On this election day I’m reminded that women in the U.S. have only been able to vote for less than one hundred years. So I will exercise that hard won right as I have many times before. But what about the right to walk down a public street without being harassed? Hollaback! - an anti-street harassment group recently made a video of a volunteer, a young woman dressed simply in a crew neck t-shirt and jeans, walking through NYC for 10 hours while being catcalled the entire time. This happened to me much more when I worked in the downtown areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis. But I experienced it just a few weeks ago, in front of my son. I was dropping him off at his Dad’s. We were on the sidewalk when a pickup truck full of bros rolled by and erupted in “whooooo lookin’ good girl!” And the like. Well, yes, I did try to look presentable as I was on my way to a funeral home for a wake. But my appearance didn’t warrant commenting upon. Especially in such a disrespectful manner from three strangers in a moving vehicle. It does seem like there’s more interest in addressing this problem lately. But naturally with it comes greater pushback from dismissive men. Not okay. From Media Matters for America:
We spliced together HollaBack!’s video depicting street harassment with clips of conservatives who defended it. This is how the right gives shelter to sexism.
How about five good things?
- As frustrating as it can be to be female in this country it is still so much worse in many other places. But there are amazing people actively working to change that. Like 17 year old Malala Yousafzai, who is a global advocate for the millions of girls being denied a formal education because of social, economic, legal and political factors. And she puts her money where her mouth is. She just donated her Nobel Prize money to rebuild a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip damaged during this summer’s war between Israel and Hamas.
- Last week Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian appeared on The Colbert Report to talk about women and video games and it was wonderful.
- Watch Patton Oswalt and Werner Herzog do battle over a lemonade stand. The comedian and the director star in an unlikely PSA about the failure of government regulation to protect small businesses and the planet. (Too funny to summarize - just watch)
- My good pal Cathy Camper’s newest book, Low Riders in Space, came out today! Here’s an interview with her on graphic novels, her co-author Robert Rodriguez and diversity.
- The adorable and talented sibling duo behind The Herbivorous Butcher launched a kickstarter (and a brand new web site) to Build a Vegan Butcher Shop in Minneapolis and heck yeah I backed it right away! You should too, if this is up your alley.