When it comes to workplace sexual harassment, no one should seek to be a harasshole. But there is something harassholes often do that betches should make a practice—that is, documenting all workplace sexual harassment and how your employer handles it.
Harassholes keep score on who gets passes for inappropriate behavior because the information may give them leverage when an employer tries to hold them accountable for sexual harassment while allowing other harassholes to run amuck.
Case in point: the audacious lawsuit hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick filed in New York on Friday against his former employer, NBC.
Here’s the gist: Way back in December 2019, before COVID terrorized us all, Roenick went on a “cheeky” Barstool Sports podcast as a guest. While on the podcast, the 50-year-old offered off-color commentary on his NBC co-host’s “ass and boobs” before explaining how he led strangers to believe he was having a threesome with his wife and co-host. Real professional, right?
After suspending Roenick for a few months, NBC fired him in February 2020. Now the hockey star is suing the network, claiming NBC discriminated against him as a heterosexual man.
According to Roenick, NBC didn’t punish a gay figure-skating analyst who made sexualized—albeit scripted—comments about his co-host while the two were acting together in a parody promotional video. Roenick says, when he brought the matter to an NBC exec, he was told that the analyst “is gay and can say whatever.”
Yes, there’s a lot to unpack there, but don’t get distracted. Roenick’s basically saying NBC should have given him a pass on his filthy remarks about his co-host because the network gave another man a pass.
When you’re done rolling your eyes at Roenick’s audacity, let’s discuss the ever-so important takeaway from his case: when it comes to workplace sexual harassment, betches need to document, document, document.
Documenting sexual harassment you and your colleagues experience, and your employer’s response to the harassment, is among the most effective ways you can maintain the upper hand should things go south and you need to fight your employer for failing to enforce the rules.
Let me explain.
Employers say they’re anti-discrimination, claiming they consistently enforce the rules by punishing harassholes, their popularity or your unpopularity notwithstanding. In reality, employers also give passes to people they like, creating a host of problems for everyone. The unfairness of it all gives rise to discrimination lawsuits—that is, if there’s documentation showing the employer is not enforcing its rules.
By “documentation” I mean “What is written down, printed, recorded, photocopied, saved? What do you have to support your account about your experiences?”
Sure, you may remember details well and never lose your car keys. But when it comes to workplace sexual harassment, it’s still best to have documentation because memories fade and documents are harder to manipulate. Also, while your word may be good enough for your mom, the patriarchy makes a woman’s word a hard sell more than half the time.
That’s why you document your version of the events with notes about encounters, dated-diary entries about conversations, text message chains and photos saved to the clou,; PDF copies of emails, papers, and websites, and so on. You hold onto anything that provides enough detail to refresh your recollection of the events should things go off the rails down the line and you need to back up your word should it be put to the test.
Harassholes and shady employers unapologetically lie and suddenly lose documents. You must be prepared.
…much like Roenick, whose ten-year tenure at NBC is over, to his complete and utter surprise. That’s right—the former hockey gawd never saw it coming, as he insists his firing is one of the “biggest raw deals of all time.” (Who knew you could lose your job for gratuitously sexualizing your co-worker’s anatomy on a popular podcast and bragging about misleading others into thinking you’re intimately throupled with her and your spouse?)
Despite the supposed blindsiding, Roenick had the wherewithal to document how his employer treated him and others who acted up, giving him fodder for a lawsuit that may or may not end with Roenick taking home a settlement check.
You, too, should be boldly protecting your professional interests should your employer act up or let harassholes run amok, as documentation can make or break your future.
Adrienne Lawrence is an on-air legal analyst and the author of Staying in the Game: The Playbook for Beating Workplace Sexual Harassment (TarcherPerigee, 2020). Lawrence has contributed her insight on workplace sexual harassment for outlets such as the Harvard Business Review and NPR. Follow her on Twitter @AdrienneLaw and IG @AdrienneLawrence.
Images: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Living in quarantine during coronavirus has us doing things we never thought we would: justifying our cleanest pair of joggers as formalwear, going without showering for days on end, and, god help us, confronting the horror that is our front-facing camera for the sake of human interaction. It’s hard not to feel like we’re living in the Upside Down. Watching this season of Vanderpump Rules is no exception. After years of happily laughing at Scheana’s scheananigans (sorry, had to), something shifted this season. Once hilarious, the constant jabs at her now just feel cruel. I never thought this would happen, but Scheana needs a champion, and I volunteer as tribute.
The Show Wouldn’t Exist Without Her
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge our herstory. Had Scheana not had an ill-advised affair with Brandi Glanville’s ex-husband, we’d lack the crucial link that allowed Vanderpump Rules to spin off seamlessly from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Most people would be reluctant to openly own their role as mistress in an extramarital affair on national television. Scheana not only did this, but she took the heat (being called a “homewrecker” by Stassi seemingly every episode of season 1) and humiliation (never forget her gray tooth) with grace. She’s been carrying the show on her back ever since and has given us some of the most memorable storylines. Who can forget her quinceañera wedding featuring the iconic crop top wedding dress? Or her proclamation that Rob can hang a TV on the wall in under seven minutes? She’s also the only main cast member regularly interacting with the new sentient globs of hair gel cast members. She does all of this without complaint and laughs right along with us at her cringiest moments.
She’s Getting A Misogynistic Edit
Speaking of cringe, the editors have been portraying Scheana as f*ckboy man-hungry for several seasons since her divorce. And for a while it was pretty on point and funny, mostly because the editors were using Scheana’s own words to troll her. This season, new cast members like Max and Brett are piling on, and it’s no longer fun. It’s one thing to string together a masterful, symphonic compilation of the 97 times Scheana uttered the word “Rob” in season 6. But to allow two indistinguishable greaseballs who just arrived on the scene and have zero credibility to openly disrespect her on camera and call her “boy crazy” and “middle-aged” is a bridge too far. Off camera, Lisa has joined in and called her “desperate”, and an episode of Watch What Happens Live featured a “Desperate-O-Meter” to measure this alongside various clips of Scheana interacting with men. Meanwhile, Max goes from banging Scheana to Dayna to Vegas Baby Scheana in a matter of weeks and is now being inexplicably included in scenes with main cast members. It be ya own editors, which brings me to my next point.
She’s Being Portrayed As One-Dimensional
No one is denying that Scheana enjoys male attention and is clearly looking for a serious relationship, despite her claims otherwise. But that’s just one part of her and, unfortunately, it’s the only side of her the editors are allowing us to see. Throughout this season she’s brought up her egg freezing process and subsequent surgery, yet it’s constantly being minimized and reduced to a punchline. Her fellow castmates either barely acknowledge or ignore the subject when she brings it up. I can’t say I’m totally shocked, as self-involvement seems to be a prerequisite for getting cast on this show, but why aren’t the editors exploring this storyline a bit further? It’s incredibly relevant and relatable, as more and more women are delaying starting a family. And let’s not pretend we don’t have room for it in this trash heap of a season. If there’s airtime for LVP to hide her bra in Schwartz’s luggage, a funeral for a lizard who died by negligent homicide, and 12 episodes dedicated to Jax and Brittany’s Kentucky Fried Wedding, we could’ve delved into Scheana’s fertility journey a bit more. Then again, letting viewers see her as a complex woman balancing her dating life with her desire to one day have a family wouldn’t fit the narrative of Scheana as desperate psycho.
I love a good troll as much as the next Bravo fan, but Scheana’s treatment of late goes far beyond the fun shade we enjoy as viewers of Vanderpump Rules. It’s also tired at this point. She’s been the punching bag on this show for far too long, and it’s time we give her the respect she deserves. A couple of seasons ago I could have never imagined coming to Scheana’s defense, but hashtag it’s all happening.
Images: DFree / Shutterstock.com; Tenor (3)
The first time someone called me a slut (that I know of) was at a bonfire party in high school, and she said it right to my face. Rude, but go off, Elizabeth (I never forget a name). I had just hooked up with two guys in one night (damn, I’m good), so technically she was right, but only in the way that I think the word to mean now. When she walked up to me and sneered, “slut,” it was clearly meant as an insult. And when I stood there and let the word slap me across the face, I did what I would do every time I got slut shamed for the next decade or so: pretended to brush it off, but deep down feel the sharp sting of being called something “dirty.” For years, I fought in vain to not feel hurt when I got labeled as a slut, but I spent so much time focusing on what this categorization of me meant to other people, and not what it meant to me. Once I realized that being a slut was something I could do for me, not for other people, the power these slut-shamers had over me fell from their hands and into my own. Being a whore is a journey, and I’d like to take you on mine.
I attended high school from 2006 to 2010, so slut shaming was still very much alive and well—dare I say, thriving. Those are the years I began my slut-journey, as I hooked up with randos left and right, and soon became labeled as the kind of girl you “hit it and quit it” with, but not the girl you ask to the homecoming dance and then date on and off until graduation.
On the one hand, it’s great that I felt I had the right to bone whoever I wanted, and on the other hand it f*cking sucks that doing so made people think of me as some sort of sexual object that didn’t deserve love and affection. I knew what people thought of me, and I took the pain it caused me, shoved it deep, deep down, and then pretended like I had replaced it with pride and a fun ‘n flirty “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude. Guys didn’t want to date me? Good! Boys are gross pigs. I’ll beat them at their own game and just use them for sex too.
But here’s the problem with that: I was the one being called a stupid whore for sleeping around, not the boys I was doing it with. They got to walk around like kings, confirming my reputation over high-fives and then deciding who was worthy of dating them. Meanwhile, I fought internal battles over whether or not I deserved love because I couldn’t seem to keep my legs closed.
So, why did I keep sleeping around if it led to me feeling hurt and belittled? Lots to unpack there, babe, but I’ll give the short version. For one, I was aware of how unfair the double standard was when it came to me being labeled a slut for doing things guys got popularity points for. And that made me angry, so I reacted by defying my role as a girl who cares about the labels that were being unfairly assigned. But it was complicated, because in the end these boys did hold a power over me. They were the gatekeepers after all, and as much as I hated to admit it, I wanted them to like me. And the only worth I had been told I had was my sexuality. So I gave it to them, often hoping that would appreciate my “cool, fun chick who doesn’t care” persona and deem me “not like the other girls.”
In short, I wanted to show that I could play the game too, but was in denial of the fact that I was simply playing by the boys’ rules and feeling helpless/useless because I was never the one that got to call the shots. This all led to years of me acting as a slut for other people, mainly men. Being proud of my sluttiness became a defense mechanism I presented to other people, not something to hold onto for myself. But once I realized being a slut for me was an option, things began to change.
As I grew older, I discovered that my pleasure mattered. It seems obvious, but for me—and I think a lot of women—this concept takes a while to really sink in. It also helped that I started having actual good sex, masturbating more, and stopped putting up with men’s bullsh*t. Did you know if a guy is being a f*ckboy you can just walk away? Incredible. And all of these things brought me pleasure, whether it was sexual, emotional, mental, etc. I began to focus on other things that made me feel good: dressing up and feeling sexy, exploring my sexuality, forming my own opinions and saying them loud and proud, and not backing down when people tried to silence me. Slowly but surely, the word slut stopped being something I let people apply to me so I could act accordingly, and became something I decided for myself.
The last time someone called me a slut to my face was when a man I had previously been involved with asked me to go home with him. I said no, I didn’t want to, and he responded by calling me a slut. This was a turning point for me. His “accusation” made no sense. I was being called a slut for not sleeping with him, when supposedly this word was given to someone who sleeps around. But here’s the thing: he was using this word because he was angry that I wasn’t doing what he wanted me to do with my sexuality. That’s what a slut really is: a woman in control of herself. He proved that the term is meaningless when applied to me negatively by someone else, because this thing that he was mad at—me doing what I want, not what some man wants me to—was something I could actually be proud of. Hell yeah I’m a slut, but not in the way he wanted me to feel like one.
I love being a slut. I love putting on my freakum dress and feeling my strength. I love having good sex, watching porn, sending fire nudes, masturbating, speaking my mind, fighting trolls on the internet, staying in and taking care of myself when I’m drained, popping my pussy at the club, voting, fighting stigma, taking up space, opening my mind, and so much more. I’m working on loving myself, and doing so proves that I am deserving of love, not because I’m no longer a slut like everyone told me, but because I am a slut, as I have decided, and I f*cking love that for me.
Being a slut means embracing your power and doing what brings you pleasure, even when people tell you you don’t have the right. Viva la slut!
Images: Giphy (3)
Southern Charm is one of my favorite Bravo shows, and I was really excited for season 6 after a spectacular season 5, where all the women seemingly banded together to take down the “good ole boys” club that pervades Charleston and the mindsets of the men there. It was an exciting time to be watching—the #MeToo movement was igniting, and for a brief moment it felt like there would finally be a reckoning for some of the more toxic men on the show. To some extent, there has been, with Thomas’ arrest and removal from the cast, but you wouldn’t know it by watching this season. The camaraderie between the women is not quite the same as it was last season, and the only woman bold enough to call out the men’s more problematic behavior is being portrayed as a pseudo-villainess. How did we get here, and are there any good men on Southern Charm?
Although Thomas is no longer a cast member, his presence still lingers with the aftermath of his arrest for sexual assault and battery, and Kathryn’s struggle to maintain custody of their two children together. The two met when Kathryn was 21 and still in college, and Thomas was 51. I have no problem with an age gap, but a middle-aged man pursuing a relationship with a woman barely old enough to drink feels predatory and manipulative. And by Kathryn’s account, their relationship was emotionally abusive—she told People that when they started dating, “I just did what he said and took on his opinions and feelings as my own.” She also said that when their relationship started to deteriorate, she and her daughter were forced to live in the basement of Thomas’ plantation, where she felt “sad, scary, lonely, confused, quarantined and isolated.”
When Kathryn and Thomas were on the outs in seasons 2 and 3, she was a veritable pariah and excluded from just about every social function by everyone except Craig. Instead of trying to understand her perspective, she was written off by the others as gold-digging, crazy drug addict (after testing positive for marijuana, of all things) and completely disregarded in favor of a cocaine-using felon and disgraced politician whose attempts at speaking French would make the Seine run dry. Only after the sexual assault allegations against Thomas came out did cast members like Cameran and Patricia turn their backs on him and warm to Kathryn. And to that I say:
This has been a revealing season for Shep. Up until now, Shep has largely gotten away with his more problematic behavior. His attempt to grab and kiss Chelsea in season 4 was largely glossed over by the rest of the cast and referred to as an “incident” by Bravo instead of the assault that it was. The rest of the cast seems to regard his clear problem with alcohol and inability to commit to a woman or a vocation as the amusing quirks of a goofy man-child rather than glaring red flags. Interestingly, the arrival of Madison this season has exposed a lot of Shep’s more toxic tendencies. He refers to Madison as a “white trash hairstylist” despite Shep never having worked a day in his life. He shames her for sleeping with someone in retaliation after catching Austen in the middle of a threesome. Where was this outrage when he heard that Austen cheated with two other women?
After balking at Madison’s admittedly inappropriate revelation about him and Danni, Shep responds by DOING THE EXACT SAME THING and telling Cameran that Austen is a “sexual deviant” because he and Madison have done “butt stuff” together. It’s unclear what exactly he is referring to, but either party being on the receiving end of said “butt stuff” is hardly sexual deviance in this day and age. You know what is sexually deviant? Sleeping with someone you call a friend and definitely allegedly giving her chlamydia. Say what you want about Madison, but I can’t help but respect her for going toe-to-toe with the resident bully of the franchise. Shep has continued his one-man white privilege parade off-camera by recently posting a story to his Instagram where he openly mocked a visibly embarrassed homeless woman collecting cans. It’s revolting enough that he found this woman’s situation humorous. But to taunt and expose her to his hundreds of thousands of followers is appallingly callous, not to mention willfully ignorant. Gosh, I can’t imagine how he is still single!
Ummmm It might just be me but I really don’t think “BUTT STUFF”equals sexual deviancy and Is Shep not drinking because he is still on anabiotic’s from the chlamydia I’m confused
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) August 8, 2019
Whitney first pinged my creep radar in season 1 when he slept with Kathryn and told her to keep it a secret, only to reveal it later to Thomas without consulting her. Since then, Whitney and Kathryn’s relationship has been rocky, and Whitney has gone out of his way to sabotage her relationship with Thomas and malign her character. During season 2, Whitney convinces Thomas to film campaign videos with Kathryn’s sorority sisters that could easily have passed for Cialis commercials, and Kathryn reveals during the group’s trip to Jekyll Island that Whitney took Thomas to a strip club when she was 9 months pregnant with their child. Whitney’s obsessive insertion of himself into Thomas and Kathryn’s relationship looks a lot like Shep’s current involvement in Austen and Madison’s relationship. Is Shep so focused on what’s going on between Madison and Austen because he, like Whitney, is actually the one feeling butthurt? When we find out this season that Kathryn and Whitney have recently slept together, Whitney bizarrely denies it and attempts to gaslight her by saying, “We have a different interpretation of events.” I’m not sure how Kathryn can misinterpret your middle-aged penis struggling to find its way into her vagina, but okay, Whit.
We can now proceed to the f*ckboy portion of this article. Austen was first introduced to us in season 4 as a younger and marginally more attractive version of Shep. His behavior following the cooling off of his “relationship” with Chelsea and subsequent relationship with Madison support the comparison. He proceeded to suggest to all of his Instagram followers that Chelsea has no sex drive as well as talk badly about her to Madison, as all classy men do. When his girlfriend catches him in the aftermath of a threesome (I’m convinced hell is a persistent loop of him screaming “MAAADISEHHHN!”), he proceeds to call her “a crazy person” and threatens to physically remove her from his home. After all, it’s easier to deflect and question a woman’s sanity than to take ownership for the misdeeds that are making her so “crazy” in the first place. #JusticeForVictoria Even when he isn’t the target of criticism, Austen is reluctant to side with women. When Naomie and Chelsea rightfully called out human hemorrhoid J.D. for his philandering and grifting last season, Austen claimed he needed more proof than the claims of his friends, one of whom got her information from J.D.’s wife.
Oh, Craigy. Our favorite pillow artisan is by far the least toxic of the bunch, and he should be commended for his fierce defense of Kathryn for many seasons, but he is not completely innocent either. He lied to the entire group about graduating from law school and passing the bar, and when Naomie directly questioned him about his desire to be a lawyer, he responded by telling her she was acting dumb. I agree that at times her approach was a bit mean, but Naomie’s concerns about Craig’s ambition and general life direction were not unfounded. Two seasons later we are still watching him struggle to get his fledgling pillow business off the ground and wake up before noon, yet Naomie was deemed a bitch for having the audacity to challenge her poor, innocent boyfriend. Even after she has clearly moved on, Craig continues to disrespect her by telling anyone who will listen that she still has feelings for him despite Naomie seeming genuinely happy in her new relationship (however we may feel about Metul).
It’d be a cop-out and a vast oversimplification to attribute the toxic behavior of the men on Southern Charm solely to Southern culture. Though that’s certainly a factor, it’s a symptom of a larger and more insidious disease in our society. When we allow boys to be boys unchecked and without any accountability, we breed a sense of entitlement where, given enough time, money or even fame, a Craig or an Austen might become a Shep or a Thomas. Until we do, men like these Southerners will keep passing for gentlemen.
Images: Bravo; Giphy (2); BrandiGlanville / Twitter
Two fraternities at Swarthmore College — the only two frats on campus — have been disbanded following intense student protests and allegations of racism, homophobia, misogyny, and sexual violence. The accusations are supported by documents brought to light by two of the school’s publications, The Phoenix and Voices, which include damning leaked “meeting minutes” from the Phi Psi fraternity that span over six years and also reference activities of Delta Upsilon.
The contents of 116-page documents were redacted, as is the trend these days. But, the phrases “rape tunnel” and “rape attic” were mentioned with regard to Delta Upsilon, the idea of which is equal parts disgusting and horrifying. Moreover, there were multiple instances in which Phi Psi made derogatory statements — which they appear to deliver as humor — about minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and women. Frats: Can you all just stop making everyone’s lives a living hell hole and just stick to chugging Coors Light while listening to Post Malone?
Phi Psi and Delta Upsilon met this well-earned fate thanks to Swarthmore students in a group called the Coalition to End Fraternity Violence. The organization planned sit-ins and demonstrations that lasted over four days and garnered national attention. As a result of their efforts, it seems school administrators finally realized: wait, maybe we should listen to people when they say they’re being marginalized and sexually assaulted and take the existence of “rape attics” more seriously. What a novel approach!
Valerie Smith, the university’s president, announced the suspension on Tuesday. “I absolutely condemn the language and actions described in the documents from 2013-16. What is contained within those pages is vulgar and deeply offensive to all of us,” she wrote in a statement. “The racism, misogyny, and homophobia described within them is antithetical to the values of the College and violates the student code of conduct as well as basic decency.”
The suspension also comes after an ex-member of Phi Psi published an op-ed in the school newspaper supporting these claims of abuse and insisting the school rid itself of the two fraternities.
The official statements from both of these fraternities are below, and now maybe these guys can use all their new free time to learn how to respect people or you know, be held accountable for their actions.
While historically Disney doesn’t exactly have the best rep for being inclusive or tolerant (Google Walt Disney—he was notttt the most chill guy when it came to anyone who was not white, Christian, and male), our favorite princess movies have really gotten their act together, especially more recently. But even before Disney set the world aflame by—gasp—having two male characters kiss, the princesses knew what the fuck was up. Like, even before we knew what feminism was or why we needed it in our lives, the Disney princesses were serving up a big ol’ slice of feminist pie in their movies. Not all of them—lookin’ at you, Princess “give up my best attribute in hopes of kissing a guy” Ariel—but a lot of them were woke af. So we’re taking the time to celebrate these animated feminist heroes. Below, the most feminist Disney princesses, in no particular order because we’re not about pitting women against each other (today).
Belle was a fucking G. Who knew women in 18th-century provincial France were already woke? I mean, this is the country that brought us Joan of Arc, so it all makes sense. Anyway, Belle was the original Strong Woman Who Don’t Need No Man™. When fuckboy suitors (ahem, Gaston) came calling, she didn’t let them or society pressure her into getting married so she could leave her father’s house and embark on an exciting career of cleaning the house and grocery shopping. She fought for her right to be left TF alone so she could read her books. Speaking of books, Belle was obvi smart AF, and you all know how we feel about smart women: we love them, the GOP hates them.
Unlike the girls from your sorority whose highest aspirations were to obtain an MRS degree, Tiana dreams of opening her own business—a restaurant, no less. From what I’ve gathered from watching a shameless number of hours of Kitchen Nightmares and Bar Rescue, I know that opening a restaurant is the riskiest business venture there is. Tiana is not some rando with an Etsy jewelry shop—she is the real deal. She works two jobs to earn enough money to turn some random sugar mill into a restaurant, and we wholeheartedly respect her hustle. Also, despite all Naveen’s charm and obvious good looks, Tiana doesn’t fawn over him right away because she knows getting tangled up with a fuckboy is only going to hinder her dreams. Smart girl.
Meg is independent AF, almost aggressively so. She isn’t your damsel who needs to be rescued, and her only weakness—before Hercules comes along and fucks up her shit—is “weak ankles.” Which, incidentally, is the same answer I give in job interviews.
^I’m just gonna leave that there. Jasmine has fucking integrity. When random princes from far-away kingdoms come knocking, she is not impressed—if Jasmine gets married, she’s doing it for love and not for money or power. That is also what I tell my dad when he asks why I’m 25 and still single. Anyway, Jasmine isn’t afraid to speak her mind, even if her dad gets mad at her and an evil sorcerer almost kills her and the man she loves in the process. That takes a special kind of bravery. And while we are not down with the way women are too often seen as sex objects, we can understand why Jasmine would use her sexuality to distract the crazed psychopathic sorcerer-turned-genie who is trying to drown the guy she actually likes in a life-sized hourglass. It is a practice more commonly known as “working with what you’ve got.”
Do I even have to explain it? Fine, I’ll do it. Mulan A) defies gender roles and joins the army even though doing so could get her killed B) is a fucking badass warrior C) FUCKING SAVES CHINA FROM A HUN INVASION SINGLE-HANDEDLY. Ya. Sorry Shiang and your band of (lovable) clowns. You ain’t shit. Mulan for Emperor! Ayayayay!
For some reason I still don’t understand, it took until 2013 for a Disney princess to realize that it’s completely ridiculous to marry a guy she’s only known for a day. Like, way to be slow on the upkeep, Disney. Elsa is QUEEN which obviously demands respect. Because of her special powers, Elsa was brought down by her family for her entire life until one day she just said “fuck it, I can’t let the haters keep me down anymore” and went off on her own and built her own ice palace where she could do whatever the fuck she wanted. Is Elsa every feminist, and are Elsa’s parents and the kingdom in general an allegory for the patriarchy? Who’s to say? Well, me, and I’m saying yes.
Yeah we all know Brave as a movie was garbage, but at least it brought us Merida. This girl doesn’t care about fuckboys or doing “typical feminine” things—which we resent as a concept anyway because gender roles are bullshit. Merida is also super good at archery even though it’s a typical “male” sport and if her mom had her way, she’d be wearing dresses and attending etiquette classes or whatever women were “supposed” to do back then. Merida is basically the Scottish Katniss Everdeen, sans Hunger Games—only Merida is like, 12 years old, I think. She also does not give a single fuck about her appearance, despite having a gorg head of red hair, which is just another “fuck you” to the patriarchy and society’s beauty standards. I am here for it.
Pocahontas is smart as hell and independent af—and no, I don’t mean that because her best friends are a raccoon and a tree. Our girl P-Money (K, I’ll stop) stands up to her dad who’s not an ordinary dad, he’s a cool dad the fucking chief. And I mean that not like how your dad calls everybody “chief” as a term of endearment, but in the way Native American people say it, which is more meaningful I think. Like, I’m afraid to ask my dad for money because I blew out my tire again—imagine asking him for the ability to make your own decisions and forge your own destiny. Yah, it’s a BFD. Pocahontas makes the cardinal mistake of falling for a racist white man, BUT at the end when she’s given the choice between living with racist-turned-bae John Smith or staying and helping her tribe, she chooses the later. Pocahontas probably invented the phrase “hoes before bros” because she’s a down-ass bitch. She is quite literally ride or die.
Today is the Day Without A Woman strike! It is my sincere hope that you are reading this under a thousand covers, eye mask half on, after having left a 20 minute long voicemail for your boss explaining how the patriarchy hurts all of us—but if randomly not showing up to work isn’t something you can do right now (fair), here are four other ways you can participate in the Women’s Strike today:
1. Don’t Buy Anything, With Your Money Or Your Dad’s
This does not include minority- or women-owned businesses, so if you absolutely must shop today might I direct you to shopbetches.com?
2. Wear Red
Not that you need an excuse to wear a bold lip, but lipstick totally counts here.
3. Refuse To Do Work, Paid Or Unpaid
You probably know what paid work is (if not idk what to tell you), but if you’re confused about “unpaid” labor, it’s basically all the shit that you do for other people (men) all day that you don’t get any money for. So like, when you do your boyfriend’s dishes because he seems to be confused about how dishes go from being dirty to clean, that’s unpaid labor. When you help your best guy friend write his dating profile because when left to his own devices he’ll include stuff like “looking for a quick beej,” that’s unpaid labor. If you can’t take off paid work today, you can at least take the day off from helping men figure out how to be functioning humans, even though they might like…die.
4. Donate To Charities That Support Women
It’s not technically an official part of the Day Without A Woman strike, but we’re taking some liberties here. We’re gonna go out on a limb and say that the “don’t spend money” clause does not apply to charitable organizations whose purpose is to help women. So use the money that you would have spent on a green juice today and divert it to a cause you care about. Reminder that your personal Ben & Jerry’s fund does not actually count as a charity, no matter what its GoFundMe says.
Pro-Women Nonprofits You Can Donate To Like, Now:
The Movement Foundation: If body positivity is your cause, send your cash to The Movement Foundation, which empowers women to feel confident in their bodies by equipping them with the tools to be active. It was started by former SoulCycle instructor Jenny Gaither, so you know it’s legit.
Lady Parts Justice: As a Betches reader, it’s probably safe to say that you have a healthy interest in both women’s rights and comedy (also that you’re smart AF). LPJ uses comedy, culture, and digital media to “sound an alarm” about the erosion of reproductive rights in the U.S. They were the women behind the nationally trending #PaulRyanSoScared, and what could be more worthy of your support than trolling Paul Ryan on Twitter?
Girls Who Code: Girls Who Code helps to empower girls with the computer science skills they need to pursue 21st century opportunities. Think about how much money you’d pay to not have to ask your guy friends or some sweaty fuckboy at the genius bar for help with your electronics. Then donate that much.
The Malala Fund: The Malala Fund is a group started by Malala Yousafzai (duh) and provides girls around the world with 12 years of education to achieve their potential and create positive change within their families. If you’re feeling on the fence about whether or not your can really spare another $10, calmly remind yourself that the Taliban straight-up shot Malala in the face and then donate an extra $10 for being petty.
Planned Parenthood: You know ‘em, you love ‘em, it’s Planned Parenthood! With the GOP replacement threatening to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s funding, your donations are more important than ever. Do your nails at home this week and donate your manicure money to PP so that your next pregnancy scare doesn’t result in you being tied to Brad from Ultra for the rest of your goddamn life.
Some men are gentlemen. They listen when you talk and ask you questions and respect whether or not you want to fuck them. These men are called pros and we reward them with our company and blowjobs, if we feel like it.
Okay so now that I’ve gotten all that #NotAllMen shit out if the way let’s talk about the everyday creepy assholes who roam the streets chasing tail and blurring the line between man and beast. I’m talking, of course, about cat callers.
Every betch on earth has been cat called. In fact, you don’t even have to be a betch to be cat called. You just have to be vaguely female-presenting and outside. It’s fucking lame, and I think I speak for all betches when I say we’re over it. So here’s our guide making it through the day without being gobbled up by some dude who amounts to nothing more than a literal animal wearing human clothes.
DO: Look Visibly Disgusted
Betches have a whole range of faces for letting someone know you hate them without ever actually acknowledging them. So use all your skills: bitchy resting face, eye rolling, pretending to vomit, actually vomiting. Whatever makes you feel good and lets this creeper know you are far from interested.
Like most wild beasts, cat callers lose their shit when you make eye contact, so don’t. Turn up your headphones, put on your sunglasses, and walk on by. Let this fool know that shouting down women on the street is less of a dating strategy and more of a sign that he won’t be moving out of his mom’s basement anytime soon. When you talk to these freaks or smile at them or say hello then they’ve gotten what they wanted: your attention, and there are plenty of normal, not-insane bros who haven’t even earned that.
DO: Tell Someone
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re moving from a regular cat call situation to a first-scene-in-robocop type situation, fucking tell someone. Go into the nearest store or flag down the nearest sane person and let them know what’s going on. Girls find a million reasons not to report being harassed because it feels shitty and takes time and makes you seem dramatic, but fuck that. Be dramatic. You didn’t bat an eyelash when you drunkenly flipped out at a dude who spilled his drink on your satin shoes, so why give this actual psychopath a pass?
DON’T: Let anyone convince you it’s flattering
Any girl who’s ever had to run to the store in sweatpants on her period with a hangover knows that cat calling has nothing to do with how you look. In fact, it has nothing to do with anything except the fact that you appear to have a vagina and that makes some men think they can shout at you. Like, oh you think I look beautiful? Well I already fucking knew that because I’m a perfect fucking snowflake. These dudes would cat call an actual cat if they thought it would understand what they were saying, so don’t let them try to convince you that their unsolicited comments on your appearance are something you should be grateful for. It’s fucking gross and he can go shave his back now.