Unsolicited Advice: You Don't Have to Be Invisible If You Don't Want to Be

future is female from Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/photos/women-march-2018-women-s-march-3422243/

future is female from Pixabay, https://pixabay.com/photos/women-march-2018-women-s-march-3422243/

Welcome to Unsolicited Advice, the weekly column in which I give advice to people who never asked for it and don’t know who I am.

Last week, I assured a nervous wedding guest that it was indeed just fine to accept an invitation to a wedding held at a southern plantation venue. This week, we roll up our pant legs and stick our toes into the steaming, gooey pile of trash that is Twitter, where a well-known (not well enough, according to her complaint) feminist writer has been left utterly shooken after a terrifying encounter in New York City.

 

It was followed by a litany of responses confirming the “invisibility” of women in every day life.

I get that it’s Twitter and that’s what Twitter is for…bitching. But this is Unsolicited Advice and that’s what this is for – giving advice where none is wanted.

This idea that American women are an invisible minority is ridiculous. Is there sexism? Yes. Are we invisible?

Hell, don’t I wish some of us were.

Everywhere I look, there is some strong, empowered woman in my face telling me what a strong and empowered woman she is while performing some task traditionally associated with a man. My commercials, my movies, my tv shows, my internet ads, every female-related hashtag on Twitter…they all scream at me all day long about STRONG AND EMPOWERED WOMEN BECAUSE WOMEN ARE STRONG. AND EMPOWERED WHEN THEY TALK NONSTOP ABOUT HOW STRONG THEY ARE!

Jessica, women like you hold lucrative positions in which you are paid to gripe all day long about how no one will recognize how STRONG AND EMPOWERED you are. There is an entire grievance industry centered around women and how to prove to America that we are STRONG AND EMPOWERED. It employs thousands, if not millions of people.

Everywhere I look, I see women. I’ve celebrated one of the most truly strong and empowered women in American history in my short film about Harriet Tubman, so I do love me some strong women. But even I have to say I’m getting fatigued. There is a such a glut of “girl power” marketing right now that I find myself longing to just see…”girl”. Don’t girls wear dresses and play with dolls anymore? I’m sitting here watching tv and by the looks of every single commercial I’ve seen so far, it doesn’t seem like it.

We’re admonished daily to support more women in STEM fields, install breast feeding stations at work, get rid of taxes on tampons. We’re lectured about “wage gaps” and abortion and STAY OUT OF MY VAGINA. The list of objections to how women are seen in American society is endless.

Women these days hold very public and powerful positions. There are more women running for president now than ever in history. The idea that we are invisible is laughable. I understand you’re trying to make a point, but the very fact that you’re making it as an accomplished feminist writer in one of the most elite and expensive cities on the continent sort of makes your point moot.

I’m sorry that the man you and your husband were talking to made you feel badly, but maybe it wasn’t that he didn’t see you. Did you stop to consider that maybe he just didn’t like you? If your tweet history is any indication, you aren’t exactly a laugh riot. Maybe he just thought you were a jerk.

I don’t mean to suggest that men never ignore women. But when women are so cranky that they’ll take to Twitter to rage about a man not looking at them the right way can you blame some men for just choosing not to look at all?

Maybe he was a jerk. Maybe he liked your husband better. Maybe if you meet an asshole in the morning, you’ve met an asshole in the morning, but if you meet assholes all day, you’re the asshole. Maybe if you want a man to speak to you, you should speak to him.

I’ve had it with this modern feminist attitude that we women must not only announce ourselves where ever we go but also be noticed where ever we go. STRONG AND EMPOWERED WOMEN demand to be seen. Strong and powerful women are comfortable in their skin whether they are “seen” or not, and that typically makes people very aware of them in the first place. By the way, did you ever consider there might be some advantages to being invisible? You aren’t, Jessica. You are very, very, extremely, tiresomely visible. In case you want to switch it up sometime, think about what you could get done if no one noticed you.

If you don’t want to be invisible, don’t be. Speak up. Make eye contact. Smile (people like it when you smile at them). If the man in front of you isn’t giving you the respect you think you deserve…so? Only people who don’t respect themselves think it is everyone else’s job to validate their worth.

Look, I don’t mind that you’re aggravated. I hate it when people assume I’m a Democrat just because I’m Black. It’s annoying. I get it. It doesn’t have to ruin your day and it doesn’t have to take up a full page in your Angry Feminist scrapbook. What bothers me most about this is the sense of entitlement and the suggestion that you are helpless against the mean old men who won’t look at you.

Be someone people want to look in the eye. If and when you become that person, you will no longer need people to look you in the eye.