And then there were the countless times as an attorney that a was talked down to because I was young and blonde and sadly, the only way to get any actually respect was to become the person they thought I was.
The reasons I have never talked about these things was because these are just the things you deal with when you are a woman. I've never even considered putting these experiences in writing. Cat calls, criticisms about our looks, pressure to be "fun" and to "just let things go." I found that to get respect from men you had to act like you were one of them, which often meant dumbing down or allowing myself to be objectified and then laughing because that was what it took to be "one of the guys." At the end of the day, the truth is that I was never even assaulted, and what I experienced is nothing compared to what millions of women have had to deal with. The Harveys and Donalds of the world have always been there and I was just luckily enough that I never had to cross paths with them.
Now is the time for us to say ENOUGH. I don't care if that means publicly sharing our stories, shaming the perpetrators on social media, filing criminal charges, filing civil charges, whatever it takes. We will never be equal until our male counterparts begin to see our minds first, and our bodies last. Until that day comes we will always be objectified and now is the time to stand up and say, not me. Never again.
I used to be afraid to speak out and now I hope it is the violators that live with that fear. You can bet that I will refuse to stay silent if I were ever placed in this situation again, and if enough of us make that clear then we can protect those that still feel they have no voice. Those who cannot speak out because they cannot loose a job. Those who are afraid or intimidated. Those who have to other choice but to smile and take it. We must stand strong as women, to make clear that this type of behavior is no longer going to be tolerated and that there are consequences for doing so.
This message is one that Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes began shouting decades ago. These women saw the oppression of the patriarchy and raised their fists against it. They spoke out when no one else would and I'm disheartened that it took women so long to hear that message, and you can bet I'm including myself in that pool.
I'm bringing back the Gloria + Dorothy and this time as a sweatshirt. I wanted something that I could wear as a daily reminder that we will not stop as a gender until we are considered equal. We will not tolerate abuse of any form. We will continue to #RESIST a president who boasts about his sexual assaults. We will not stop. We will not be silenced. We will speak out. We will ban together. Oh, yes we will.
Like with the tote, all proceeds from the sale of this sweatshirt will be donated to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, two organizations that continue to fight for equality for women everywhere.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank Jackie Schaab for donating her time and for creating this incredible image for the #BOSSLADIES brand. The response was so great from the tote bag, even from Gloria herself, and I hope you all love this sweatshirt just as much.
Yes, we will! Xx