Hear Me Roar

I talk a lot (no, really, A LOT) about my passion for women’s issues. I talk a lot (A LOT) about how important it is to change the way we think about women, talk about women, and treat women. I talk a never-ending lot about systematic sexism, about reproductive rights.

But I’ve never explained why I’m passionate about these things.

I’ve never explained why I roar.

I roar because for most of my life I have been made to understand I am less than. Sometimes the message is subtle. Sometimes it is as clear as a cartoon anvil landing on your head.

The problem is, I do not feel less than. I don’t wake feeling less than. I don’t approach a situation or a problem and feel I’m unable to do, achieve, or be simply because I am a woman.

And so I roar. I roar because there is nothing about me that feels less than.

There are things I am good at, just as there are things I am not so great at. Some of those things even fall along stereotypical gender lines. I can’t read a map to save my life. In fact, I can’t even follow the GPS on my phone. But while that means I probably shouldn’t get a job as an Uber driver, it doesn’t make me less of a person. Or a person deserving less.

I roar to make sure we make that distinction.

I am passionate because I believe in the strength of women, even though that strength may not be as physically evident as a male’s. A woman’s strength comes from a willingness to compromise, to empathize, to listen. It comes from an instinct for adaptation, change, and growth.

I roar to recognize that strength.

I believe, passionately and to distraction, that empowering women to make decisions about their own bodies is crucial to the function of society. Yes, this includes abortion, but it includes so much more. Providing women with information, resources and access to make informed decisions about the very personal and complex issues we face as women affects every level of society, from the micro to the macro.

Demanding bodily autonomy for women is why I roar, continually and repeatedly.

I roar for your sisters and your daughters so that one day they will know what it is like to walk down the street without having to cross over when a man approaches, to run through the woods with both headphones in, to walk home without their keys in their fist.

Women should not be raped or beaten or killed for rejecting a man’s advances, to satisfy the honor of some imagined wrong, to appease a God. As a woman, I don’t want or need gun-toting advocates rallying outside of a rapist’s house as protection. I want the culture that allows, condones, and yes, justifies rape to stop. That is the protection I want.

That is why I roar.

I roar because women are not punching bags or blow-up dolls. I roar because we exist outside of the Madonna/whore continuum. We are multi-dimensional, we are complex and we are flawed and as such, we choose different paths.

I roar to make sure that we are not forced onto one path. That both the road less travelled and the well-worn path are equally recognized and valued.

I roar so that men understand that if we sometimes put our heads down, it is not because we are weak. It is because we have been strong enough to know that sometimes it’s the only way we will survive.

I roar for the girls who have been silenced, burned, cut, sold or given away. I roar for the women who have been beaten, raped, killed. I roar for those women whose voices are shuttered, who cannot roar for themselves.

So share this with your daughter so she knows I roar so that she won’t feel less than. Share this with your mother or your sister or aunt so they know I roar loud enough for them. Share this with all the women who roar so they know their voices are not alone.

Roar with me.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Hear Me Roar

  1. John September 10, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    You talk about women’s issues? Funny, I’ve never noticed. About time you roared. 😉

    Like

    • Dina Honour September 10, 2016 / 2:58 pm

      Lol, imagine how my husband feels ;-). My fingers only type so fast. My mouth and brain, however, never stop.

      Like

      • Anonymous September 11, 2016 / 4:08 am

        I hear you Sister! I’ve been roaring about all these things my whole life too. I’ve been in situations where I was doing a “man’s” job and was expected to fail, but I showed them what hard work looks like when you have a brain and not just balls.I had a banner on the wall behind my desk that read “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get all dirty and the pig likes it!”. (I still have this banner forty years later). My boss at the time would come to my door, read the banner, shake his head and say he just didn’t understand what it meant. I told him he would when he grew up!!! Keep roaring girl – for all of us!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel Leshaw September 10, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    I’m glad that someone is paying attention to women’s issues because, like white privilege, I’ve never had to. I’ve worked as a Trail Crew boss in parks all over the US and a teacher in NYC schools. never once did I feel condescended to for being female.

    Like

    • Dina Honour September 10, 2016 / 5:41 pm

      I’m glad you’ve never felt less than–it’s a terrible feeling. I’m curious if you have felt the difference in the way women live their lives in other aspects of your experience, for instance safety or the precautions you may take to keep safe as a woman or the never-ending legislation on women’s bodies? You’re 100% right when you liken it to racism (and thereby privilege), it’s multi-layered and deep rooted at times (other times it’s in your face). I have a tendency (at the moment particularly) to view the world through gender colored glasses, so it wouldn’t surprise me if at times, things appear to me more exaggerated than they really are? It’s always nice to hear positive experiences as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rachel Leshaw September 10, 2016 / 8:41 pm

        oh yeah, in terms of safety I feel very female. i never drink when I travel alone because I have to keep a clear head and take care of myself. guys don’t have to do that or walk with their keys out or walk in the middle of the street away from the shadows. my husband thinks it’s interesting because he never in his life thought twice about walking down a street. lol

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dina Honour September 12, 2016 / 3:41 pm

      I think they’ll be playing Born Free If I roar any more….

      Like

  3. Sheri January 20, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    Dina—I’ve been a feminist roaring for women for over 50 years. I feel like the poster child for the meme that states “I can’t believe I’m still fighting for the same shit.”

    I was the first female in my high school to be allowed to take Auto Shop. Had to write a letter to the guidance counselor and my parents had to meet with the principal to make it happen. I didn’t want it as a career, necessarily; just didn’t want to be dependent on men to take care of my transportation. (I tied for top grades in the class with my Shop partner; he’s been a crew chief with Andretti racing for 25 years.)

    I’ve worked in law enforcement (for 18 years ending 15 years ago) where a woman is reminded every single f-ing day that she’s considered a liability, so women officers work harder, tend to be paid less, get lesser assignments and fewer promotions—but that’s improved a TON over the last 20 years. When I met with resistance at working nightshift—they wanted me doing the “soft” daytime duties of tours, license checks, etc.—I ran for city council and got elected. Things change quickly when you’re suddenly one of the police chief’s bosses and determining dept budgets. Suddenly nothing was off limits. 😁

    I now teach high school. While I make the same salary as male teachers, if I coached a female sport my salary would be 1/3-1/2 the salary of the male sports coaches. I exhibit my feminist attitude daily to the girls AND the boys. I raised both of my own sons to be feminists, and I’m workin’ on my grandson (9) and granddaughter (15 months) now. By the books we read, the places we visit, the movies and programs we watch (my granddaughter’s 2nd movie was Wonder Woman), and by Mom and Grandma’s examples, my granddaughter will NEVER think she can’t do something because she’s female—and heaven help anyone who attempts to harass or assault her.

    I think of the women who fought each day so I could do the things I’ve done. I roar for them and my granddaughter and my students. Today I will march with my granddaughter and daughter in law.
    Roar on.

    Like

    • Dina Honour January 20, 2018 / 8:42 pm

      Oh my God, Sheri. You are seriously my she-ro.

      Would you do me one (not so small) thing? Will you promise me you will write ALL of this down, will you make sure all of these stories live on and aren’t erased. Please?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sheri January 21, 2018 / 12:07 am

        I’ve been thinking about that. For someone who teaches creative writing you’d think I’d already have done that, huh? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

Talk to me, Goose.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s