Just returned from the NICAR Conference in Atlanta (or the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, for those of you who have normal lives and aren’t data nerds).
It was wonderful. I learned more in a weekend than I could in a month. I got to meet (and drink with!) some incredible journalists. New friendships abounded, old friends grew stronger.
Despite all of that,
and despite the fact that the conference was filled with brilliant, intelligent, curious women galore,
There were still
moments where I felt dirty
For speaking out loud.
A group of us
(Five women in our early twenties)
Was followed down the street
By a man
Who would just not give up.
We spent two hours in a restaurant
…And he stayed outside the front door
The whole time
For us to finish our pizza
And come back out.
Another man told me that I
“Only give a shit” about myself
When I pointed out double standards
Between men and women.
You can be twenty-four years old.
And you know better.
Because you’ve read the theory:
Betty Friedan, bell hooks.
But you’re still ashamed.