On Saturday, I almost got into a fight. I rarely say such things, or even contemplate turning to any sort of violent behavior to settle a disagreement, but hear me out.
My husband and I went to a concert in Philadelphia, something that we often do but that frequently causes anxiety for me. I don’t want to say that I attract any sort of trouble, this doesn’t seem to be the case. But I seem to frequently find myself in a position of discomfort with another concert goer with whom I was not previously acquainted. Last time, I guy kept bumping into me from behind every time he would go to the bar behind me, then would turn around and lear at me afterwards. After this happened for the third time, my husband and his two friends made a ring around me and then magically, the next half dozen times this man came up, I was left alone. After the concert, he was escorted from the building by security for harassing another female concert goer who spoke up. But I had kept quiet.
On Saturday, a man continuously backed into me from the front row of a standing room only concert. I asked him politely once to step forward because I didn’t want to spill a beverage on him, and a second time to stop backing into me when he repeatedly swayed back into me, clearly intoxicated. I finally put my hands up in a fist in front of me so that he could tell each time he did so. When I asked him to stop a third time, he turned around and screamed at me saying he was doing no such thing. Instead of doing something productive, I froze. We live in a country of concealed weapons and mass shootings. How did I know that this man wasn’t about to pull a gun or knife on me if I made a scene in regards to his behavior? When did I become so terrified? Eventually I found a different place to stand and this man continued to do the same thing to three men who were behind me, all of whom became clearly annoyed. But, given the society that we live in, I had a double edged sword in my pocket.
My word to any member of security would have carried more weight than any man’s. If I had punched him, I would have been defending myself, if my husband had done so, he would have been arrested for assault. But again, I did nothing, this time out of fear. Out of fear of retribution or anger.
If I ever have a daughter, I want to make sure that my husband and I raise her to be a feminist. And if we have a son, I want to make sure we raise him to be a feminist too. But ultimately, I hope that by the time I’ve reached the point in my life that I’m having these conversations with my hypothetical children, the world has come far enough that I don’t have to teach said hypothetical daughter about sticking a key between her fingers when walking by herself at night, or how to unlock pepper spray, or use her ice hockey skills to injure a potential attacker. I don’t want to know these things, but I do, despite my fear to utilize them. I don’t want to have to pass such knowledge on to my offspring. I want to share with them all the wonderful things that women have contributed to this world. I want to share with them my favorite anthologies of great women below this, my favorite feminist picture!
Books I’ve Reviewed
- Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
- Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky
- Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker
- Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
- It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Guide to Love & War by Lynsey Addario
- Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors & Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs
- Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions & Heretics by Jason Porath
- Selfish, Shallow & Self-Absorbed: 16 Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids edited by Meghan Daum
- The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpont & Manjit Thapp
- Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
- Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
- Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
- Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Books I Love But Haven’t Reviewed Yet
- Why I March: Images from the Women’s March Around the World by Abrams Books (pictured above)
- Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee & Petra Eriksson
- Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope – Voices from the Women’s March by Artisan
- The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits by Mihaela Noroc
- Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu
- The Pink Hat by Andrew Joyner
- Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen
- Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels & What the Neighbors Thought by Kathleen Krull & Kathryn Hewitt
- The Secret Loves of Geek Girls edited by Hope Nicholson
- The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book History by Hope Nicholson