Today a guy that my husband associates with informed him -in a public forum- that I am not entitled to an opinion and that I should stick to things I know best, like "my little blog about being a mom." That this man -whom I've known and liked for almost ten years- proceeded to continue disrespecting me in response to a single comment I made against his preferred NHL team on Face Book, was disquieting to say the least. To insinuate that because I am a female, I incontestably have no idea what I'm talking about is a sexist position that, incredibly, still subtly permeates our society and every day situations. I am, at my core, a natural born feminist. I see no merit or value in the default position of discarding an opinion, or an idea for that matter, based on the person's gender.
I am also not the least bit surprised that this fellow has utterly missed the point of my blog: that my identity and knowledge base is not limited solely to being a stay at home mom. I am, quite obviously, so much more. My "little blog" could easily be about a variety of topics and interests that combine to create the foundation that is 'Rachel'. The fact that he intentionally tried to turn my blogging about being a parent into a disparaging remark speaks volumes on the lack of respect, as well as the value and importance that he, and many in society, place on women who choose to remain at home with their children. My role is viewed as trivial, and not really a contributing position in our communities- large and small.
It is these intentional and off handed comments and jokes about a woman's lack of worth/importance/intelligence that becomes the examples for our children and sets the standard of what we find acceptable and true to our family, friends, and co-workers; they clearly say to those surrounding us that we do not care enough to speak out against outdated, chauvinistic opinions, that we condone the systematic oppression of female growth, development, and prosperity. Overkill?? Try telling your daughters that they will never earn as much money as their male colleagues, that their athletic accolades will never be as celebrated as boys', that they should never dress to provoke boy's uncontrollable urges, that regardless of their esteemed education, their opinions and ideas will be openly scoffed and sneered at by their peers. How well does that sit in your stomach? Simply put: it shouldn't.
So the next time I comment on your hockey team's performance - save your verbal diarrhea, put your Big Boy pants on, and get over it. Yes, I have a vagina. And yes, I also know a lot about hockey. I am a woman, a wealth of information.