I’m going to be honest here. I’m not sure what to write. I feel very ill-equipped to speak with any authority about human rights on a day like today, but I’ve been challenging myself recently to be a bit more vocal about women’s issues from the male perspective.
It’s funny that it’s a tasty treat that I’m writing about on a day with an opportunity to speak about women.
Alright… are you ready for a bit of the dark humor in the Grant household?
We have a running gag in our relationship. We had friends who trained their dog to “go to the rug” as punishment when naughty. We’ve twisted that to now apply to my wife in the most tongue-in-cheek way possible. Couched in jokes about bare feet and the kitchen sink, we speak to the ridiculousness of gender expectations and dominating authority men can assert over their wives.
Inappropriate? Absolutely. That’s what we think too.
Let me interject here just a second. If you don’t know my wife, Marah Grant, you should. Definitely go and check out her blog. She is a remarkable voice for women, and I just watch in amazement wondering what I can do.
Just as an example, check out what she just posted to Facebook.
I love the strength in her voice. I love the passion that erupts from her heart into her speech. She will say what is true. She will stand for what is right. She advocates for equality for woman around the world.
But what about me?
I don’t claim to be an abolitionist even though I work for an organization that sets underage children free because I do what I do because my heart breaks for these victims, but there’s so much expectation and weight attached to that word. I don’t believe I measure up, but I want to do what I can to make a difference. The idea of claiming to be a “feminist” terrifies me. There’s even more weight wrapped up in that word. Just mention it and you’re at risk of being crucified for stances that go drastically beyond anything I’d imagine to support. But even at its simplest terms, I can’t claim to be one because I am uneducated and ill-equipped to speak out against the disrespect and abuses against women.
Perhaps the biggest reason though is that I believe my gender excludes me from the conversation. I do not know what it feels like to be passed over for a position for which I am the most qualified. I feel the same about race. How can I possibly speak to the difficulty experienced by ethnic minorities in my country when I absolutely recognize the benefit of white privilege (just another weighted term that scares me to type) in my life. How can I contribute to these conversations?
I have to do a better job of this. I listen to a ton of podcasts and forget to make notes about what I hear. I can’t remember if it was an episode about the gender pay gap on the Freakonomics podcast, or maybe just an episode discussing “GamerGate on one of my favorites, The Accidental Tech Podcast.
What keeps sticking in my mind is how our eyes can be opened when we hear from victims, but change comes from members of the majority to recognize that experience as true, and decide to make a change.
Here’s the truth:
Gender, racial, or any other inequality or injustice will not change without the movement of the privileged, and that doesn’t happen by the voice of the victimized leader, but by the decision of a changed heart from a member of the oppressing party who dares to motivate the others to follow that leader.
The subjugation of women is a thing because men subjugate women. A woman has a limited opportunity to change that reality. It must come from the very heart of the one who oppresses as the one with the power to restrain and drop their own hand.
I recognize myself as an offender with words I speak, jokes I tell, positions I hold, benefits I gain, and barriers I don’t have to climb. I have not tried to take part, but that doesn’t make me less complicit. The call to honor women requires a purposeful removal of myself from an artificial platforms to a position where I can look a women, or any other human being, in the eye as equal in value, opportunity, and role.
So, to celebrate my sisters of every walk of life, I recognize women as:
- Individuals deserving, by a shared status of “human being,” of respect equal to my own.
- Individuals with unique strengths, weaknesses, skills, and potential – just like any of my own categories.
- People who participate in the progress of all people with an equal voice to contribute in politics, economics, science, education, technology, art, history, and all areas of human progress.
- Individuals deserving of every opportunity awarded to any other person.
- Individuals who play a unique role in the perpetuity of the human race who should not be devalued or hindered from their contribution to society because of decisions to take part in the creation and rearing of a family.
- Individuals not relegated to silence or “the kitchen,” but invited to participate in every level of leadership of others – because they are absolutely capable and we are incomplete and ill-equipped without them.
- Deserving of fair pay for their work!!! Come on, already!
- Also, I’m pretty sure raping, hitting, selling, purchasing, and exploiting are all off the table, yes?
What else? Can we agree?
What does this have to do with our dessert?
Did I mention already how much I like dessert? Hail Merry tarts are a particularly welcome treat for us because they are more than a dessert.
Marah has food sensitivities that make it challenging to find desserts that hit that sweet spot. Hail Merry hits the spot for even vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo folks.
The best part, they’re good!
That’s enough, right? If it’s good, generally I’ll shove it down my gullet, but that’s not the end of the benefits of these sweets. Cocoa is fair-trade certified. The tarts are GMO certified along with being R.A.W. and C.L.E.A.N. Find out more here.
Honestly, I don’t care enough about those things, so I’ll just mention them and let you do the research.
Going in is nice. They really are good, but eating Hail Merry tarts really hit the spot for me because of what they do that is good in the world. That’s what these posts are all about after all.
Hail Merry “dedicates a portion of our time and resources to charities that help victims and survivors of human trafficking.” – read more here
It’s hard to find exactly what organization(s) they support, but I think this blog post provides some information. Through the support of Whole Planet Foundation, My growing belly supports “1,310,827 microentrepreneurs in 70 different countries around the world.” I’m feeling a bit better about the losing battle with my shrinking wardrobe.
We’ve tried the Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Almond Butter, Meyer Lemon, and Persian Lime. My favorite is the Chocolate Almond Butter. The filling part of the tarts are made with coconut oil which is smooth and tasty. The crust varies depending on the flavor. They don’t cheat with stuff you shouldn’t eat, so the texture of the graham cracker crust of the lemon tarts, for example, is slightly more gritty than I’m used to, but definitely still good.
I suggest buying in bulk so you can try them all. We did.
Ok. I don’t consider myself a food critic any more than a feminist, but I believe in the steps we can each take to make the world a better place. I’m going to eat dessert… too frequently. I’m going to benefit from my gender… I’m going to benefit from my race… It’s up to me and you to decide to use our position to change things, even when it means the loss of my benefits. The benefit to the world is far more important than my own. THAT is how I feel about eating these tarts (tongue-in-cheek once again… a little). I suppose I need to eat up if it means making a difference in the lives of these women. I’m happy to spend my time on the rug, eating Hail Merry tarts if it frees a talented, competent women up to lead us all into a new world.
Eat up this International Women’s Day.