My Reflections on International Women’s Day 2018

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I am not that woman who has been raped on the streets of India. Nor am I a child bride forced to marry. No dictator has ruled over my body or reproductive rights. I have not been subjected to the ravages of a female circumcision.

I have however faced discrimination, workplace bullying and sexual harassment, often all at the same time. I have been excluded, paid unfairly and been on the receiving end of mansplaining.

I have been controlled. I have been out numbered.

I have been doubted, underestimated and my kindness has been mistaken for weakness, repeatedly.

I've been told by men that they didn't want to compensate me for completed work I was hired to do.

I have been left out of the deal when there wouldn't have been a deal without me. A thief of a man stole from me after gaining my trust.

I've been silenced by a "settlement" after a man forcibly confined me at work and not one man or woman colleague helped me.

I have been used and falsely accused.

I have found my voice. Been ignored. I spoke up again and again and again. I've been patronized.

This day in fact. This day to honour women around the globe. On IWD 2018, a woman patronized me after stealing my ideas under the guise of collaboration to better the lives of women.

Because sometimes women are the problem.

It's complex.

I am not a victim. I am a woman. A privileged woman. We have a long way to go ladies. #InternationalWomensDay2018

Maureen McGrath is a registered nurse, sexual health educator, executive director of the Women's Health Initiative Network raising awareness about below the belt issues for women, vaginal, sexual, uterine and bladder health. She is in clinical practice in North Vancouver. She hosts the Sunday Night Sex Show on CKNW, CJOB, CHED and CCHQ. She is a TEDx Speaker, and author of Sex & Health: Why One Can't Come Without the Other. Her radio show is a free download on iTunes. Sunday Night Health Show

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