OP-ED: “The ‘Modern’ Woman” by Rose Hart

Even before we know we’re doing it; we’re code switching so that men will respect us. We are still fighting to be heard.

A Modern Woman In A Man’s World

Quick story, last year, Jase asked me to lay a verse on the “Switchin’ Cities” beat and he suggested I watch the Mary Tyler Moore show since the sample in the song is actually the theme music for the show. So, after my first watch, I was hooked. Binge watching, an understatement. Mary Richards was Sarah Jessica Parker without the glamor. She was a young, single woman, struggling in a man’s world. Isn’t that the challenge most of us women face? The women’s march on Saturday resonated with everyone, and it sucks I couldn’t get off my shift at work to go. It’s painfully ironic since the reason I’m able to work is because brave women took the time to march before me. They marched so that I could pack a suitcase and travel, work, vote, be independent. And here we are, almost 50 years after the Mary Tyler Moore show became an icon for female independence, still fighting for the same shit.

Moving to New York from London was the easiest, yet hardest decision I’d ever made. It had been a long-term dream, but, once my mind had been made up, it was three weeks between my last vacation to Manhattan, and becoming a resident. Over time, I mourned the loss of a firm friendship group, while being in such a transient city. To say I did it alone would be a disservice to those around me. My brother let me sleep on his couch for six weeks, and my UK friends were always available for late night Skype calls. Eventually, through pure stubbornness, I established myself as a single woman living in New York City, working crazy restaurant hours and performing in Brooklyn warehouses. I pinched myself “I’ve done it.”

I love Hip Hop and can go head to head with any man that wants to discuss it, but I still find I sometimes have to raise my voice a little louder to be heard. I also find myself keeping my mouth shut to avoid the pain of being ignored. Even before we know we’re doing it; we’re code switching so that men will respect us. We are still fighting to be heard. I’m angry, we’re angry, so what can we do? I believe one option is to keep using our paths to make our case. So when you hear me on “Switching Cities”, know my experiences are real, that I stand with all women, that I stand with all humans, following my dreams because I can, because of those before me, I’m taking the town, because I might just make it after all.

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