International Women’s Day

Photo © Lauren V. Allen

It’s International Women’s Day.

One of my journalistic idols, Alexandra Petri, wrote this glorious piece of satire in its honor:

To the same point, let me tell you about one of my first experiences as an officially ~profesh~ female:

I recently met a source and started pursuing a story on the company he works with. The longer I worked on the story, the more his correspondences grew less and less professional. It started with him messaging me about random things unrelated to work. I ignored some of them, responded briefly to others. He began messaging me late at night. I would only reply to work-related ones the following day. Then he began repeatedly suggesting we “grab a drink” in “celebration.” Ignored. He sent me a “Happy Valentine’s Day” message. His message went unreturned.

Finally, in what I imagine now was desperation for response, he offered up the requested information and interview with his boss.

But, there were strings attached. He wanted favors in return. (Sit down, this isn’t House of Cards.) When I declined, he’s threw an adult tantrum, quickly revoked his offer for information, got panicky, and tried to make me look incompetent to my boss. (Too bad for him, she’s also female and had none of his BS.)

Maybe I should have directly shut him down sooner, but I didn’t want to lose the story if I didn’t have to. No, I didn’t play his game, but I didn’t stand up for myself initially either, and in the end, I lost the story anyway.

This also came just a few months after a drunk male Uber passenger climbed on top on me in the driver’s seat of my car to try to kiss me. I think not. I hope my knee to his sternum felt good.

These are the types of situations and dilemmas that women deal with every. single. day.

So today, on International Women’s Day, I’m especially thankful for strong female role models, for the men out there who do support and respect women, and for bony kneecaps.

Happy IWD, ladies. Keep on keepin’ on. Oh, and don’t forget to be likable.

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