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Inspired by Tough Guise: Rich, Rich Woman

Inspired by Tough Guise: Rich, Rich Woman

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 “Tough Guise,” a film by Jackson Katz analyzes the ways in which media portrays gender to reinforce an ideal of masculinity, which he defines as “how men view men.” One aspect of the anaylsis was the ways in which over time media has portrayed men as physically larger and women as smaller to reinforce the traditional power dynamic as a response to the women’s movement of the sixties and seventies. The film prompted me to reflect on my own experience of how I “make myself small”- physically and psychologically in order to please men and maintain the traditional power dynamic. 

Rich, Rich Woman

If I had a dollar for every time I hear the phrase “boys are intimidated by…” Bitch…

I would be a rich, rich woman.

I have spent so much of my life making myself seem dumber, thinner,

smaller, prettier, kinder, softer, calmer, quieter

ALL to make the men who are silencers,


I sit across from a man on the T;

His legs spread wide, while mine are crossed, he stares at me.

He takes up space

But I’m not worried, my dad bought me mace

So that I would always be safe, in places I should already be safe in

While I am scared being alone on the T in the night

Women all over the world, all over my city fear, even in the daylight

Their husbands, their boyfriends, their fathers,

But no one seems to even bother

To stop making women shrink themselves,

Or better yet stop the media from thinking violence is a kink for us.

Women have spent their money learning to kick box,

and break balls, and outfox


But don’t let your muscles get too big, the male boss won’t hire you,

he’s more likely to fire you

I paid for my smallness in tears and bile,

as I knelt over the toilet

In my plaid school skirt, facing the high school trials

of being enough, but never too much

I soften my touch, and he hardens his touch

Grabbing me,

I want to slap his hand, but ladies don’t hit

In order to make money, take our money, they sell

an image of a small white belle

and a tough, violent man who puts her in her place

When the honey gets beat, she’s too weak

And another man steps in to save her,

All to make the man in the chair feel like he has power everywhere.

I want back my 77 cents that I spent making men feel bigger, better,

stronger, safer, smarter, tougher, rougher, louder

I want to be a rich, rich woman.

By Erin Sheedy.

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