'Be a lady they said' made waves yesterday, at the exact moment it should have
"Don't say yes. Don't say no."
Yesterday, social media was awash with clips from a video called 'Be a lady they said.'
Published by magazine Girls.Girls.Girls, the piece features Cynthia Nixon reciting the words of blogger Camille Rainville.
"Be a lady they said," she first wrote in 2017. "Your skirt is too short. Your shirt is too low. Your pants are too tight.
"Don’t show your shoulders. Cover up. Leave something to the imagination. Dress modestly. Don’t be a temptress. Men can’t control themselves. Men have needs.
"Don’t be a prude. Don’t be so up tight. Have a little fun. Smile more. Pleasure men. Be experienced. Be sexual. Be innocent. Be dirty. Be virginal. Be sexy. Be the cool girl. Don’t be like the other girls."
The video is as powerful as it is accurate, a two minute 50 second reminder that women are the constant recipients of criticism no matter what way they act or what they don't do.
But unlike other clips, speeches, or blog posts that have posited the same points over the years, 'Be a lady they said' is somehow different.
Every now and then, a piece of work will consume social media, flooding Instagram Stories and Twitter feeds with the same persuasive and valid message.
They attract attention because they're relevant to almost everybody.
They're articulate summaries of experiences that almost all women can relate to, evidence of the unfair disadvantage that women tend to face day in and day out.
A frequent reminder that we do not have to be all things at once.
Entirely by coincidence, yesterday also saw Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sexual assault and rape.
The disgraced producer was convicted of third degree rape and a criminal sex act. Still yet to face other charges against him, Weinstein was led from the New York court room in handcuffs - an arresting image and pivotal moment for his accusers, as well as those who have stood with them for the duration of the trial.
The case has become a landmark moment for the #MeToo movement, a campaign that was born out of the multiple accusations against Weinstein and eventually many other men who hold positions of power in Hollywood and elsewhere.
Following Weinstein's conviction, his accusers released a group statement lauding the jury's decision, while reminding the public that their work is not yet over.
"While it is disappointing that today's outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve, Harvey Weinstein will now forever be known as a convicted serial predator," they said.
"This conviction would not be possible without the testimony of the courageous women and the many women who have spoken out. Their bravery will forever be remembered in history. Our fight is far from over."
The conviction was entirely just, and yet for many it simply - and unfortunately - was not expected. How could justice ever be served in a society when women are constantly second guessed, their words discounted against those of a powerful man's, not perfect enough to ever be believed?
Except in this case, they were.
Rainville's powerful blog entry expertly delivered by Nixon concerns itself with many facets of what is supposed to be - and often is - the female experience.
Judgement. Anger. Body issues. Rape. Weight. Appearance. Sex. Not having sex. Virginity. Prudishness. Feminism. Provocation.
It's a piece of work that undoubtedly holds different weight for different people, and yet there is one prominent thread that is apparent throughout.
The image of a woman who asks for it no matter what answer she gives.
"Don’t look easy," says Nixon. "Don’t attract attention.
"Don’t work late. Don’t crack dirty jokes. Don’t smile at strangers. Don’t go out at night. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t say yes.
"Don’t say no."
You can check out the Girls.Girls.Girls 'Be a lady they said' video in full here.