I just want to apologize for my extensive use of the baser language in this post. I'm really hot under the collar about this and seriously just needed to drop a few s- and f- bombs. If it offends you, I apologize.
I've heard a lot in my short 37 years about things that are harmful to women, things that objectify those of us of the "gentler" sex, and make it more difficult for us to be taken seriously:
(OK. Maybe not that last one.)
To be honest? None of that stuff bothers me. As long as the women participating in said activities are doing so because they want to, because they have voluntarily signed up to do it, are OK with being slobbered upon, and they don't need Xanax to do it? It's not turning me personally into a sex object*. This is a free country; show your tits through a wet, white t-shirt. I couldn't care less.
Being told by our property manager that responding to the VP/bully in a logical-'Scuse me but you just asked me what?!? That's wrong and you need to admit it!-in-his-face manner is OK if we (the HOA prez and me) happen to be men, but as women we need to present softer, sweeter, more joking-type responses. Wow. Seriously? Are you kidding? No? Because that, ladies and gentlemen, that is the objectification bullshit I'm talking about. You can kiss my glass ceiling Mr. Property Management Company Owner because that shit right there? That is what makes it hard for my side of the human race to be taken seriously by anyone with a penis.
Jodi and I have sat for six months and watched the vice-president of our HOA treat us like the mud on his shoe just because our mamas didn't raise us to be a doormats. He accuses us of saying things that aren't true, we tell him he's wrong, and when he responds with baseless accusations and over-the-top emotion? Then back the fuck up, because you don't call someone a liar, you don't accuse someone of things they haven't done, and then expect either of us (or any woman, for that matter) to complacently smile, nod our heads, and reply That's OK. I know you didn't mean it all while stroking his arm and ego. I think we're allowed to respond honestly and, yeah, a bit aggressively, based on our statuses as human beings, all gender aside. And when we sit for the same six months, watching this abuse unfold, receiving no support from the other two officers (one man, one woman), and being told by our property manager to be softer in our responses? To be sweeter? All because we have vaginas? Then I realize that the game is lost. Completely.
I'm finished, guys. I absolutely refuse to be a party to this double-standard crap of He's sowing his wild oats./She's a ho. OR He's assertive./She's bitchy. OR He can hold his liquor./She's a lush. And I hate it that after all these years of "following the rules" (i.e. Get the college education. Don't flash the boss. Don't sleep with everybody and their brother. Yadda. Yadda.) I'm still viewed as someone who needs to interact differently with my fellow man in order to achieve the result I'm hoping for, that I have to bat my eyelashes, that I have to show a little cleavage, that I have to wink when I say what I mean so it won't be construed in such a harsh manner. That right there is some of the stinkiest bullshit I've ever encountered. People, if you're bad, you're bad. If you're good, you're good. And if someone is abusing you based on your responses to them? Then it's still abuse. Period. End of the gender discussion.
As of next Wednesday, I will be resigning my position as secretary of the HOA and Jodi will be resigning her position as president. Oh, we'll still be directors, but we will no longer be officers with official responsibilities. Because if the vice-president wants all the power? Fine, he can have the 30-hours-per-week Jodi puts into the job. If he wants to scream and holler that my minutes are lies? Then he can keep notes on the meetings and write his own version of the history of the HOA. And the other two directors who have sat back and said nothing, therefore making the actions of the VP acceptable? They can deal with him as the new president. And I certainly hope they get two in-boxes, four earfuls, and two bellyfuls of his antics.
Because I? Am done.
*Me. A sex object. This is for to laugh.