I’ve never raped a woman / I’m not as bad as Harvey Weinstein / Well, from my glass house… and other excuses men have told me.

I’ve engaged in countless conversations this week about Harvey Weinstein— with men I love, with men I admire, with men who are my champions— about holding other men accountable. Some asked how they could help, how they could be a part of the conversation. Most acknowledged that they were nothing like Harvey.  Their behavior nowhere near as bad. But when asked if they would be willing to hold another man accountable, the most common phrase I heard was, “Well from my glass house…” And what a strange place to stand: acknowledging that that while you might not be rapists, you admit to some questionable behavior, and that makes it impossible for any man to hold another accountable. “From my glass house…” How very convenient. 

It will be too easy for your peers to look themselves in the mirror and say they are not as bad as Harvey Weinstein. That they haven’t raped anyone. Or groped them. Or showed up to their hotel rooms naked. But the amount of #MeToo’s shared on social media last night, make it so that the numbers don’t add up. I was on the phone with my father this past weekend and while the news is our currency, this one was a difficult conversation. We talked about all the public moments in which powerful men were taken down for their sexual harassment— Strauss-Khan in France, Bill O’Reilley, Harvey Weinstein. We talked about their perversion and their need for help. We talked about their undeniably inappropriate behavior. And yet there was a comment made about how women can also be complicit, about how women can also be extortionists.

Yes. This is true. That does happen, sometimes. And who knows what those women were surviving. Who knows. But listen to a woman when she tells you that is not the norm. Truly the exception. It struck me that while my father— an exquisite debater, an intellectual, a man who raised me to be just like him— considered this conversation to be like any other. A debate. Political jargon. Another family stand-off, in which we all become proud of the knowledge held inside our brains. But I took a step. I opened up to my father— my forever champion, my dream— about the fact that this wasn’t that conversation. This was about my experience. My story. About womanhood.

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i will be proud of my pleasure

When Beyonce’s first visual album dropped, I remember feeling a new kind of exhilaration. The kind that wakes you up, confuses you, scares you, propels you; a magnetism so strong, an understanding that you don’t know quite yet what just happened to you, but you will do everything you can to find out. I remember sitting on my bed, five days before my 23rd birthday, watching “Grown Woman” for the first time and really letting the words sink in. “I can do whatever I want.” “I can do whatever I want.” Having grown up away from my family, I’ve always thought that to be exactly my life’s philosophy.”Priscila is always doing whatever she wants!” Sometimes, a praise. Sometimes, an accusation. But this was different. Because I love structure, I thrive in structure. I love the conquering of a structure. I make structure my b*tch. Crude? Yes. But it’s exactly how it feels.

“I’m a grown woman, I can do whatever I want.” “I’m a grown woman, I can do whatever I want.” I think it might have been the first moment in which I totally and 100% realized that there was a world one step wilder, smoother, more colorful than mastering the structure. And I was old enough to grab it. Beyonce in that moment presented a possibility I had never recognized and from that moment, I was hooked. I wanted more. 

I don’t think I’ve mastered the subtle and necessary art of not giving a damn, or the art of celebration: of self, of womanhood, of all my loudness, my harshness. Celebration. I’ve been inching into it. Slowly. But something also happened when I turned 25. An age at which I thought my brothers were already grown men of the world, belonging to the suits and the ties, and part of the solution for potable water in disenfranchised parts of Colombia. And they are. And they were. So what’s my 25? I’ve thought more about pleasure and what pleasure means in my life. Pleasure.

I’ve always chased pleasure. I smoked. I drank. I threw up. I kissed too many. I chased too much. Slipped away too many mornings. I wrote. I ran. Pleasure. Pleasure. Pleasure quietly ruling my life. The late realization has been tremendous. That word. Quietly, pleasure, quietly leading my life. Realizing that I will take any and all opportunities to feel good, to “feel myself,” to celebrate and to be celebrated. And yet. Quietly. And why?

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Lesson from the creepy guy walking down the sidewalk:

Today, I unintentionally locked eyes with a dude who had been very intensely starring at my face the entire time we shared the sidewalk.

I feel very small when I get stared down or cat-called. Frazzled, extremely anxious that my entire space is being invaded and I had no say in it. So you’ll imagine my terror when I lock eyes with creepy-blue-eyes.

But then, as he’s about to pass me- walking the opposite direction and mantaining eye contact- he makes a fart noise. A surprising, full on, Grown Man raspberry. Of course, I immediately “WTF, Dude”-ed him, but as we walked away I laughed, realizing it was pure genius!

I needed a new tool to handle my cat-calling distress. Telling people to f*ck off is getting old and makes me feel worse. So, should you get stared down while being your badd self, stare back, and give the fart noise a try. It’s a great and simple way to disarm the patriarchy.

Thank you, creepy sidewalk man.

#CatCallingHacks