Tall Thought 39: Sunday / by Jennifer Wisniewski

"We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore"

It was Saturday morning when I was watching women gather to march and unite to stand up and protect their rights in light of the rhetoric of our new president. What a beautiful thing, I thought to myself —democracy in action! Women uniting and saying to our new government, to quote Dee Snider, “We’re not going to take it anymore!” I don’t do crowds, but I was there in spirit because I, like most other woman, find Trump’s language to be offensive. My favorite of all, and there are so many to choose from, was his position on abortion, stating that women who receive them should be punished in some way. But, true to form, Trump didn’t give any details. I thought…Stoned to death? Scarlet letter? Maybe a tax of some kind? Who knows what that knucklehead meant, but he is not the point of this story.


As I was watching them march, the manager of my restaurant called me. I could feel her trepidation over the phone as she said, “I have something to tell you.” 
“Sarah just spit it out, what is it?” I responded. I like to get bad news over as fast I can, so I can move on and get to taking care of it. She told me that one of our servers had overheard a cook say that he knows where Lisa and I live and followed that with -  he wasn’t going to rape us, merely murder us in a dual homicide. I didn’t know what the context was in which this statement was made, and I didn’t really care. As soon as I know that someone has threatened my life - I just try to figure out how to get this person out of our restaurant. Unfortunately, as a female small business owner, this was not the first time that someone has threatened to physically hurt me.


If I were a man, I would have options on how to handle this situation, one of them being “kicking his ass.” But I am very neurotic when it comes to being physically hurt in any way. If I get a hangnail I feel the need to go to the emergency room. There is only one truth when it comes to my femininity, and it’s that I can’t handle a physical altercation like a man. I’m not strong enough to take him down if the situation escalates. So, you might be asking what do I do when my life gets threatened, seeing as it has, unfortunately, become part of my job?
I call a friend from grade school. Ironically his name is Dan Shields and he owns a security company, and we start plotting this gentleman’s exit strategy. Dan enlightens me that the chef has an extensive and alarming rap sheet, and wants me and everyone else in the restaurant to be on high alert, but to let him “handle” this.


Just this week Dan sent over two bodyguards and they escorted the chef out of the building, I believe in women’s right as much as next lady, but the truth is that all the equal rights in the world won't save me in these situations. I will never be equal to a man in physical strength, and that’s never going to change. But the good news is I’m okay with being the physically weaker sex, as long as I have Dan Shields. Cue Whitney, singing the theme song from The Bodyguard.

Best,

Jen