The War of Women vs Men- Part Two

Modern Problems, Women Empowerment

Men shame women for selling nude photos of themselves when those same men are the ones who created the market by begging for them. They shame women for being sex workers when, again, they are the ones who pay for sex. Men call us ‘whores’ for using their disgusting need to sexualize us to our advantage and make an income from it.

Women often carry their feminism in their pockets like a concealed weapon because they’re too afraid to openly use it. The number of women who have been beaten or, God forbid, murdered for turning down a man who was persuing them is disappointing. Men are predisposed to violence, so they see no harm in doing violent things- i.e. rape, abuse, murder. In their minds, that’s how they’re supposed to act, and they’re not “supposed to” show remorse (emotion) lest they’re called weak. Ninety-six percent of serial killers are men, and women are their usual targets- particularly sex workers. Rejection violence is becoming a bigger issue as more and more men refuse to acknowledge ‘no’ as an acceptable answer when they persue a woman. Men are meant to be protective of us, yet they kill us simply for doing something they do not approve of.

It is high time that we, as women, no longer acknowledge ‘men cannot control themselves’ as an acceptable answer to why we’re a treated with so little respect. Men have the ability to control themselves, that is, IF they wanted to. They are quite capable of taking no as an answer without it resulting in violence. They are quite capable of standing up for women when they see another man persistently persuing them after they have repeatedly told them no. They are quite capable of controlling themselves so women do not feel the need to carry a taser with them every time they go out alone in public. Honestly, it is appalling that society has made rape, rejection violence, and domestic violence seem normal. Is that really a world that you want your daughters, sisters, nieces, and cousins to grow up in? 

Recognizing and Understanding Rape Culture

Women Empowerment

Sex takes the consent of two

if one person is lying there not doing anything

cause they’re not ready

or not in the mood

or simply don’t want to

yet the other is having sex

with their body it’s not love

it is rape.

– Rupi Kaur

Rape culture, as it is perceived, is not just the act itself. No, it is the catcalls, it is the ass grabbing, it is the “why do you look so mean? Smile, girl!” to the cashier at the gas station you recently stopped by. It is the idea inside of a mans head that women are mere objects and should be treated as such. It’s the insistent buzzing of a mans brain when he sees a woman and has the urge to call out to her. It is the thoughts that run through a mans head when he sees a pretty woman alone pumping gas and can’t resist speaking to her. It is a woman walking passed a group of guys, terrified and clutching her keys in her fist, and feeling their eyes follow her. It is the prying eyes and whistling. Rape culture is normalizing the association of sex with violence. It is telling a woman she’s lying about sexual assault because “men can get a little rough sometimes.” It is the phrase ‘boys will be boys’ being manipulated into an excuse for rape. It is telling a woman her assault was, in fact, her fault because the clothes she had on were “too revealing.” Rape culture is your rape jokes, threats, unwanted nude photos, and the fact that men are constantly sexualizing women being considered “locker room talk.” It is minimizing the seriousness of rape, any form of sexual violence, and sexual harassment. It is not educating your children on consent the same time you educate them about sex. Rape culture is some adults claiming pedophilia to be a ‘sexual orientation.’ It is those same people trying to use transgenders to justify it, those same people screaming, “if they can believe they’re a different gender then I can believe I’m a different age.” Rape culture is the targeting of women, teens, and children for sex trafficking. It is the prejudice that women are by no means equal to men. It is a woman having to say, “I have a boyfriend” (even when she doesn’t) just to get a man to leave her alone because they respect other men more than they respect her ‘no.’ It is the idea in some people’s heads that they have the right to take what they want whenever they want it and that that’s okay. It is women never going anywhere alone, not even the bathroom, out of fear. It is constantly calling women ‘sluts’ for liking sex just to be able to say they were “asking for it” when they’re assaulted. Rape culture is the world normalizing all of these things.

Men shame women for having a lot of consensual sex more than they shame other men for rape.

The War of Women vs Men

Women Empowerment

Women are encourage to call out the men who abuse and/or sexually assault them by a corrupt society showing false displays of support. But, when the abuser is named as a friend, boyfriend, dad, or brother, the same people encouraging them would now rather call them liars than face the simple truth that not everyone is as good as you think they are. In the war of women against men the women are now turning on each other and giving an even greater advantage to the opposing side. Why are women so mean and quick to judge other women when they know just how difficult it is to be a woman? Why do women continuously choose men over their sisters when it’s the men who are trying to silence them? Women are so easily turned against each other- this needs to change; the world already sides with men, other women should not fit into that category as well. In unity there is strength, but there is no unity here. When a man cheats on his spouse she is quick to blame the mistress because she knows that so many women are eager to betray their sisters- both things must stop. Some women expect to be treated as equals to men but do nothing except degrade fellow women, and that is the equivalent to pouring gasoline on an already raging wildfire; more women need to realize that. We seek the acceptance of men who do nothing but physically and emotionally abuse us, men who take what they want when they want it and think that it’s okay, men who view us only as something to satisfy them… when will we seek the acceptance of other women?

“Feminism is the radical idea that women’s safety is more important than men’s feelings.”

These days it’s hard to find a man who respects us and reciprocates the love and care we give to them. It’s sad, really; you’d think they would realize that, aside from God, we’re the only reason they exist. We provide a place for them to grow inside of us, we carry them for 9 agonizing months, we birth them, we raise them, and yet their ungratefulness prevails over everything else. They expect us to cook, clean, and carry/raise their children to grow up just like them, but they never fail to show us just how little they care for us. The only thing we need from men is their sperm for reproduction while they need us for everything. They don’t understand what we go through for them, what we sacrifice. The only people who do understand are other women and they’re too busy trying to please their boyfriends/husbands to notice when their own people are struggling and, in that way, we are just as bad as the men. Many of us show no respect towards each other, so how do we expect men to show respect towards us? Too many times women are forced into submission by fear of men; some have been corrupted into turning other girls over to sex trafficking just to save themselves from being sex trafficked, others take the sides of men over their own people for fear of the repercussions if they don’t. Women have yet to ban together because they fail to show their support in one another. How will women ever know that other women support them if they can’t rely on those same women to choose them over their men?

“Each time a women stands up for herself, without knowing it and possibly without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

– Maya Angelou

I’m not saying that men/boys don’t suffer from the same sexual abuse as women; though, I am saying that women (and children) are viewed as easier targets for it. It is assumed that women are less aggressive than men and they’re not expected to fight back, just go along with whatever their tormentor has in mind; the same goes for children. There is some truth in that: women are less likely to fight back, or when they do it doesn’t make much of a difference to a male attacker. Women could change that- they could be the difference- if only they stood together instead of letting men force them apart.

“I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world.”

– Malala Fund

Not all men are bad, I will admit; there are few who acknowledge the injustices that we face. Though, most of them do nothing but sit idly by and allow it to happen, so are they really any better? The few men who do take a stand with us are assumed to be gay: a label given to them by (take a wild guess) OTHER MEN. These days, for some men, being called gay is a fate worse than death, so they, too, do nothing. My point is that we can’t rely on men to do anything to help our cause; that task rests solely in our hands. We live in a world where if a man respects a woman and goes out of his way to take care of her he’s labels as ‘soft.’ It’s obvious that, to some men, the idea of respecting women is absurd and should never be done. It’s as if they think we were put on this Earth only to fulfill their selfish needs. And yet we still seek the protection of men from other men, despite everything, when we should be seeking the protection of women.

Reminder: Women do not have to be polite to someone who is making them uncomfortable.

The entire world is biased against women: there are hundreds of women imprisoned for murdering their rapists/kidnappers, more than half of all rape trials taken to court end with the rapist walking free- no matter how much evidence there is to put him away, female doctors are automatically assumed to be nurses- or, sometimes, less competent than male doctors- merely because of their gender. The list could go on for days, but I feel I’ve made my point. For years we’ve been denied our most basic human right- gender equality- and I fear, in a world controlled by men, we will never get it. Buried deep down under generations and generations of bias, somewhere, lies equality for women- we just have to have the strength, unity, and willpower to find it.

“When men are oppressed it’s a tragedy, when women are oppressed it’s tradition.”

– Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Powerful Women

Modern Problems, Women Empowerment

     It is well past time to leave behind the century-old misogynistic gender roles society has placed on women. We have taken a few major steps to decimate the delusion that women are mere housewives and baby factories; however, it is never enough. What will it take for us to actually be seen?

Sure, there are now women in politics, medicine, sports, and other powerful positions, but they don’t actually have the opportunity to make change. There will always be a man second-guessing their motives and/or decisions.

     To this day, women are treated different than their male counterparts in the workforce. We are talked down to, dismissed, harassed, and we receive less pay than men with the same jobs. At what point will society stop treating women as if they are inferior to men? It is high time we normalize putting women in powerful positions: after all, it is where we belong.

     Why is it that men fear our competition; is it because they know we are just as capable (if not better) at everything they do? Men are used to being at the top of the hypothetical food chain, and their fear of being knocked down a peg leads them to try and reinforce outdated gender roles.

     Not only are women controlled in the workforce, we are also controlled in our private lives. Restrictions have been placed on what we can do with our own bodies because men are so determined to be the “dominant” ones. Hysterectomies require women to have two children prior to the operation and have their husband’s “permission” in order to be performed. Yet, men (and some women) are against abortion. Why are they forcing us to have children if we do not want to? Better yet, who gave them that power?

     Women should have the right to make their own decisions. Women should be presented with equal opportunites and equal respect. Women’s voices should not be drowned out by the presence of a man. Women deserve the benefit of the doubt. Women deserve equal pay. Women deserve power. Women deserve.

“I understand why men have spent mellinia constructing systems to strip the power from this body. Look how she pulls her spine up to the sky. Look how effortlessly she strings herself between the ordinary and the divine.

-Laura Price Steele

Feminism

Modern Problems, Women Empowerment

The word feminist rolls off of a man’s tongue like lava spewing from a volcano. As if it is supposed to be an insult.

For me, being a feminist is second nature. My feminism is the voice in my head; it is a wildfire that has engulfed my soul. It is loud, and it is beautiful. It rolls off of my tongue like poetry.

Most people carry their feminism in their pockets like a concealed weapon, too afraid to openly use it. That is not me.

My feminism radiates throughout my entire body. It is in no way silet. It is a feral cat waiting for someone to say the wrong thing so it can pounce.

That is exactly how it should be.

The Controversy Surrounding Pride Month

Modern Problems, Personal

Some people are bothered by the concept of pride month. They feel that it is unfair that veterans, who give their life to protect our country, only get a few days out of the year. As an avid member of the LGBTQ+ community, I can understand where they are coming from; although, veterans are appreciated every day.

Just because there hasn’t been a month declared “Veterans Appreciation Month” does not take away from their importance. They are acknowledged, appreciated, and looked up to every day of every year. And who said there couldn’t be a month dedicated to veterans?

The LGBTQ+ community isn’t trying to take attention away from anything/anyone; we simply want a chance to be acknowledged, too. We want to come together as a community and let the world know that we deserve positive attention, too. We also want to show those whose families don’t support them that we do. The LGBTQ+ community is a safe haven for anyone who falls into any of its categories.

It is a new age- welcome it.

“nOt aLl MeN”

Modern Problems, Personal, Women Empowerment

How could we possibly establish gender equality when very few men actually take us seriously?

In early March, The Wall Street Journal, along with several other respected news outlets, reported that 33 year old Sarah Everard was kidnapped and murdered by London police officer Wayne Couzens. The victim was walking home in the late hours of March third. Everard’s murder led the United Kingdom to create a survey addressing the amount of women, aged 18-24, that have experienced sexual harassment. The results showed that 97% of the surveyed women had endured some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime. This devastatingly high percentage sparked trouble throughout the world.

In response to Everard’s murder, it was first proposed that women should avoid going out alone. This didn’t last long, though, once London police got called out for victim blaming. It was then suggested that men adhere to a 6pm curfew to assure the safety of women. Most men weren’t too keen on that idea; thus, the trend “not all men” emerged.

“Not all men” first showed itself on TikTok as a response to the commotion that the 97% statistic caused. It was the male population’s attempt to state that not all men are rapists, but… who said anything about rape? Of course, the women on social media snapped back- hard. They explained that sexual harassment doesn’t only consist of rape. Sexual harassment includes: catcalls, unwanted groping, unsolicited nudes, stalking, begging for nudes/sex, etc. They also tried to explain that we know that not all men are bad. Not all sharks attack people, but you’re still weary of them all while swimming in the ocean. The comment section of these women’s posts are filled with men claiming they were ‘asking for it.’ This, too, reveals the amount of victim blaming that has resulted from the normalization of rape culture.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, a group of men on TikTok made what they are calling “a joke.” This “joke” is them declaring April 24th ‘National Rape Day.’ The group has thousands of other men going along with them, and it has even spread to a number of other social media platforms. They say it’s a joke, but what’s the punchline? Is it the way they mock our trauma? Is it the way they treat us like objects? If it’s “not all men,” where are the men who stand with women? I certainly do not see them.

Men are on the top of the social food chain; women have been barely hanging on to the bottom rung for decades, but now we have started to climb. They, of course, feel the need to constantly and blatantly belittle us in order to preserve their spot on top. They recognize us as a threat, and that’s the most we’ve gotten out of them in years.

They are attempting to scare us back to the bottom, where they think we belong, but it won’t work.

Addiction

Mental Health, Modern Problems, Personal

Addiction is the

beast

lurking in the background

of every thought

that enters my mind.

It is the darkness

inside of me

that threatens to

take over every time

it catches a glimpse

of weakness.

Addiction is the

voice in my head

urging me to

break

all of the

promises

I’ve previously made.

It’s the

shadowy figure

that follows me around

whispering

in my ear

that one more time won’t hurt.

Addiction is

all of my

demons

wrapped up in one.

Life

Mental Health, Personal

It’s so unreliable-

with it’s constant

ups and downs

hills and valleys stretching out

into abysmal nothing.

Life’s such a frail

little thing,

but sometimes takes so much

to destroy.

It’s complexity is

astounding.

It’s a powerful entity.

It can either

mold you

into who you’re supposed to be or

break you

into a million pieces of a puzzle

you will never have time to

finish.

Life is long,

yet so short lived.

Times goes by so

slowly,

yet you blink

once

and years have

passed you by.

It’s never easy;

there’s always a curveball.

Each one

barreling towards you

faster than the last.

None of that matters,

though.

It’s not about the challenges

you face or what

you have overcome;

it’s about what you do

to make it worth it.

Old Ways Won’t Open New Doors

End Gun Violence, End Racism, Modern Problems, Women Empowerment

Sexism and racism are closely related. If racism has existed since the beginning of time and very little has changed, why would I be under the impression that sexism would be any different? Obviously, there have been the slightest changes involving the rights of people of color and women. For example, the right to vote, increased job opportunities, and greater access to education.

Although these are steps in the right direction, I do not believe that things will actually change for either group of people until the older generations let go of their past prejudices.

What I mean by this is: they are teaching their kids what used to be the normal way of thinking and not allowing them to form their own opinions. Sexist and racist people are passing down their old, close-minded beliefs to their children, and their children are repeating this cycle by doing the same to their children. The only way that things will drastically change is if society could wipe the slate clean and start over, but there is no way of doing that.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way encouraging feminists, people of color, LBGTQ+, etc. communities from protesting and demanding change. My goal is the opposite of that, actually. I feel like if we can get enough people to fight for it, change can be made.

Until then, though, we just need to get louder.

Honesty

Modern Problems

When the concept of honesty comes up in conversation, many people assume that it only means telling the truth. While that is a big part of it, that is not all there is to it. Honesty means speaking the truth and acting accordingly. For example, saying a truthful statement is only half of the task; when words and actions align, complete honesty surfaces. It is true that one should not lie, but one should also not let their actions contradict their words. If a person said they were going to do something, they should do it; otherwise, why would they say they were going to in the first place? Someone being referred to as an honest person basically means that they are honorable, morally correct, and even straightforward.

To me, honesty is the most important policy. When someone is honest with me, it provides a sense of security that washes over me, and I know that that person can now be trusted. Being honest is the mature thing to do, and it is important for one not to get stuck at a level of immaturity where they do not even consider living an honest life. True honesty is hard to come by, so it is important not to take it for granted when one finds it in a person. Knowing that living honestly is living with no regrets or shortcomings encourages me to search for that aspect in myself. Being honest with oneself is just as important as being honest with others because one does not want to live in denial or see themselves as untrustworthy. If one cannot trust themself, how will they ever be able to trust others?

There are many colors, or feelings, associated with honesty. When one is honest with another person they are seen as trustworthy, respectable, and reliable. The person will feel like the honest person is dedicated or loyal to them, and this can make them feel secure in their relationship. This can also make the person who was honest feel glad that they chose to live their life this way, and cause a sense of satisfaction to overwhelm them. The satisfaction pushes them to be honest more often because they know how it will make others feel towards them. When hearing the word honesty aloud, the color yellow comes to mind. Yellow signifies happiness and positivity just like the act of being honest. 

No matter how hard they try to convince themselves it does not, the opinions of others matter to any normal person; therefore, honesty is important for maintaining a good image. One does not want to be seen as unreliable, and if they are honest for long enough, it does good to reverse that opinion. It is obvious that living an honest life is important for multiple reasons. Although being honest can prove to be harder than it sounds, the outcomes are well worth it. Many people are not honest with themselves, let alone with others, and that could have negative impacts on their mental health and overall well-being. Living an honest life not only makes others happy, but provides happiness in oneself, too. Knowing that honesty spawns feelings of trust and respect can do a lot to encourage others to follow one’s lead in being honest. There is no argument that can be made against being honest because of all of the positive effects it has on oneself and others. Living an honest life is the most valuable way to live.

Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

Women Empowerment

In the twenty-first century, abortion continues to be a controversial issue in society. While some people see abortion as a choice a woman should be allowed to make for herself, others believe that abortion is murder. Feminists have fought for several decades to allow women the right to make their own decisions regarding their bodies, and it still has not stuck with society. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but this has gone too far.

The people who believe that abortion is murder are no less respectable than the ones who do not. Some people believe that life starts at conception, some believe that abortion is morally wrong, and others believe that one will go to Hell for terminating their pregnancy. Either way, those who are pro-life have valid reasons to be against the act of aborting a fetus; they are not simply against a woman’s right to make medical decisions for herself.

A person may not support abortion because of their religious beliefs, morality, or past experiences. For example, a woman who is unable to have children may be pro-life because she feels it is unfair that someone would purposely terminate a pregnancy. Another person may view abortion as a sin and feel that no one should have the right to terminate because of their religious beliefs. Others who are against abortion may feel that it is morally wrong to do so. All of these situations are valid and worth considering.

Pro-choice people believe that life does not start until birth; therefore, abortion is not murder. It is illegal for an abortion to be performed twenty-two weeks after a woman’s last menstrual cycle because that is when it is believed a fetus can, allegedly, feel pain. In order for a woman to terminate her pregnancy, it is required by law that she receive medical counseling seventy-two hours prior the to termination. These requirements allow medical professionals to be sure that abortion is the right choice for the woman in question. Although there are some cases that abortion is not the right thing to do, sometimes it is the most reasonable option.

In instances where pregnancy is a result of sexual assault, most women decide to terminate. If that choice were to be taken away from them, those women would have to carry a reminder of their trauma inside of them for nine agonizing months. Pregnancy causes health issues in a number of women; therefore, it makes carrying a fetus to term dangerous for them. How is it fair that they have to risk their life to carry a fetus that may or may not die, too?

It is obvious that there are many good reasons that this topic is controversial, but I do not believe that it should be. The definition of feminism is to allow other women the right to make decisions that one would not necessarily make themselves, and one cannot call themselves a feminist if they are pro-life. Someone who is against abortion can benefit by adopting some of the pro-choice viewpoints and attempting to view the topic from differing perspectives. If one does not support abortion, they do not have to have one, but they also should not take that choice away from other women.

Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. It means that one respects a woman’s right to choose and recognizes that limiting safe options does not help anyone.

Being pro-choice is not saying one is anti-life; but at the same time, being pro-life does not simply mean being pro-life. Some of the same people screaming that abortion is murder support the death penalty when that is, by definition, murder. Pro-life activists only care about the fetus in utero; they do not consider what kind of life it will have afterwards. The same people who are concerned that discarding fetal tissue is murder are known to bomb abortion clinics and murder everyone inside. Did their lives not matter?

One is allowed to have differing opinions, but they should leave it at that. Protesters standing outside abortion clinics shouting at patients only scares them away. It does nothing to change their mind; it pushes them to perform the abortion in an unsafe way. If one was really “pro-life” they would not only care about the fetus; they would care about the mother as well.