Too often, sexism is invisible to us, whether it’s too geographically distant or we’ve just become immune to witnessing women treated like objects instead of like humans. In 2010, naming the enemy is half the battle.
In her new book Committed, Elizabeth Gilbert used a Rumpelstiltskin simile applicable here. The story of Rumpelstiltskin is about a girl forced into slavery; she must spin straw into gold. She will only be freed when she can name one of her captors. When she discovers his name and calls it out, he loses all his power and must set her free. Gilbert wrote, “Some fears can be vanquished, Rumpelstiltskin-like, only by uncovering their hidden, secret names.”
I’ve launched The Rumpelstiltskin Campaign: sEXISTs EXIST. Post news about sexism, when and where you see it, on ReelGirl. Photos welcome. The campaign won’t end sexism, but it’s a crucial step towards setting us free.
Email me your info if you want stickers or T-shirts. T-shirts come in all sizes and baby dolls $25 each. A percentage of proceeds goes to The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization I cofounded to train young women to be leaders and change agents.