“You spelled my name wrong”
Those were the opening words shot at me during what I had wrongly assumed would be the best interview of my entire life. I quickly tried to recover, noting that I knew perfectly well how to spell her name and that spell check must have automatically changed it. I apologized a dozen times for such a rookie mistake and crossed my fingers that the rest of the interview would proceed a bit smoother . . .
It only got worse.
As I left the interview almost in tears, I retreated to the floor bathroom post analysis and came across one of the interviewers who had treated me well.
“Baby boomers have this . . . thing . . . against the millennial generation.” She explained during our surprise re-encounter. I thought about those words as I walked out of the building and back onto Broadway where I retreated back into my thoughts.
So because of my date of birth my value is seen as virtually non-existent? Or was it because I did not have a superior amount of credentials? I am, after all, quite fresh out of college sans graduate student status. Regardless, never before had I felt so gutted and worthless. There was no sense of respect whatsoever. I expected this from a large financial firm questioning me for a high-income job or some hoity-toity socialite not pleased with her caviar dish or . . .
“Heyyyy sexy,” a loiter called out to me. I looked to the loiter then back to the grey building that entrapped the recent memories and saw no difference. Except, inside that building was an organization geared towards empowering women. After all, it was a non-profit feminist journalism organization.
Seeking a career in feminism came natural to me. I had always considered myself a feminist even at the age of six when I transformed our class “Bug Book” by placing an “S” in front of every “He,” discouraged by the lack of female characters introduced to me. Of course during the course of my life there have been foggy definitions and misinterpretations, but as I became more aware of the downright landfill placed onto the face of women because of our patriarchal societal structures, lies and the power of the almighty dollar, I not only became passionate to seek more information and disburse it amongst others, but to destroy the perpetrators.
But of course my efforts for this noble fight in college via television, print and radio meant nothing once I graduated. A community of professors, directors and students eager and willing to support one another and help save others had disappeared like water escaping through cupped hands. I thought coming into New York knowing a city so big should have organizations of every interest, I would be sure to find a home and begin a fruitful life changing peoples’ lives as a living, even if only a little. Instead, in this instance, I saw a modern day girls club who turn their noses to those who are not of their stature.
I am ashamed for them. They’ve lost touch with their roots and the reason they exist. Feminism was born to give women a spirit and a soul and take them out of their physical definitions. Feminism knows no boundaries of material possessions and wealth, knows that those dwelling in a lower status were placed there by unfit powers and grabs their hands and pulls them up. Feminism takes in all women, wraps them into a blanket of support and empowerment, feeds them the truth and forgives their mistakes. We have to support one another. If we cannot, then no one will.
I do believe one of the women that I had met that day had lost touch of the meaning of her organization’s existence as well as the ideals upheld in feminism. I also know that there are organizations, and have interned at one, that are warm, welcoming and ultimately dedicated towards a better future for all women. I just find it sad that I, as a woman, who had so much hope and reverence and so quick to give my dedication, was ridiculed and trampled on by an organization whose mission it is to raise up the status of women around the world.
– written by Elena Gaudino