Sometimes it is really hard to explain why feminism is important
Sometimes it is really hard to explain why feminism is so important. It's hard to explain why it’s not the big issues, the issues that are easy to push aside as rare and #NotAllMen, but instead the small day-to-day behaviours, the behaviours that are so ingrained that they are hard to even notice, that are the ones we we need to challenge and change.
It’s easy to be furious at unequal pay, or catcalling or a pervy bum pinch at work, but it’s much harder to be furious at a tone of voice or at a look, that you think might be because of your gender, but that you will never be able to be sure of.
This week in work I received an email from a male colleague with a tone upset me. The email was from a man senior to me, and can only be described as admonishing. I was being scolded. And this was not the first time this tone had been used. My initial reaction was fury. This reaction was followed very quickly by blaming myself. I was ready to once again forgive the man his tone. There was no point in causing a fuss.
Last week Martin R Schneider, editor of Front Row Central, swapped email accounts with a female colleague. First by accidentally forgetting to sign her out, and then, when he noticed a change in the tone of emails he was receiving from clients, on purpose. On his twitter feed he describes what happened next.
I know that my colleague does not speak to his male colleagues the same way he speaks to me. I know this colleague does not speak to his managers in the same way he speaks to me. But I don't know that the tone he uses with me is because I am a younger, female co-worker.
So what's a girl to do?