In honour of the 60th international women’s day, one woman is refusing to eat dinner for 60 days to protest the subtle ways in which gender inequality is visible all around us. Here is the beginning of her MANifesto – it’s written with style and well-worth the read.
Why am I refusing to eat dinner for 60 days? Allow me to present a small menu of reasons.
At a formal dinner at my college last month, a large male-only party sat next to my husband and me. During the course of their lighthearted discussions, this amusing little anecdote came up:
“Haha, yeah I stayed in a guest house in that town, and it was sketchy, man, just sketchy”, one gentleman said, shaking his head and laughing.
“Oh yeah?” his friend replied.
“Yeah. Like, someone got raped in the room next door. That’s how bad it was.”, he continued, still smiling.
“Oh man!” his friend groaned with laughter.
“Yeah and I didn’t hear anything, because I had my earplugs in and was asleep, and she called the police and everything-I woke up when the police came into my room!”
This little gem of an anecdote was met with boisterous laughter from everyone within earshot. The young man added, as an afterthought: “Yeah, that’s actually pretty serious. It’s pretty bad”.
Conveniently for the dude, this woman’s horrendous experience served as both a cute story, demonstrating his comic abilities, and also a moment of serious reflection, proving what a ‘nice guy’ he is! My, how safe I feel in a world where gentlemen like my colleague admit that sexual assault, which is inflicted upon an estimated 1/3rd of women worldwide, is ‘pretty bad’ in addition to being a great punchline!
For the main course, the dessert and the rest of the dinner party click here.
So, what does it come down too?
As a feminist, I am frequently compelled to call such individuals out on their behaviour. There is a phrase for the kind of awkwardness one feels when confronting people about their hateful words and actions: ruining the dinner party.
I suggest, however, that it is not I who ruins dinner by advocating for peace. In fact you are ruining my dinner. I cannot attend a social event without having to choose between choking in silence, or speaking out, often alone, and facing the inevitable pile-on of antifeminist opposition. If I stay silent I hate myself; if I speak up, you hate me.
I’m not swallowing it anymore. My strike began on International Women’s Day; March 8th 2009. I refuse to eat any solid food between 5pm and midnight. This strike will last for 60 days, signifying the 60 years since the International Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed. When will women be considered unquestionably worthy of these rights? Probably not by the time I’m done fasting. Will this strike make any difference? That’s up to you. Click the FAQs & Snacks section to learn how you can do your part. Both men and women are welcome. And you can start by forwarding this website to your friends and family.
Want to help out? Check out her website and spread the word.