What’s Made Me Feel Like A Feminist Hack

Coming to terms with some of my privilege

Vanessa Torre

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I’ve had a lot of conversations with people recently about feminism and what it means. When I explain my stance on feminism, it rarely involves anything having to do with the work place. Now it makes me feel like a hack.

I have been sexually harassed. I have had male co-workers completely steal my ideas and pass them on as their own. They have been given opportunities I was not, when I was just as qualified. Still, I have brushed it off.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I can control my role in my workplace.

This is where my privilege comes into play. I am a 44-year-old white woman, with a college degree, living in the 5th largest metropolitan area in the country. I have choices.

I have built a career spanning 20 years and have done as much as I possibly can to make me a desirable employment candidate. It’s worked.

This allows me to make choices regarding where I want to spend my professional time. Choice is a privilege many other women simply do not have. We can’t act like choice is available to them. It’s an immense disservice. I have been guilty of making this assumption and I feel like an ass about it.

I once held a job that I absolutely loved. It brought me such great joy to do it every day. However, the company I work for was so steeped in misogynism that dealing with day to day situations was nearly unbearable.

I had a boss that would pile more and more work on me. Most of it was passed on to me because my male counterpart, who he protected wildly, was unable to keep up and get the job done. When I was inundated with work and stressed beyond belief, my boss had the audacity to walk by my office, look at me, stick his head in and ask that I smile. To say that I lost my shit might be an overwhelming understatement.

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Vanessa Torre

Top 10 feminist writer. Writing, coaching, and relentlessly hyping women in midilfe. linktr.ee/Vanessaltorre Email: vanessa@vanessatorre.com