Wednesday, 28 May 2014

#YesAllWomen

It's a hashtag circulating on twitter, and it's an important one.

If you've been following along I have been doing an On Raising A Daughter series of blogposts. They're important to me because my daughter is going to be a woman one day, and I have concerns for her in how she will navigate a misogynistic society that doesn't admit it is one.

Because that's today's climate, and yesterday's, and it's not okay for anyone to think differently. Maybe in your little pocket of the enchanted forest you live in you don't see discrimination and violence towards women, but you can't ignore it isn't real. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not real.

It's real.

I am lucky. I'm so lucky because I have never been molested or raped. God I'm lucky. But that doesn't mean I haven't been in uncomfortable situations.  I have been sexually harassed by a slow-moving truck full of teen guys wolf whistling at me, asking me to turn around and show them my tits, then calling me a bitch and telling me I have a fat ass before speeding away. I guess I was supposed to be flattered they noticed me? That was on a Monday afternoon while I was walking on a very public river trail. I have been groped in bars, grabbed, been assumed to be public property just because I was a woman in a bar, then angrily called a tease when I told them to stop. I've 'accidentally' had my ass grabbed by a skeevy perv when standing in line at the bank machine.

I've been in a roomful of guys where they talked about my breasts like they weren't attached to me. A person.

I've been told to show more cleavage.

I've been told I'm ugly. By a stranger. Because I wouldn't kiss him.

Remember, I'm lucky.

I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for three years. How do you break-up with someone who makes you believe you are unlovable? Unwanted? How do you confess to people that you now believe that, too?

So you stay.

And stay.

And stay.

Until you're not even 1/10th the person you used to be.

He did that to me.

Remember, I'm lucky.

We're told that if we don't want the attention, we shouldn't dress like whores. I watched a reality t.v. show where a dad told his daughters that "men get ideas when too much skin is shown. It can be really hard on a man to have all those feelings churning inside him, so you girls need to be modest so you don't tempt men."

It's emphatically wrong that a woman should modify her wardrobe so a man doesn't have to modify his behaviour.

We are told that it's her fault for always dating losers. It's not the abusers fault, it's her fault for continuing to choose them.

 We blame the victim, because surely she played a role in bringing it on herself.

As teenagers, in our hormonal craze of wanting a boyfriend (perfectly normal) we learn to accept unacceptable male behaviour because isn't that attention better than no attention? We learned this from our sisters. And they learned it from theirs. Boys will be boys, don't forget. They can't help it.

Feminists are crazies.

We should ignore their entire message.

We shouldn't classify ourselves as feminists, despite being females. It's a dirty word and the men don't like it. So let's allow them to continue voting and passing laws on what we should be able to do with our bodies. They know best.

Let's not speak up when they dismiss a woman's competency because she's a woman; let's say nothing when a sexist joke makes you feel uncomfortable because Jesus H. lighten up, IT'S JUST A JOKE. It's your fault you don't find it funny.

You're the problem.

Women are told they can't do the same job as a man.

Women earn less.

All women are scared walking home alone, at night. Because what if...

#NotAllMen are like this, but #YesAllWomen should be passionate about this. And their husbands, and brothers, and fathers, too. Passionate about it for your daughters. Your sisters. Your mothers. Your sons.

I want better for my daughter.

1 comment:

T said...

AMEN!

I want better for my son too. I hope to raise him to respect women and not be blind to the fact that we are still not treated equal no matter how many "Equal Rights" bills have been passed. I want him to see that he is privileged by his gender and understand that not everyone will have the opportunities that he will. Not that he has to feel guilty for that, but to acknowledge it and know that he can be part of the change. I truly believe that each generation brings us a little closer (baby steps of course) to a day where women (along with other minorities) are equal members of society.