3/8/19: Tell Me More (International Women’s Day Podcast)
They say you are what you eat. But I don't remember eating a f*ucking legend. Hi, this is Coach MK and this is The Morning Mantra.
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Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.
Today's mantra is: "Tell Me More. Tell Me More".
It is Friday March the Eighth. Happy International Women's Day! What an exciting day! The fact that we have to still celebrate International Women's Day is proof positive that we have not yet achieved parity with men; we've got a long fucking way to go. Because this is what inequality looks like you guys. It looks like women needing their own f*ucking day to be celebrated.
And when you look back, it's interesting to think about the origins of International Women's Day. First, it was something that was promoted as part of the women's suffrage movement back in in New York in 1909; the UN picked it up in 1975 to highlight inequality all over the world. Originally, it was called 'International Working Woman's Day'. But that was roundly defeated as you can imagine that whole "you can have it all" stuff that was coming to the forefront in second way feminism in the seventies wouldn't have been too kind towards the notion of celebrating only the working women without acknowledging how different the workplace was for women versus men.
But I digress. It's day for deep thought its day people like to point to Malala Yousafzai and say, wow, what was her famous quote? "When everyone else is silent. Even one voice can make a difference." And... no disrespect to her. She's an amazing amazing woman. I cannot imagine what it what it was like growing up the way that she did. But it strikes me as disingenuous when American women point to her, point to that quote, without acknowledging their own silence, the silence of people around them and the things that we don't say in this country.
To give you a great example, Larry Nassar had a hundred and fifty accusers present at his trial. Of those one hundred fifty over one hundred had told someone, had filed official reports. No one listened. No one did anything. We have a habit of turning a blind eye, of shooting the messenger, saying, "you sure are a whiner. You sure do complain a lot. Maybe you should take responsibility for your own actions," instead of looking at the abuser and saying, "hey, maybe you're abusing your authority. Maybe you're abusing your power. Maybe you should stop doing this. Could you please? That'd be great." .
It would be really nice if we would all give a shit three hundred sixty five days a year and not just the one where we paid lip service to women that are definitely living in places that are harder to get by than the United States.
If nothing else I wanna throw some beautiful platitudes that belong on t shirts and coffee mugs into this word salad of a mantra today.
Finally, here's a quote from Malala's father:
So if you have not actively oppressed another person today were recently, congratulations. I'd love it if you kept on doing that. But would also be nice if you took a moment to reflect like Malala's dad and ask yourself, 'what have I not done? What have I not been listening to? what have I not been receptive to? am I one of those people potentially? Is there a difference between me and all of the people that received reports about Larry Nassar?" Ok, maybe not quite that drastic. But maybe, just maybe, there are messages of people hurting, people asking for help, people saying, 'you have more power than I do could you please assist me here? You can get a result that I can't'. And have you been saying no to those things?
On today, the International Day of the Woman, I stand before you as a mouthy, mouthy feminist as fuck female that still has to ask my husband to go to the pediatrician because he gets clearer, straighter responses than I do when I say, "the kids are sick and I'm worried this has gone on for a really long time'.
Someone who still has to bring my husband with me before my pain will be taken seriously. Someone who, while I was in labor, had to run across the street to the hospital because some woman thought that I was exaggerating and hung up on me when I insisted that something was wrong, and he physically dragged someone out to me to make sure I would have assistance when the baby came out of my body. Because they were tired of hearing me complain. They didn't want to do anything about my pain. They wanted me to stop complaining, and they turned off the phone. They decided what I was feeling wasn't valid and ignored me. They said I wasn't in labor. I gave birth a few hours later.
While that sinks, in this loudmouthed woman who is profane as all get out. Where's that F? Feminist is my second favorite f-word y'all know that. In this day and age I still have to stand behind a man to get most of the things that I need, and I hate it. And this world is not going to become a better place in until we're actually willing to look at each other and say, 'hey, I hear you're hurting. Let's talk about the pain,' instead of saying, 'hey, you need to stop whining this is really inconvenient'. Look at those people you've been tuning out, those WOMEN you have been tuning out and say, 'tell me more' and then do your fucking job as a decent human being and listen.
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True Story #1 : After being shamed at the hospital, and later SEEING FIRSTHAND that my husband got different answers than I did from the same damned doctor, well visits and scheduled visits became, and have remained, his responsibility. When he isn't home I take the kids directly to Urgent Care at Children's Hospital.
True Story #2: My fourth pregnancy was TERRIBLE. I was in massive amounts of pain that kept me bedridden for well over a year. My doctors were incredibly dismissive, particularly when I said "it was nothing like this the last three times I am SCARED." (she insisted my memory was poor. I changed doctors that day). I guess everyone was tired of hearing me complain when I went into the hospital at 37 weeks, convinced I was leaking fluid; I had been complaining about that leakage for 6 weeks at that point. After 4 hours and 3 residents and 2 (failed) tests for the presence of fluid, they were prepared to send me home. I asked for an ultrasound and they said it wasn't medically necessary. I started crying so my husband DEMANDED an ultrasound in that entitled white-man way that ALWAYS WORKS for him and ALWAYS gets me carried out by security guards...and we discovered the fluid levels were dangerously low. So low they induced labor within MINUTES. A nurse would later tell us we would probably had lost Violet if we had gone home.