#YesAllWomen

This was supposed to be a post about Anime North weekend, but something more important happened. While I was dealing with helping run a masquerade, something awful and tragic happened.

But something good happened out of all the awful shit. People started talking.

And I realised, reading some of the stories on Twitter, that a one-off unsettling event this weekend tied in to my experience as a woman.

Sexual harassment in Action

So how does it feel to be the only hot chicks here?” 
Actual quote. You can see the ‘are you fucking kidding me’ on my face.

Saturday Night, 1AM

After the masquerade was over, after getting dinner at midnight, I realised I’d forgotten something I needed in my friend’s room. I took the elevator down, stopped by, picked it up no problem. Then I closed the door behind me as I stepped out into the hallway.

Just in time to see a man in a yellow shirt and stupid kanye glasses sprinting at me. Gut reaction kicked in. I planted my feet and shoved him back with my arm so that he wouldn’t smash me against the door of my friend’s room.

The only people in the hallway were me, Drunk man, and his friend. His reaction to sprinting at me and getting so close, nearly slamming me into the door, wasn’t to apologize, or see if I was okay.

It was to call me Angry. Specifically:

“Angry! woah, angry lady.”

I was angry because I’d pushed him away. Because the sight of a man sprinting at me in closed quarters, at night, with no one else around, is terrifying. And I had my back against a locked door that I couldn’t get into without knocking and waiting for my friend to open it.

Yeah, you’re damn right I was angry.

Turns out the guy was staying in a room a couple doors down from my friend. His buddy didn’t say a word, no apology, no asking if I was okay. Just opened the door and pulled the drunk ass into the room.

I left, heading for the elevator, and a security guard came by.

I told him a drunk man had been running in the hallway. And it never crossed my mind to tell him about the rest of what had happened.

I should have, but I didn’t, and it’s too late now. So here I am, sharing the story in the hope that some guy will read it and think of that one time they watched a friend do something similar. Did you help? Did you call them out on that shit? If you are that friend, the silent one watching your drunk buddy nearly slam a girl against a locked down, then chastise her for pushing him back, don’t you dare say nothing. Apologize for him. Tell him to cut it out. Do not use silence to approve of what just happened.

But it’s more than that…

If you watch your coworker, an overweight male, pin an article on ‘calorie counting’ to a fit female employee’s cubicle ‘as a joke’ after she returned from Maternity leave, explain why that is not okay.

If you are a professor, watching a female student struggle with an embittered male team member who actively tries to sabotage her marks, nip that shit in the bud.

If you are the friend who ‘likes’ or laughs or does nothing when a guy puts up a FIVE MINUTE COMPILATION of men hitting women in film on facebook, the only truly humane thing to do is call that shit out.

If you are a man who tells a woman that her experiences are only ‘anecdotal’ and ‘not really evidence’ that society is stacked against women? You’re not listening.

If you hear the word ‘feminist’ and cringe, you need to re-evaluate why you think women being considered ‘equal’ is a bad thing. Because that’s what Feminism is.

If you are a woman and you believe that you are just as capable at being a person as men are, congratulations, you’re a Feminist. Do not say “I’m not a feminist but…” you are. Stop thinking it’s a bad thing. It’s not. It means you’re brave and capable and a human fucking being. Wear it as armor for now, until we are celebrated as equals.

#YesAllWomen deal with depressing actions from some men, and society. But if ALL women have experienced this, then I bet a metric tonne of men have watched this happen, and not said something.

I’m white, middle class and born in Canada. I’m as priviledged as I can get, but every single one of the scenarios above happened to me, or while I was physically present.

So think of how much else is going on with those women who aren’t as lucky as I am.

Regular transmissions will resume on Tuesday.

– An emotionally and physically exhausted Calamity

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