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?
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.
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.”
He gave me a life sentence, yet he is walking free.
There is no justice in a world predisposed to rape culture. There is no sympathy from a world that accepts, “boys will be boys” as an excuse. I had heard what men were capable of, but I didn’t think it would ever happen to me- nobody ever does- until it did.
Only a select few even know what happened, and only a couple of the select few know the details surrounding it. It’s just not something I talk about- I guess, to avoid all of the “What were you wearing?” and “You shouldn’t have drank so much.” and “Well, why didn’t you just tell him to stop?”
It took me a while to understand what happened; it took me even longer to stop blaming myself. Four years later, remnants of that night still linger in the back of my mind like a stain on my favorite shirt. Supressed memories keep bubbling to the surface of my subconscious mind and taunting me. Trauma has weird ways of showing itself.
Trauma leaves dark, inky stains on the soul. It stays with you- forever etched into your skin like a bad tattoo. No matter what you do, it will not come clean. The memories are scarred in your brain where no one else can see. “It’s all in your head,” they say. It is in my head; it lives there. It plays over and over again like a broken record, and there is no way to shut it off. I wear my trauma every day. It has wrapped an iron fist around the diameter of my throat; my trauma is suffocating me.
He gave me a life sentence, yet he is walking free.
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.
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.
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.
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.