What constitutes “chilling” behavior? A teacher calls on the boys in class more than the girls. A CEO ignores what a woman says in a meeting but listens intently when a man makes the exact same point. A conference emcee mentions a female speaker’s appearance rather than (or in addition to) her accomplishments, but feels no need to comment on the appearance of male speakers. A guy at an atheist/skeptics meeting hits on a young woman in an elevator at 4 AM, ignoring the fact that she just spent the evening talking about how she hates being objectified at such gatherings.
All these sorts of things seem tiny and insignificant by themselves, but they add up, and this produces a cumulative “chilling” effect that makes women feel unwelcome, like they don’t belong. That’s a “chilly climate.” The effect is subtle; sometimes we’re not even consciously aware of it. We just have that nagging feeling of being “less than,” unable to put our finger on why we feel that way.
Dear 10-Year-Old Self,
Before you ask me when you have your first kiss or if you’ll ever have a boyfriend, I need to tell you some more important stuff first. What’s more important than a first kiss, you ask? Plenty.
First of all, don’t let that kid in your class, Danny, who called you fat, make you self-consciously wear oversized sweatshirts for the next four years to hide your body. That kid is horrible and years from now he will be boring and bald and trying to get in touch with you to come to the set of the TV show you work on. No, you don’t work on Cheers. That show’s not on the air anymore. That would’ve been awesome, though.
Another thing: Say thank you, always. Gratitude is the closest thing to beauty manifested in an emotion. When you’re grateful, people are attracted to you.
Also: Make sure you appreciate Mom and Dad. Yes, they never seem to let you do anything now except read books. Once you turn 18 you’ll never get to live with them again, and you’ll live far away, and you will miss them so much it hurts.
Next: Learn forgiveness and bestow it generously.
Finally: Don’t let anyone give you any crap. Mastering a balance of these last two will take you a lifetime, so you had better get started now.
INVICTUS: A comic tribute to Nelson Mandela
Today feels like the perfect day to share our cover of John Lennon’s “Mother”. Filmed and recorded at The Magic Shop Recording Studio in NYC