Modern women are the most privileged. Why? They have equality now but still, continue to claim to be victims. Stop unnecessarily fighting for equality. It’s already the law.
It’s really really difficult not to lash out when hearing things like this. As a child, I never considered that my life was especially difficult. Simply because I did not know any better. I thought that everyone experienced the same level of difficulty. When receiving what seemed like unfair treatment I reminded myself that life isn’t fair. The rules of society are standard and the accepted norm that needs to be followed. Every human being faces different levels of struggle and from their highest peak of difficulty tends to form a reference point of what struggle means to them. I’m not going to go into very personal struggles but I do want to draw a generalized picture of the type of life experiences that follow women. A minority of women live lives sheltered from extreme prejudice but will experience bias in some form anyway. It’s just inevitable.
To be clear, my intention is not to complain. Rather, I’d like people to begin to understand one another. It is important to note the correlation of increased prejudices toward the female gender in poorer, less educated groups. People who are more likely to maintain tradition and taught behaviours are far more inclined to believe the perception that women are inferior. A century ago several parts of the world began to recognize that women are not subhuman creatures and started to listen to their fight for equality. A hundred years later shows a lot of progress. Laws have been changed to include both genders and all races as equal human beings. Now, just because laws are in place does not indicate that society’s views have changed.
In many countries it is illegal to jaywalk, murder, assault, steal and so on. It is against the law and punishable by the justice system. People should stop complaining and fighting about these issues; they’re already in the constitution. Do you think that this is a good argument to make? Why? Regardless of the law being in place, if there isn’t enforcement of the law and if people get away with crime, it does not mean anything. Just because the law states that everyone has the right to be treated equally now does not imply that this is actually adhered to. I hear many men latch onto the word “triggered”. I don’t think this is a bad term even if it is actually ill-intended. It’s good to be triggered by injustice. It’s good to fight for equality and human compassion.
Analysis, surveys and any type of coverage that show fields still unexplored by women in today’s world are brushed off as choice. “If women wanted to be in those fields, they would be. They have equality now.” Sigh. Just because you have the ability to make that choice does not mean that anyone else does. The world is far more complicated and the complex issues surrounding equality, be it for women or nonwhites, cannot be trivialized as choice. There are long term consequences to these horrendous injustices of the past. They will last centuries and human rights will always be something to be fought for.
For now, let’s talk about the scenario of women not being represented in many specialized fields. More often than not, prejudice toward women actually begins from birth. Many people are vocal about not wanting female children. They claim that girls require too much protection and are spoiled goods once they become sexually active. It brings shame to families when a girl has several sexual partners over her lifetime even if it was not her choice (note, it’s far worse if she chooses to). However, this is not the case with boys. “A key that can open many locks is called a master key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a shitty lock.” Apart from how insulting this common analogy is, extrapolating a fact that is true about an inanimate OBJECT to be true about our human genitals has literally no logic. Vaginas and locks have nothing in common. Equating the functioning of a human invention to human genitalia is nothing short of mentally defective thinking. Without having formulated likes, opinions or even a vague idea of what we want in life, being sweet, soft, baby loving, playing house, princess bullshit and the concept of “ladylike behaviour” is forced on us. We’re being trained for our dismal future. What do boys get though? They aren’t allowed to play with dolls, they’ll turn gay of course, which is prejudice as well; but if you ask me what I’d rather be forced into, it would be to play with cars, puzzles, toy guns, dress up as superheroes, and have my brain be forced to train and learn. To me, this means that I am believed to have potential. I am expected to be smart and successful. I am given the opportunity to develop. Boys are encouraged to be wild and free, and to experience the world in every way. Girls are, however, expected to always be composed, soft spoken, and mostly play indoors. Let’s pretend to have a baby. Let’s play with the dollhouse and do chores. Let’s pretend to cook and put makeup on because girls need to be pretty. How else do you prepare for the most important day in your life? To this day it is just so common to hear “congrats on the most important day in your life”, and all that pure garbage about a woman’s wedding experience. How can the best day of your life be the day of marriage? How can your wedding day be “the thing you’ve dreamed of ever since you were a little girl”? Is it too harsh to speak my mind on how pathetic an existence that is?
Girls are introduced into school environments with already a fraction of the confidence and self-esteem that boys have. When I started my schooling career it was the first time my mind encountered real development and knowledge. I was afraid to speak up, ask questions or just participate in activities. I found excitement and happiness in learning and understanding. I was always eager to teach anyone who would listen what I’ve just learned. The closest description of what I felt once I learned how to read was hunger. I felt desperate for knowledge. I wanted to know and understand. I read everything I could get my hands on. My very favourite topics were English literature and everything science related. The world was fascinating. All of my passions were internalized though and only visible in my report cards. Education showed me that I was smart and had a bright future when society judged me to be a future human incubator. I did grow up in a very ghetto, poor neighbourhood so I cannot say for sure how things are in better places. I’d imagine they would be at least slightly less harsh in their intensity of bigotry toward female children. Five days a week I would develop, learn and progress. Going home meant social expectations of being the only gender subject to chores and responsibility. Going to church on Sundays meant listening to hours of contradicting statements to what I learned in school and gender stereotypes. At church gatherings and tea sessions boys played outside, men sat around talking and laughing while women and girls prepared food in the kitchen chatting about pregnancy and childbirth. I noticed the boys my age being asked how school and their grades were. I awaited my turn but it never arrived. The people at church were impressed by my response to how I defended my modest dressing at school and fended off male approaches to maintain my ‘purity’ as a girl but until I graduated high school my academic achievements were barely recognized as a thing of importance. Girls go through life being shamed for being female, being shamed for showing innocent shoulder skin, for ‘dressing and looking like a boy’, for ‘sitting wrong’, having crushes on boys, being too friendly, not smiling enough, being defensive, for accidentally showing a bra strap, for getting openly angry, for behaving “like a tomboy” and so on and so on. Many women who have tremendous potential are discarded as barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen material. Regardless of how smart and talented you can be, if you don’t get support from people around you to gain opportunities and be allowed to pursue your dreams, you will not enter those male dominated fields. Personally, I would have never gotten into my career had I not gotten a full bursary. I’ve been called out many times for being ‘far too outspoken for a woman’, ‘not knowing my place’ and going into the ‘field of men’. I was told that education makes women rebellious and challenge the authority of men. To these men I voiced vicious, cutting words that I know pierced their obviously fragile egos and made them cry at night. I got tired of older women teaching me to make men feel needed, to stroke their egos, not to make them feel insecure, to downplay my intelligence so I don’t scare them away or make them feel bad about themselves, to serve them, clean up after them, bare their children, develop Stockholm syndrome (they said this indirectly, I’m paraphrasing), react with grace and shyness when approached by men, feel grateful for a man’s interest in you, forgive them for unwanted sexual advances since they cannot be blamed for their urges, watch what I wore around them to ensure that I didn’t unknowingly seduce them, to expect men to first ask my biological father for me since I am his property until marriage, to remain quiet until spoken to, to revoke my own identity and morph my name into his at the time of marriage and so on. These teachings made no sense to me. How can those with such fragile and insecure personalities claim severely misplaced superiority over me and demand submission from me? Am I to waste my entire life and potential on preparing food and bearing children? I could be helping the human race move forward or just living happily for myself. It is plain stupidity to not grasp the damage that inequality has done to human progression. Think about the various minds and talents that were wasted because their bodies had vaginas and/or their skin contained too much melanin. More than 50% of the human population wasn’t allowed to contribute to society. It’s a little difficult to help out when you’re restrained by chains and violence and refused access to education. Slavery and oppression have brought long lasting pain and suffering to this world. It is another lie of society that women have expiry dates as they age but men just get better. This is intended to keep women insecure and vulnerable. People age badly when they neglect themselves and damage their bodies. The idea of men getting better with age comes from men being the only gender able to make money and get rich. Now that equality is the law men who only had money to offer as attraction lost their ability to get the women they want. This has made them spiteful and angry since the dating world is more difficult now. Women no longer need men to stay alive. Women have careers, cars, property, and care for themselves. The ability to care for themselves has proven the idea of the female expiry date concept and even fading beauty to be untrue. Women who maintain healthy lifestyles and are happy tend to age far slower than those who choose traditional gender roles.
At church, I was taught that women are a byproduct of creation. Specifically created and designed for men from a mere rib. The original creation (man) could not be deceived by Satan, therefore, the byproduct, flawed and far less capable of thought and discernment, was approached. Women are believed to have caused “the downfall” of mankind in many religions. Women are brainwashed into believing that virginity is their most important treasure in life. Women are taught that pain is a normality. Menstruation hurts, childbirth potentially kills, losing virginity means pain and bleeding, sexual intercourse is dry jack-rabbiting; if you feel pain it’s just part of being a woman. Serious illnesses are missed because of these beliefs. Cruelty and inhumane treatment follow women because of these beliefs and in some parts of the world are still rife. If you didn’t already know this when you experience excruciating period pains you need to go to a doctor. You most probably have a problem going on. Women need to stop telling their daughters to deal with excruciating pain and move on. The female reproductive system is where evolution failed us. It is more normal to have problems with your reproductive functions than to have a perfectly normal one. Any process that has extreme pain and high probability in fatality for a human requires full and absolute consent at all times. It is NOT an obligation that women owe to society to grow children in their uteruses and push them out in an excruciating process that could end their lives. Women who opt for Cesarean section are shamed for having a child in the less painful option. This is a sickening idea of the female gender needing to prove their worth and redeem their gender through painful labour and childbirth. When modern medicine progressed to introduce anesthesia for the birthing process a huge public outcry erupted. According to Scripture, childbirth pain originated when God punished Eve and her female descendants for sin and disobedience. People believed that it was wrong to avoid the pain of divine punishment. Apart from this horrific religious belief it is still an expectation that women give up their bodies and lives for the wishes of men. Men have long fought to not be forced into the military. I would wholeheartedly fight against this inhumane requirement if it ever came up again. Men were forced to risk their lives to defend their countries and fight for the wishes of their government. Many who didn’t die were physically maimed. This is an absolute atrocity. It was times of war that forced men into probable death and it was necessary for the survival of the country. Women weren’t allowed to enroll, not because their lives were more valued, but because they were believed to be incapable of defense and have the important role of incubating more humans to repopulate. Both are wrong. Risking your life and body should always be a choice regardless of the circumstance. The common perceptions surrounding the hymen is a myth. That is a fact. A woman’s virginity should not be equated to her value as a human let alone be based on a myth. A lot of women are born without hymens. Those who actually have them and bleed during the first time, indicates that their partner hurt them. It is not okay to experience severe pain and discomfort and bleed; it means he was not gentle or just did not know what he was doing. Yet this dangerous myth is still accepted as the truth and perpetuated. Women were stoned to death in the past for not having blood on their wedding sheets as proof of virginity. If questions arose about an unmarried woman’s virginity she would be subjected to brutal virginity testing involving violating finger penetration of the woman’s vagina. Women were killed and rapists were declared innocent over these myths. These tests aren’t common anymore but still occur in certain countries. But even in modern civilization the belief that a woman’s first sexual experience supposed to be unpleasantly painful and bloody is still prevalent. This is far more consequential than most people realize. Look at the case of Raymond Gates. This guy genuinely seems to believe that a girl withdrawing consent because she’s afraid and not in a good mental state isn’t a reason to not proceed with sex anyway. All girls are afraid of their first time because it hurts. Her saying “No, please stop. You’re hurting me” while crying out in pain is not rape. She cried and sobbed while he cuddled her afterward. His reasoning was that all girls say that when their “virginity is taken” because it’s supposed to hurt. He says that many girls have said that when he “took their virginity”. This man has been an oblivious serial rapist. The rate of sexual assault almost never decreases every year however, the rate of reported rape and convicted criminals remain ridiculously low. Innocent until proven guilty means the victim is a liar until proven truthful. She must undergo invasive and painful procedures to prove her assault, be questioned for years and forced to relive traumatic experiences over and over again, face the judgement of society for ‘ruining the rapist’s life’, be viewed as spoiled goods and deal with the constant intrusive urge to commit suicide. I was in primary school when I first heard of rape. My 8 year old new friend told me a secret she never told anyone before. I didn’t understand. I started hearing this more and more often. Other girls would confide in me about being sexually abused by family members and boys in school. Take a look at the faces of passing women. Majority of women have experienced sexual assault and/or sexual harassment.
Tell me that you know what it feels like to be a woman when you look into the face of a man and you get that icy chill of knowing he wants to rape you. Tell me that you know what it feels like to be a woman when having a vagina opens you up to sexual harassment and the urge to run whenever a man walks too closely behind you. Tell me you know what it feels like to be a woman when you face imminent assault and fully acknowledge and accept that this is your last day on earth because you’d rather die than be raped. I was lucky to have escaped multiple dangerous situations. I went on an overseas trip recently. While shopping at a popular tourist attraction my best friend and I separated to look for our own items of interest. For a while I was alone. I could feel someone’s eyes boring into the back of my head and I turned around to meet the unflinching stare of a tall muscular man. He continued to stare into my face and follow my footsteps. I turned and started walking in the opposite direction. Once I passed him, he did the same. I changed directions three times in less than five minutes; on the fourth time he grabbed my arm and turned me around to face him repeating “I’ve been watching you. I like you” three times. I ripped my arm out of his grasp and rushed off to find my best friend. Me being alone was not the problem. It was society’s and history’s perception of women that enabled this man to feel justified in his aggressive behaviour. I’ve been in many situations like that in many different places. Please excuse me if I get angry when people say that pretty girls have life the easiest. Being constantly terrified of unwanted approaches, assault, stalking and abduction is a problem, yes, but I have boobs that make men want to hold open doors and carry my bags because they’re hoping to fuck me. I’m so lucky. Being subjected to fewer academic expectations and being expected to be slower and less capable than men is not a benefit. Having men shove their help on you with their genitals in mind is not a compliment. Frankly, I want to be criticized for my own good and I want much to be expected of me. Making mistakes is human. Even in a simple example like driving a car there is illogical prejudice. There is nothing difficult about it. Men make stupid mistakes often while driving but when a woman does it, it’s not a mistake; it’s because women aren’t fit to drive. I’ve had men swerving onto my lane, cutting me off and so on but then realizing its a female driving and using me as a scapegoat. The reason for many women who struggle with driving and parking a car comes from lack of confidence because of the stigma attached to women drivers. Boys are taught to drive and given cars from a young age. Driving is about practice, not intelligence. Why would a woman able to excel in difficult academic fields still be expected to somehow be deficient in the ability to pull and push levers sequentially. Constant paranoia of being judged and harmed for being a woman follows you everywhere. But society still wonders why modern women are so defensive and quick to retaliate when threatened.
Many sheltered, privileged men claim that they’re the group being oppressed the most in today’s world. Its no longer acceptable to make unwanted advances on women without being publicly shamed for it sometimes. They’re afraid to approach women and their inability to fully grasp the concept of consent means they’re constantly fearing being accused of rape. I mean, the chances of conviction is superbly low but the slap on the wrist and public shame ruins their lives and careers; and all for 60 seconds of being carried away with sexual pleasure. I’m not denying that there are groups of women who falsely accuse some men of rape and overreact for small prejudices to get revenge on men by attempting to destroy their careers and social standing. It is undeniably wrong and justice should be served. I do not believe in vengeance on innocent men for the crimes of their forefathers or other members of their gender. That’s horrible and the women involved should accept the consequences for their actions. I don’t want misunderstanding in my next statement. I do, however, empathize with the angry vengeful women. Not sympathize, empathize. Growing up as a woman means beginning life on a difficult level from birth. Being subjected to rape, domestic violence, forced childbirth and having beloved family and friends commit suicide from struggle would drive anyone to vengeful desires. I’m not saying that men should accept being treated unfairly because of their gender’s crimes toward women. No, not at all. Women are tired of being judged, not being believed, being regarded as subhuman, being terrified of being raped and murdered, being discriminated against, actually being raped and murdered, being denied opportunities into higher education, being publicly undermined and ignored, being patronized and regarded as dumb until proven intelligent, proven intelligent yet somehow still inferior, being called selfish for not wanting to die in childbirth, being shamed at every turn, being beaten and abused, watching their mothers and sisters being abused, and so on. Instead of judging them and claiming oppression for yourself, try to empathize and say “I’m sorry that you have to deal with this kind of life”. Don’t add to the suffering of other women who want true equality for both men and women. Try to show the less fortunate world human compassion and understanding. If we stop fighting for what is right, we will regress into past horrors. I experienced and witnessed an enormous amounts of sexism and had many women confide in me about their experiences. Until recently I’ve never had male friends that I trust entirely. There was a time that I despised the male gender. I know now that the men that I met throughout my childhood shaped my view on males. It is very unfair to misplace our anger on the entire male gender including the innocent and good. Men who aren’t exposed to what we face should be informed not lashed at. Tell them. Be vocal about our experiences. We need to reach a place of understanding and common ground. We need to stop playing the blame game and maintaining the ‘us vs them’ mentality. We need to stop perpetuating harmful myths and trying so hard to insinuate that the genders are worlds apart. The more we place differences between us, the less we are able to see each other as human. Stop saying when girls say yes they mean no and when they say no they mean yes and other dangerously incorrect statements. Women are human. We think, we have feelings, we have dreams, we have ambition, we have ability, we have potential. Every human being has their own struggles. Let’s deal with both sides and we can fix this.
A brief quote by Margaret Atwood:
“’Why do men feel threatened by women?’ I asked a male friend of mine.
“’They are afraid women will laugh at them’, he said, ‘undercut their world view.’
“Then I asked some women students, ‘Why do women feel threatened by men?’ ”’They are afraid of being killed,’ they said.”