Standing Up vs Protecting
I wrote this as a reblog regarding standing up for someone versus protecting them, in reference to Jen Kirkman's great project, MA’AM (Men Against Assholes & Misogyny.) It was meant to be a comment that ended up a post, so I thought I’d give it its own entry.
As a woman (and one who works in comedy writing rooms) I’d like to offer some perspective.
Women don’t need to be protected. Women need a privileged class (males, and I’d go on to say white males) to stand up for them and say yes, this is important.
While asking yourself “is this my mom, is this my sister, is this my daughter?” I’d also ask that you unpack it a bit. Because people do treat mothers/sisters/daughter as a class that needs to be protected. Fathers/brothers/sons will tell them to shut up and look pretty.
Ask yourself “is this something I would say to someone I treat as my equal? Is this something I’d say to my white male co-worker?”
We don’t need someone to stand in front of a punch for us, or shield us from a car careening down the street. We do need you to open doors, though. Theoretical doors. While FOX News may tell you different, for the most part, white males have the power. So white males can open the doors to diverse voices and give them a platform to succeed.
Because it’s about the voice. We are trying to have a voice. In government. In executive-level positions. In writers’ rooms.
I have heard, in my 10+ year writing career, that men don’t like to hire women (and by extension, other diverse applicants) because they are worried about not being free to discuss comedy openly. Because, you know, comedy was founded on rape parties and KKK rallies.
I don’t need to be protected from the talk that occurs in a writers’ room. I need to get a seat at the table in the writers’ room. And I don’t mean just me (although I just wrapped my last gig, so hire me!) but everyone with a diverse voice.
I’ve gotten a bit off-track here.
I GUESS IT IS BECAUSE I AM SO SENSITIVE ABOUT THIS SUBJECT.
So I’ll leave it with a final thought:
Maybe instead of teaching boys not to hit girls, teach them not to hit anyone. Violence rarely solves anything. A smart mouth and a quick wit, though, might get you a TV show.
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