Last night I watched a great talk by Jessie Char, a part of which was about everyday sexism. One part she went into was a list of points that people claim to dislike about women's voices. She adressed each point, and I caught myself having had thoughts similar to several of them. But, I think I have discovered a solution. You know - disliking person - what fixes all those things about women's voices? Listening to some women!
Today, I listened to another great episode of Getting there. It discussed, among other things, catcalls, degrading advances, being sexualized and so much more. There are a lot of good thing to take in here. One of the things was a small connection to my own life, which in turn made another connection. One little step at a time, that is how we change, so here goes: Eye contact.
I am much more of an introvert than an extrovert. I need to put some energy into being social and approaching people. Just like exercise, it does me well even if it takes some effort. Eye contact is something I have been thinking consciously about for many years. Since I started on the introverted side, looking up more has always come been a positive thing, a good feedback loop. It makes me feel happy to be getting out of my shell more by looking up and seeking more eye contact.
So, yeah, nice collision there when I listen to the episode and am reminded how exposed even looks can make so many people feel. Nobody can read my mind, nobody who does not know me can now the thoughts behind my eyes.
But I know what I want: I want everyone to feel able to look up. To be able to seek contact on their own terms, without fears. Without the risk of being deprived of own space. That is everyone's damn right.
And until everyone is on more equal footing, that is worth looking away for.
(There is so much more I take away from the talk and the podcast, but little details sometimes illustrate things well. Thank you Jessie, Liz, Sara and everyone else who let me chip away at the cruftiest parts of my thinking simply by listening to you. I may not have arrived, but I am getting there.)