It’s been a while since I’ve written. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say. It’s that I had too much to say and no words to say it with.
I’ve been grappling with an unfortunate reality that women are judged and valued in pieces. Not just by men. Everyone does this. I look around at billboards with just a stomach or thighs showing, advertising an ideal body and a less than ideal way to obtain perfection. I look at memes saying that you should always take a gal swimming on the first date because her face may not be as perfect as the paint-job implies. I hate that one.
We are parceled off by body types and roles. Our appearance is paramount. Our ability to attract a man is more important than our ability to contribute to society as a whole person, or even our ability to just love ourselves for who we are. Either that, or we are expected to be sainted mothers who sacrifice everything for their families and leave nothing left for themselves. We’re allowed to martyr ourselves for others and then when we hit the wall, we are chastised for not doing any “self-care”. It’s impossible to please.
Women aren’t human.
That’s the long and short of things, right?
I am here for your pleasure and criticism. I am here purely to please others. If I dress to “provocatively” I am asking for men to comment, ogle, or even take ownership of. If I don’t get dolled up enough, I am told I need to take better care of my appearance, smile more, or make myself more presentable. My body is not my own. Hell! I can’t even be trusted to make my own healthcare choices.
Sexism is the way the world goes round.
A woman can be called crazy when she’s justifiably upset and it’s okay. That’s not okay. A woman can be called shrill or bitchy when she is setting and holding personal boundaries and it’s okay. That’s not okay. It’s okay to fault a woman for being too skinny or too large. This is not okay. Just because a woman is intelligent or has an opinion on a matter doesn’t make it okay for her to be called a know-it-all or “opinionated” like it’s a bad thing. Again…not okay. A handful of women can step up and speak out against an abusive man (which takes guts ladies, so remember your courage) and get shot down because the man says they’re lying, or it’s a he said/she said situation, or it’s dismissed as a rumor, a personal matter, or not that big of a deal. THIS IS NOT OKAY!
And just in case you’re wondering…This isn’t a gender specific problem. Women do this to each other as well. Why? What purpose does it serve to devalue another person? What do you gain when you mock another woman for her appearance? How could you take lightly the abuse or mistreatment of another human being? It’s not a personal matter…it’s a public problem!
I shared an opinion/blog piece on Facebook about instances where men were whistling at, or making inappropriate gestures towards young girls. I stated that we, as parents, need to teach all of our children that this is not okay. This isn’t the girls’ fault and it isn’t okay for anyone to be treated with disrespect. Ya know, basic shit. The only positive responses I received were from other women. Where’s my mantastic support fellas?????
A friend posted an image that said “Men Are Trash” and stipulated that not all men are trash and thanked those that are fighting the good fight, but that women still face a world of trashy men head on, LIKE BOSSES YO, and this needs to change (I’m paraphrasing here but it’s the jist of what she was saying). After several men complained about the unfair generalization, she was reported and had a ban from posting on FB for 24 hours because she “violated community standards”. Seriously. I see posts degrading women ALL. THE. TIME. but a statement like “Men Are Trash” with the comment explaining why it was posted and that not all men are like that, is violating community standards.
The phrase MAN UP comes to mind. That’s supposed to mean get tough, face things head on, and have courage. Frankly I think this is garbage. Nothing is tougher than having to face the world knowing that you are not viewed as a whole person, but instead as parts to be admired or admonished. Nothing is more courageous than to go on living a life, knowing that statistically, you will be assaulted or abused by the weaker of the species who are just trying to drag you down below them.
We need to WOMAN UP and support the half of the population get keeps getting a bum wrap.