by Alyssa Exposito
We were all moved by the ever-Uplifting and poignant Oprah this past Sunday at the Golden globes. She shed light on the power and time women are now reclaiming.
It is both amazing and daunting that we are now living in a time where we can share our stories, live out our truths, and begin to change the conversation(s): not the one we have with society but the ones we have in our heads.
Since we have bitten our tongues for so long, this idea that we are no longer succumbing to silence by the power of men is actually radical.
So much so that ALL WOMEN groups/organizations/and societies will inevitably receive backlash.
On December 28, 2017 comedian Iliza Shlesinger was actually sued for banning men at her “Girls Night In” comedy show (and provided that part of the proceeds to Planned Parenthood). Innocent right? Well not for one particular man. Out of all the shows that Shlesinger does throughout the year, this feminist-forward comedian just wanted to put forth an evening where women could feel comfortable and safe by sharing experiences that most men comedians tended to poke fun at (...incidentally which are the same experiences they have never themselves lived out).
Living up to his reputation of filing discrimination suits against bars who offer “Ladies Night”, George St. George and his attorney, Alfred Rava, were not having the advertised “No Boys Allowed” event. In fact, Rava has boasted to CNN that he has filed over 150 complaints about California businesses for violating the Unruh Civil Right Act 1959 which was enacted to provide “full and equal accommodations” in establishments regardless of religion, sex, and disability.
Technically speaking, yes, this show could be in violation of a statute in the State of California, and technically speaking, this man also has the right to protest. However, given St. George’s background of being a plaintiff in several suits that have challenged themes like “Ladies Night” and his attorney, a former secretary of the National Coalition for Men, a San Diego non-profit organization, that highlights topics like “the sexual abuse hysteria” one can see how this is simply a way to beat the insecurity felt when their “power” is compromised.
Reading about things like this can make it extremely difficult to not view this as men who are incredibly intimidated by the women who in turn are gathering to make their stories THEIR OWN. What a radical thought that women are no longer sitting quietly and “looking pretty,” but instead are taking action to create more spaces for women to speak up, stand with, and empower one another.
As more women come together, and more potential backlash is unleashed, it’s important for us to remind ourselves and others a few key things:
- Continue to be a support to your fellow woman and the groups that fail to get represented. A little support goes a long way and there is A LOT of strength in diversity and in numbers.
- Know that your voice is powerful. Even if spoken with trembling words, you DESERVE to be heard. Speak into existence your truth, and always support those who have the courage to do so.
- YOU are your biggest investment. Whether that is giving yourself a mental health day (because as we know, fighting the patriarchy is exhausting) or taking your favorite class at Uplift, the care you give yourself is a reflection of how you can care for others. LOVE yourself fiercely and continue to SMASH GLASS CEILINGS!
Maddaus, Gene. 2017, December. “Iliza Shlesinger Sued for Banning Men From Comedy Show.”