Women have Reason and a voice

October 7, 2023

2010 Take Back the Night march in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Photo: AllenS, public domain

I’m friends with a heterosexual couple. The man will give me unsolicited advice on how to lose weight. He seems to have an idea of how a woman should look and a need to control my appearance.


A couple of days ago I took an evening walk. I feel safe because I carry a keychain alarm. But I was harassed twice by men, one of whom asked me to get in his car. The other followed me until I turned around and glared at him. Then he left and went in another direction. That’s the kind of thing I’ve experienced from the age of 12. I’m over 60 now. When I’m in a car it doesn’t happen, but on public transport or walking, that type of thing will happen about every time.

“Take Back the Night.” It’s time for us to have that march again.

There’s a backlash against the progress of women these days. You can see it in sports, politics, culture, music and film.

“Barbie” speaks from the experience of women in this world and how we’re expected to be. Black women on the radio criticized its white, colonialist lens, but I’m interested in the outrage of men regarding the dynamics between the Barbie and Ken characters. Barbie is not allowing herself just to be a decoration or accessory. Men have been raging about it.

I’m on social media enough to hear a lot of expressed outrage, statements that women don’t have the right to see themselves equal to men. Social media allows men to get away with saying outrageous things with no consequences. They remind me of the domestic violence abusers I used to work with. That used to be the only place I would hear such raw misogyny.


Insistence on the voice of Reason coming from women, not only the passion of women. Women have a voice that is reasonable in any family, work situation. Two Black women on the radio talked about the March on Washington. They pointed out that only one woman was allowed/asked to speak at the rally and that was because the original speaker’s husband, an important activist, had died. Another woman was given her slot when she was unavailable.

For the sake of empowering the Civil Rights Movement, everyone supposed men had to be at the forefront for it to be taken seriously. Women were the helpmates and organizers. Women organized all the transportation. Outreach at that time meant sending out letters and making phone calls. Paraphrase from the radio: “I wonder what the impact would have been with women speaking up 50/50 with their own aims and grievances, instead of all the words coming from the minds of men. Women would have given it more of a broad collaborative feel. For example: ‘We have a dream’ instead of ‘I have a dream.'”

–Anna Maillon

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