Give Your Money to Women

Give Your Money to Women

By: Cara Anderson

Instagram: @carajojo

People will try to get over on anyone they can, but I know that being a woman makes you a target in the workplace.

A friend of mine recently delivered a presentation about racism and police brutality at Princeton University. Afterward, one of the academics in the room asked “Is it your time of the month?” and added that “You seemed a little emotionally charged when you were talking up there.”

Right, because the emotional part of her presentation couldn’t stem from the fact that innocent people are murdered by police; it must be because she’s menstruating. It’s not surprising to me when women are subject to this kind of treatment; treated like they are not capable of being intelligent beings with agency, treated like their arguments are invalid if ever fueled with emotion and feeling.

It’s not surprising when a co-worker praises a woman for being smart, with a surprised look on his face. It’s not surprising when a manager includes a 🙂 smiley face at the end of sentences instead of proper punctuation, just so she knows that he is being nice to her. It’s not surprising to have the same hourly wage as a man and also be required to handle more responsibilities than him. It’s not surprising when co-workers are more concerned with complimenting her dress than congratulating her on a sale.

Women experience challenges for merely existing in a professional space. From tone policing to sexual harassment. Women are told they are too bossy if they’re assertive. They’re given pet names like “Sunshine,” the kind of name you would give a stuffed unicorn in 2nd grade. They try to laugh when male managers say they look hot or tell them it’s okay to call them “daddy.” They’re subtly degraded and deemed “too emotional.” Most of these offenses happen with such graceful nuance that it’s difficult to call male co-workers out on their behavior successfully. That’s the kicker, because when she calls someone out for making her uncomfortable, she becomes “sensitive,” a wounded animal that is crying for attention.

I could tell you specific instances of sexism and harassment from every single job I’ve had and would fill up half of the pages of this newspaper. I’ll save those stories for my diary because, on the spectrum of aggressions that females put up with, a white woman’s story is a drop in the bucket.

Trans women, women of color, and trans women of color are navigating sexism in the workplace with the added intricacies of transphobia and racism. It’s so much larger than the wage gap and sexual harassment complaints to your HR department.

However, quick newsflash about the wage gap, that “women make 80 cents to a man’s dollar” statistic that isn’t the whole truth. White women make 80 cents to the dollar that a white man makes. Black women make 63 cents to that dollar, and Hispanic women make 54 cents to that dollar. If you want equality for women, then you need to be listening to the voices of the most marginalized, and speaking about how race factors into the wage gap.

Any chance you get, choose to support women-owned businesses. Even more so, specifically support businesses owned by women of color. Go out of your way to support women.

Go out of your way to avoid making the women in your office uncomfortable.