#YestoBasicHumanity

#yesallwomen6I’m stealing this from a friend’s recent social media post:

“#YesAllWomen because ‘I have a boyfriend’ is the easiest way to get a man to leave you alone – because he respects another man more than you.”

I do not have a boyfriend and maybe there’s a good reason for that, but I can attest to the validity of this statement. To think that that’s the only reason one may be left in peace is truly disheartening.

Things like women-in-the-kitchen jokes, frat boy trash talk about how many virginal conquests they’ve made and the archaic notion that women’s primary objective in life is motherhood all make me wonder how much society’s progressed in the last 100 years.

Scratch that, I know we’ve made strides; i.e. women in this country at least have the right to vote, own land, get an education, divorce, use birth control, wear skirts that show skin above the ankle, etc., but there’s a ways to go still.

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There are so many parts to this feminism-ish tirade I’m about to embark on, but for the sake of word count I’ll keep it to the sexual mistreatment of women.

It would be ignorant of me to disregard the struggles men face in this area, because although it may not necessarily be as common, men too are taken advantage of in this way. And I sympathize with you. However, I cannot speak for men nor pretend to fully understand the struggles the male sex must deal with.

It saddens me so that my mother has to worry if I want to go out with my female friends on the occasional evening. Or that my gender must be wary of inadvertently inciting temptation from our male counterparts (because no one bothered to think that MAYBE the problem lies with certain men’s inability to keep their temptation/hormones in check. Not that women shouldn’t disregard this entirely though, since respect is a two-way street). Or that I can’t go out for a brisk night walk lest I become another statistic in the major crimes bureau.

Sometimes I base what I wear on how fast I think I might need to be able to run should an incident arise on one of those night walks. And not the zombie apocalypse kind of incident. As much as I’d like to wear my sky-high heels sitting in the back of my closet once in a blue moon, I often fear that will warrant more wolf-whistles than self-confidence, so I’ll opt for something more practical instead.

But what right does someone’s clothes give you to treat somebody like an object?

I never understood why “Well, what was she wearing?” or “What did she drink?” seem to be a valid question when looking into an assault or rape. I refuse to believe that a girl who wears jeans “deserves” better treatment than one who chooses something less constraining and likewise shudder to think a girl may be targeted based on the contents in her glass (BTW, it’s just as easy for someone to slip something in your coffee as it is with anything else).

Also, sidenote: contrary to what some may believe, rape can happen in marriages. Don’t believe me? Let me redirect you to TIME Magazine: http://time.com/3976180/marital-rape/

I’m not sure what having sexual conquest over another person does for the initiator, either. Oh wow, you committed a major crime against someone who desires you in no way whatsoever? The only thing you’ve gained, I pray, is a court order to register as a sex offender for you are, in fact, an offense to your sex.

#yesallwomen4I will admit that yes unfortunately if you are drunk or wear a short skirt the likelihood of these things happening is higher. Unfortunately. But if you honestly believe that someone else’s choices somehow add justification to you subjecting another human to your will, you are sick and I hope I have the pleasure of never having your acquaintance.

I wish I could say something empowering like, “Where the higher skirt (depending if the length allows you proper mobility)!” or “Life is meant to be lived on the edge!”

But I have some reservations in doing so. Like the extra-cautious parents who worry about other drivers on the road versus you as a driver yourself, I worry not about your individual choices as women but the choices of those saturated by a patriarchal society.

#yesallwomen5

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