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Trump - The Tipping Point Of Women's Equality

Guest Post by Michelle Zubrinich

· women's rights,politics,dear stress book,millennials

When I wrote my chapter for my coauthor book, Dear Stress, I'm Breaking Up With You, back in 2016, I wrote it with confidence and ease. It wasn’t until the book was being printed that my first big panic happened. Should I have changed the chapter title? Did I swear too much? and my biggest worry of all, Who am I to tell women how to stand up to workplace harassment/inequality when I didn’t. That one weighed on me. But there was nothing I could do at that point, so I just hoped that the women reading it would feel supported and inspired to stand up for themselves.

I could have never imagined that Donald Trump would win the election. It was an impossibility in my mind. But it happened. I was in shock for months... I still can’t really believe it. I was so excited for the USA to have its first female President. When the opposite happened, I felt heavy with worry. Worry that women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, human rights, and all marginalized groups were in for a fight. A very hard fight. I was certain that the women’s rights movement was going to take a few steps back. Then something incredible happened, like in the final moments of a game of Jenga, decades of misogyny and harassment in the workplace came tumbling down. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movement gained traction like never before. There were so many women coming forward that men felt like some were jumping on the bandwagon. I had many conversations explaining that most women had experienced this kind of behavior in their life, whether at work or in social settings. No one is jumping on anything, we’re just tired of putting up with it. Those conversations are what these movements are about; Bringing to light how common this issue is and educating our boys and men about what is really going on around us.

I was date raped twice. Once when I was fourteen, and again when I was sixteen. I took me two weeks of contemplation whether or not to include that in this blog, and I erased and re-wrote it five times while writing this. I’ve told very few people in my life about it. Coming forward with these kinds of experiences is not easy. Especially for the women who are have been wronged by men in high places. They have to withstand countless interviews, see it broadcast on the news, and have it written about in the media. No woman is excited to do this. No one likes reliving a horrible memory knowing that some will call them a liar. I greatly appreciate the strength of the women who have publicly come forward for what they have endured in order to evoke change.

Why does our society, so often, blame the victim? Is it because most victims are women and our word is not as valuable or trustworthy as a man’s? Perhaps deep down, we don’t want to believe that this is the society we live in. I don’t think there is one answer. It is a multifaceted problem that will take time to change.

Deep down, I’m an eternal optimist. I truly believe things will get better and that the children we are raising now will live in a far more fair, peaceful, and aware society. Every generation is a better version of the last. Sure there are blips, but on a whole, the more scientific advances there are, the more enlightened we become.

The last time I saw my Bubba, Rose, she told me not to get married young. She said that she had to get married at eighteen, she had no other choice or opportunity. But I had all the opportunity in the world, so I shouldn't waste it. I took these words to heart. Rose left Croatia (Yugoslavia at that time) and took a boat to Canada when she was seventeen with the clothes on her back, one pair of shoes, and her cousin's passport. She didn’t know anyone in Timmins, Ontario but there was a large Croatian community there that had fled the war to work in the mines. She was married to my grandfather who was thirty-five and they had three kids. She did not have a happy marriage, but she got to see her kids grow up in Canada with so much opportunity and then got to see her grandchildren who had even more than her kids had. That kind of sacrifice is something many Canadian born children cannot really understand. We can appreciate it, but cannot fully grasp what it would be like to walk away from your home, life, family, and possessions for the hopes of a better life somewhere else.

People talk a lot of shit about Millennials. How entitled they are, how their parents coddle them, how they have no work ethic. These are very unfair labels to put on an entire generation. Although there are some millennials who are like that, I see a generation that cares more about the environment than ever before. Who don’t understand why a person - black, white, man, woman, straight, or gay, should not have equal pay and rights. They are a generation who grew up with technology and who, I believe, will solve the shitstorm we have created in our oceans, famine, and hunger in the 3rd world. Maybe I’m placing a lot of hope and expectation on the millennial generation. They’ll have help from the people younger than them, my son’s generation. I look forward to being an old woman and being proud of the opportunities we paved so our kids and grandchildren could have a better way. I am proud to be living through the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement just as my mother was proud to watch Gloria Steinem tear through the norms of the 1970’s gender roles.

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Michelle Zubrinich has always been a passionate person who believes that everyone should have a voice. She is tenacious in her businesses and in her pursuit of personal growth, finding joy in everything she does. She grew up in the border town of St.Catharines, Ontario and has called such cities as Paris, France, Montreal, Quebec and currently, Toronto, Ontario, her home. She has worked in the commercial photography industry since 2008. She tried many different positions in the industry: first, as a lighting assistant, then as a production assistant, followed by a producer, a digital technician and finally found her passion for retouching. It complimented both the creative and technical side of photography that she so enjoyed, which allowed her to run her business from home.

In 2015, Michelle and her husband Rob gave birth to their son, Zadak. Although she loves her son more than words can say, there were some very hard and isolating moments during the first couple of months of motherhood. It became clear to her in those days, that she needed a change and wanted more. She joined Arbonne for a short time which eventually led to her current position at Avazera, a Toronto start-up, as a business development manager. Her passion for leading and helping others is now fulfilled and there is so much more to come.

Connect with Michelle at the platforms:

t: @mzubie | ig: @michelle_zub_entrepreneur

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