Occupy yourself

I’m on fire about Occupy Wall Street.

As a child of the 60’s, I will always love a good demonstration.


As a child of a high school English teacher, I will always love words.


From my earliest years, my mom never talked down to me. She always used really big words. A deer in the headlights, I’d ask “what does that mean?” She’d say “go look it up” failing to notice that I was only 4 years old and didn’t know how to read yet.

Happily, I can read now and dictionary definitions offer hours of gleeful irony.


Merriam-Webster’s says occupy means “to reside in as an owner or tenant.” Is Occupy Wall Street asking whether we own our democracy? I find myself inspired by this cartoon I saw on Facebook to ask a much more personal question. Am I, the woman writing this blog, the owner of my own body?

Because I wear neither a bikini nor a burka, I can pretend that I am not occupied by the patriarchy just like I used to think that Wall Street didn’t affect my life. But that would be ridiculous. Of course I am. We all see very clearly now how Wall Street impacts us. I want everyone to come to the same realization about the impact of sexism.

I challenge and cheer all women who are participating on Wall Street and in all the other towns across the land. Shout about your experiences of sexism in every conversation, every chant. Help your sisters and brothers make the connection between how much you earn, what you can provide for your kids, and who decided your wages and if you have ANY access to the healthcare you need.

Women unite. Stop paying rent for something you already own.


5 thoughts on “Occupy yourself”

  1. preach sister friend! i too am on fire about occupy wall street, and this week i am all about occupying the patriarchy. this movement is really about justice and equality, then the patriarchy needs to be turned up-side down. i hope we see dozens of women step up and take the bankers’ bull by the horns.

  2. Are women being murdered by their male relatives for not wearing a bikini?
    I must have missed that.

    More generally, compare the treatment of women who choose not to wear bikinis in Western democracies vs. the treatment of women who choose not to wear burkas in Islamic theocracies.

    Pretending they’re exactly the same thing exaggerates one at the expense of the other. Not cool.

  3. Hey – Thanks for that comment James. I think the point I was reflecting on was a personal one. The loss I feel – and I bet I’m not alone – in the sense that I do not inhabit my own body. That somehow it is for rent to commercial interests, and economic and political forces. That’s where I was mostly coming from.

    But as long as you brought it up, I’d like to point out that yes, in fact, women are being murdered by their male relatives (mostly their husbands and male partners) for (metaphorically speaking) not wearing a bikini. It’s easy to miss this because the news does a terrible job of telling the story of what’s behind these domestic violence-related murders (tragically, 24 women were killed by an abusive partner in 2010 in Washington). Each of the 24 women, were they alive today, would tell you the details of how they were insulted, humiliated, harassed, stalked, assaulted, and ultimately killed for not getting dinner on the table on time, not keeping the baby quiet, not having sex with their partner when he wanted it, not submitting to every whim and demand.

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