Oh, Mary

Witch Please

October 28, 2019
Melanie Wilhoite

Girls get your witch on.

I am a well-to-do lesbian living with my wife of fourteen years.  We own two homes in beautiful places, and I own a respectable business.  I have the freedom to pursue my dreams.  And ladies, I’m pissed.  You should be too.

Feeling unequal, anyone?  

Yeah, we know American society has given women a wedgie.  But guess what?  We don’t have to walk around with it.  From homemaking to beauty to fashion to business, we’ve long been pressured to succeed in ways we thought we were supposed to, but nobody ever asked our opinion about.  Back in the day, Puritan women were considered inferior to men, without legal rights, and poor lesbians got the noose.  Though much has changed in four hundred years since women were burned at the stake, we women are still recovering.   

That Puritan position of female inferiority that kicked off America is still hanging around. It’s an unfortunate mindset inherited through generations of learned thought pattern and behavior.  Why else do we allow men to talk over us, mansplain to us, pay us less, and clamber over us on their way to the executive suite when we know damn well these things aren’t cool? 

Millennials Missed It by THAT MUCH

I’m pissed because women’s equality has changed only incrementally in my five decades on Earth. Imagine what things might be like today had the Equal Rights Amendment passed in the 1970s.  We were all so hopeful then! Women would have been guaranteed equal pay, freedom from discrimination, equal legal rights, and more.  

Had it passed by just three more states before 1982, we would all have had thirty-seven years by now to live this new reality.  Thirty-seven years for a ripple effect to take hold on the collective consciousness, for confidence and courage to be internalized by the millennial female generation.  Instead we’re fighting the same nonstop slog as women persevere, hacking one-by-one through the male dominated socio-professional jungle to get ahead.  It’s exhausting.

It takes a toll to feel undervalued, talked over, used, overlooked for promotions, not one of the club, fearful of speaking up.  Is it any wonder that women have been leaving corporate America in droves to start their own gigs? 

Witch Way to Go

Still, walking around depressed, outraged, and feeling victimized is no way to live.  Fortunately, it’s possible to stop the madness. I can get my witch on for equality by pushing change from within the businesses I work in, own and run.  I can actively support candidates who fight for equality.  I can vote for candidates who do, too.  And I can put energy into feeling good about what IS good no matter what I’m doing or how equal I feel.  

Be true to myself, no matter what anyone thinks.  I won’t stay in a situation that I dislike any longer than I must. There are tons of opportunities out there.

Claim my joy.  There are things I can feel joy about every day.  Notice them.

Don’t let fear stop me.  Just do it.  Inertia is a powerful thing.

Believe I’m as good as anyone else, because I am.  

Be proud of what I’ve accomplished.  Men are. 

If some people don’t like my attitude, that’s not mine to own. Because I’ve been around long enough now to know the witch that I am.