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Monday, May 26, 2014

Why #YesAllWomen Matters To Me.

Because I've been told my multiple men that being openly feminist is a turn off. I do not exist to turn you on.
Because my best friend in high school was suspended for the skirt she wore because it was distracting for boys and teachers. No one told the boys to not look at her like that.
Because I wear a fake wedding ring when I go out at night. 'Belonging' to another man is the only way to prevent being harassed.
Because when a woman is raped she is questioned about what she wore and how much she drank. This assumes that a mans natural state is 'rapist' and women shouldn't give them a reason to follow through with it.
Because women won't go to the bathroom alone. We know there's safety in numbers.
Because men learn about sex from sources that portray women as objects, not human beings.
Because it's safer to give a guy a fake phone number rather than to turn him down.
Because we all know how to hold our keys as a weapon.
Because I lost my job after reporting harassment from a male co-worker.
Because I'm called 'difficult' when I disagree and 'bossy' when I offer an instruction. Men are called 'negotiators' when they disagree and 'powerful' when they offer instruction.
Because having a vagina entitles me to only 70% of the salary a male would earn in my position.
Because single mothers are blamed while single fathers are heroes.
Because how hot a woman is simultaneously describes her entire worth and what makes her worthless.  
Because only girls are taught how to avoid abuse.
Because we teach our daughters that the reason a boy was mean to them was 'because he likes you'.
Because female celebrity weight gain is bigger news than male celebrity violence or rape.
Because wolf whistling is supposed to be a compliment.
Because I've said 'I have a boyfriend' just to get a guy to stop hitting on me because men respect other men more than they respect my right to say no.
Because Robin Thicke is applauded while Miley Cyrus is ridiculed.
Because how I dress determines how much respect I should be given.
Because I have to hear sentences that start with 'It's more attractive if you..' and 'Boys will like it if you..'.
Because we start sentences with 'I'm sorry, I'm not interested'. WE FEEL LIKE WE MUST APOLOGISE.
Because women are taught rules for safety instead of men being taught rules for behaviour.
Because you can't be called a feminist without being called a man hater. It has to be about men.
Because when you google 'Women need' the top three most searched suggestions are 'Women need men', 'women need to shut up' and 'women need to know their place'.
Because most people worry more about why women stay in abusive relationships than they worry about why men are abusing women.
Because in my country the Minister for women is a MAN.
Because living in fear is so normal that it's instinctive and most women don't even realise that the things they fear, the walking routes they subconsciously decide to take and the clothes they choose not to wear are things that men never even have to think twice about.
Because in the 30 minutes that I was writing this post 4625 new posts were made using the #YesAllWoman hashtag.
Because I know more women who have been sexually assaulted than ones who haven't.

But more than that, it's because no matter how many women speak up, women will not have equal rights or be able to live without the fear of being sexually assaulted until enough men speak up and decide that it's not right. That in itself is the most upsetting and shameful part of this whole campaign.

(Most of the points mentioned were my own, others were pulled from twitter. My heart goes out to every single woman living in this world.)