I was working an evening shift not too long ago when I came face-to-face─well, stomach-to-hand─with you. While you’re sometimes quiet and sneaky, that night you were loud and arrogant.
The evening was unassuming; a retiring Monday that promised an early night. Then a sexist walks into a restaurant and takes a seat. Little did I know, the doors would be locked at nine p.m. but your self-proclaimed punch line lingered loudly all the way through the week. Sexism, you joked and I laughed politely. I served you and you did utter gratification. As you cackled at yet another witticism of yours, your greedy hand met my midsection. “Hello,” it sniggered as I struggled to protest. I have chastised my dismissal ever since but, as my brows knitted together with shock, I simply didn’t say anything. Your force left me feeling off balance. Your actions left me with no words other than, “Enjoy your meal.”
In the name of feminism I take back my silence. I’ve been told countless stories of friends’ nights out that include young men touching them without their permission. No means no isn’t acknowledged; consent isn’t even asked for. We are so frequently robbed of our right to say no; our right to have a choice. So, Sexism, I challenge your choice to touch with no request. If─when─we meet again, I’ll battle the confusion lodged in my throat and I’ll teach you a lesson you, to this day, haven’t learnt.
I encourage everyone to speak out if they can; to correct you, Sexism. To tell you we won’t let you get away with it. Yet, with the yellow glow up above my head helping me see the very face of your beliefs, I didn’t practice what I preach. Your beliefs overpowered mine but next time I’ll tell you to shut the feminism up. Sexism, I am a woman and a waitress. The “look and do touch” attitude towards women and waitresses and anyone is supposed to be in the history books. I’m a human being and I won’t shyly ask for your respect; I will demand it.
A Waitress Who Didn’t Give You Permission to Touch
This is my first article in issue #5 of Feminism Up (released earlier this month). Feminism Up is my passion project that aims to encourage conversation about inequality and sexism, in turn encouraging the term “feminist.” After experiencing something in my place of work last month I felt the need to write about it. If you’d like to read the rest of the issue, feel free to subscribe HERE! If you yourself would like to write an article, please drop me a message! ❤
~ Kat ~