My mom didn’t tell me she was raising a feminist. She didn’t warn me I would enter a man’s world and that some of them would only want to sleep with me. She didn’t’ say “Chin up” and blow smoke, assuring me I could do it. Telling me these things would have ascertained that I am at a disadvantage because I am a woman, and I don’t think that ever even crossed her mind. She simply expected the best of me, not in spite of but because of who I am. And the best is what I gave.
She didn’t tell me she was raising a feminist.
This reality of a man’s world didn’t sink in until I entered the music business. I’m living my dream, and the work it takes is both grueling and exhilarating. I am not naïve. I’m aware that a pair of heels and good hair day can open doors; I am also aware that once I enter those doors I must filter men between friends, business, and sexual encounters. This is not a world where a firm handshake and eye contact means I am immediately taken seriously. The majority of the time when I’m working with a band at their show, the first question after an introduction is, “So which of them are you sleeping with?” I’ve never heard that addressed to a man.
It’s time to change the conversation.
It starts with women empowering women by lifting each other up. This isn’t a time for jealousy and bitterness. It’s a time to hold hands and speak out.
My parents raised me to see myself as smart, independent, and capable- not compared to boys, but as a human being. I don’t want to live in a world where my most valuable attribute is my body. But I understand the reality I live in, so the next time I show up to work at a concert, I expect the other side of my handshake to see just another groupie.
Until I prove them wrong. Help me change the conversation.