Sweetie, You Should Be Grateful & Count Your Blessings For The Rights You Have


Let’s pretend we are in a San Francisco dive bar. In a crowded basement room, I am sitting alone center stage on a stool and I am wearing a beret. My all black outfit consists of a long sleeved turtle neck sweater and skinny pants in a homage to the beatnik days of the ’50s and early ’60s. I have a bongo drum held between my legs and I beat it to emphasize my heartfelt points.

The smoke-filled room carries the strong aroma of freshly brewed coffee despite the late hour.

The light in the room dims and the white, hot spotlight focuses in on me for dramatic effect.

I beat my drum.

Women need to be grateful, dontchaknow? This is America, maaaaaan. It’s exceptional. (beats drum)

When I say I want equal pay, I am told I should be grateful that I don’t live in the Middle East.

When I say I want to feel safe walking alone at night, I hear that I shouldn’t put myself in dangerous situations – and I shouldn’t consume alcohol or wear provocative clothing. I am told I should carry a gun.

Is this a war zone? (beats drum) Is this a prison? (beats drum)

If my outfit causes a man to have violent thoughts, why am I held responsible? (beats drum)

When I believe a woman has the right to terminate a pregnancy, I am told that the lives of millions of dead babies are on my conscience, and that the whores who sleep around with the countless, faceless men are the sinners. I am told that I need to repent and that I am a slut.

“Little lady – know your place and don’t cause a commotion. You should be grateful you don’t live in witch-hunting times.” (beats drum)

Witch-hunting times?

Why does my foot want to become one with your crotch, maaaan? (beats drum)

Women fight in wars. They fight for and defend a country that does not recognize gender equality in the Constitution.

“Sweetie, be grateful you are an American.” (beats drum)

When I express outrage that a woman can be denied a birth control prescription because it goes against the religious leanings of a judgmental, puritanical pharmacist, I am told to just find another pharmacy and to stop complaining, and I should be grateful there is more than one pharmacy.

When I show that I am angry at the injustice, I am called hysterical. (beats drum)

When I complain that men are recognized, and mentioned by name in the Constitution but women are not, I am told I need to be grateful that I even HAVE rights.

WT ever loving F? (beats drum)

The smoke haze in the room suddenly clears. The windows fly open.

Everyone is awake.  And pissed.

It is clear. Women still do not have a constitutional guarantee.

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.  (beats drum)

The Equal Rights Amendment. Other countries have one. France, Italy, even Tunisia and Japan recognize equality of the sexes in their constitutions. The United States of America does not.

So when you tell me that I should be grateful to live under your thumb, I say f**k that shit. (beats drum)


Stop telling me what I should be grateful for, and be thankful that I choose to protest peacefully – for now.

I pledge to VOTE BLUE on November 4th (beats drum) and then I plan on holding the elected officials accountable. I will make sure my voice is heard.

My voice will be louder when you join in. (beats drum)

I am grateful that I live in a country that provides me the opportunity to cast my ballot.

I will not go without a fight and I ask that you fight with me – and I ask that you help me kick misogyny in the crotch – figuratively, of course – with your vote. (triple drum beat)

***For those who argue the 14th amendment is all we need…NO. WRONG. CLICK THIS LINK to find out why.

***And for all those who completely freaked out about the crotch commentary – NO ONE is advocating violence. It’s poetic license to make a point. No crotches were harmed in the typing of this blog post. Kicking people in the crotch is wrong. Don’t do it.

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Kimberley Johnson
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