If you’re not angry, you’re not listening

We are going to feel these effects for a long time. It’s time to get angry. 

On Friday, before heading out for the weekend, I reposted a meme on Facebook that spoke – no, it actually screamed at me. 

It said something to the effect of ‘Men didn’t give women the right to vote. They withheld it and then we fixed that shit.” 

And a bunch of women had ‘laugh emoji’ responded to the original post, but when I saw the meme – my blood boiled in my body. 

I reposted it with a note to Burn. The. Patriarchy. And essentially a call that if you are a woman or identify as a woman and aren’t angry, then you aren’t really listening. 

Last year around this time, as I was super pregnant and, due to the pandemic, I couldn’t go anywhere, I read a book called Patriarchy Stress Disorder by Dr. Valerie Rein. 

I’ve since read it two more times and recommend it to most of my 1:1 clients. 

Why? 

Because it backs up, with science, the trauma and response that is so deeply ingrained in women today. 

The generational traumas that cause us to play small, be afraid of being loud, live filled with guilt and worry and basically burn-out due to burdens we often don’t even realize we are carrying. 

Everything from the way girls are typically raised, to how we are valued in family structures and the workforce, to the way the trauma of childbirth is managed in institutionalized hospital settings, to that damn ‘glass’ ceiling that still exists to this day in corporate boardrooms.

I recently read another statistic that shows there are more male CEOs named John at the Fortune 500 level than there are female CEOs period. 

Like what the actual f**k. 

So, as I said “If you’re not angry, you’re not listening.” (and there’s tons of evidence to back up your fury.)

But then Saturday, as we sat in the car wash drive thru, I flicked through my phone to see an Instagram post by The Founder’s Fund – a funding, education and mentorship program for women done in collaboration with BDC Canada. (BDC is ‘the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs.) 

The post was a carousel of images printed on a newspaper (oh, the irony). 

Nevertheless, the following words jumped out and screamed at me: 

“Women-owned businesses across all industries are taking nearly twice as long to recover from the financial setbacks brought on by COVID-19 compared with businesses owned by men.” 

Research by RBC Economics found the coronavirus pandemic knocked women’s participation in the labour force down from an historic high to its lowest level in more than 30 years.” 

The summary in point is that COVID widened the gender gap so much that it will now take 135 years to close that divide. 

Seeing that was like a dagger to both my brain and heart. It drew me back to one of the deciding factors when I left the newsroom. 

I walked out the day I found out that the MALE (my age, same experience level, everything) in my same role was making 50% more than I was. 

50% more. Because he was a man. 

50% less. Because I was a woman. 

And now, this pandemic is making those stats WORSE. 

We should not only be angry and loud. It’s time to take action, ladies. 

This virus ravaged our economies. It ravaged our home fronts. It’s ravaged our political systems in a way that will, most definitely, play out in the coming elections and primaries in the States. 

But what it didn’t ravage is the Patriarchal structures that long to keep things ‘Normal’. 

The normal that Dr. Rein refers to as ‘women living with mental and emotional prison guards’. The normal where women choose to leave the workforce under duress. The normal where women get paid 65 cents on the dollar because, for the most part, our biology makes us ‘less valuable’. 

Not on my watch, COVID. Not on my watch. 

I never, ever wanted to call myself a feminist. I spent 23 years in the all-girls education system and rebelled against the concept vociferously. 

But God gave me two daughters. And a conscience. The evidence is here. 

If we are not angry, we are not listening. 

Call it feminism. Call it the next normal. Call it whatever you want. 

But we can’t live like this anymore. 

Women make up more than half the world’s population. We are starting businesses at a rate never seen before. There is more economic and scientific proof that when women owned businesses thrive, they hire more women. 

And when women are employed, the socioeconomic stats show that they invest back into communities through children, charities and more. 

For the last century, we have been fighting to break the glass in corporate boardrooms. We have been playing by ‘the rules’ just for a chance at being heard. 

But the time has come to simply play a new game. We no longer need to break the glass in someone else’s room. 

This virus shone a light on our ability – no, our duty, to build a new room.


The Rest of the Story is a project of love and commitment to showing up on this site every day for 90 days; sharing honest opinions, thoughts and observations. Comments are welcome.

Erin Trafford Incorporated is located on sacred land that has been the site of human activity for over 12,000 years. We are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People, and we acknowledge them as the past, present, and future caretakers of this  land.

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