#StopMisogyny: a salute to the strong women I know
August. It’s Women’s Month in South Africa. Just over a week ago we observed Women’s Day. While marketing boffs made the most of the opportunity, this day holds a deeper meaning for South Africans, women in particular. Women’s Day is inextricably linked with our shameful apartheid past. It is linked with the stand taken by thousands of women against the dehumanising laws of a despotic state. Some half a century later, with apartheid abolished, a sad realisation dawned on me this week … so much has changed, yet so much stays the same.
In this week alone I’ve watched a young woman have her confidence shaken to its core publicly by another woman old enough to be her mum. I’ve seen men throw shocking labels freely and publicly at female colleagues in a professional setting. And I’ve been accused of being part of a weird gender club – a reference to the fact that women outnumber men in a committee.
Women and ceilings
What has this got to do with freelancing you may wonder … Not much really. Except that one of the reasons I opted to be my own boss was I knew I had hit the glass ceiling in the corporate world. I knew that as a woman my fate was sealed. Freelancing was my chance to break free of the constraints and test my limits – push the boundaries. And I am realising that for female freelancers there are new glass ceilings to negotiate.
I’ve realised this week that every woman I’ve witnessed being attacked is a strong, independent entrepreneur who is shaking up the hegemony. Their strength and integrity shine a spotlight on insipid privilege. Their voices call out the misogynists.
I see you. I hear you.
Today my post is a salute to these women. It’s acknowledgment. It’s respect.