We’ve all seen the normal “I don’t sweat, I sparkle” or “Drop it like a Squat” workout tank tops, but I was able to stumble across some pretty cool workout tanks with feminist messages on them. I’ve posted the links to the websites so you can check them out!
It puzzles, and alarms, me that we so often times are tolerant of injustice. If you stand by and watch a bad behavior continue that is just as bad as contributing to the behavior itself. By remaining silent you are supporting that behavior. I’ve often heard the argument “It’s not my place to get involved”. Really? It’s not your fault to call someone out on a detrimental action towards someone else? If we all just act as bystanders then nothing will change.
I’m not saying you have to go start a riot every time someone says “don’t be a pussy” or “she looks like a slut”, but you can, at the very least, speak up about it. It’s not always an easy conversation, especially if you know the people saying those things. However, it helps no one if you stay silent. Sexist comments are so prevalent in many parts of society that people often times don’t even realize that what they are saying is offensive or derogatory. Taking the time and courage to speak up could completely change the way someone thinks as well as how they treat others.
The progress we have made towards gender equality in the workplace and societal perceptions in general has be encouraging. However, we still have a long way to go. As I’ve gotten older I’ve seen the difference of how society expects men to aspire towards and what women should aspire towards. I think that as women it is often assumed that we want to get married or that we want to have biological children. Some women may truly want those things and that is fine. I commend them for that. But what about the women that don’t want that for themselves?
Why is the thought of a full-time, dedicated woman in a demanding career so strange or taboo to us that we made up the term “career woman” for it? I’ve always heard women questioned on how they plan to balance a career and the role of a mother and wife. Men are rarely asked that question. It’s frustrating that with every possible occupation I’ve been interested in, I’ve had people ask me how I can have a good marriage or children with those things.
Maybe I don’t want those things. Maybe I do, but either way that’s a personal choice that I for myself have to make. No one else should assume that for me.
After experiencing being “cat called” (honked, whistled at while walking) today I decided to write about it. I find it disturbing how many men and women think this is harmless. Some even think of it as a compliment! Personally, I find it degrading and insulting. I do not walk outside for the purpose of being ogled by others, mainly men. I do not dress the way I do to receive attention from others. I certainly do not find obscene things being shouted at me to be complimentary in any way whatsoever.
A male friend of mine was giving me a difficult time for becoming so upset at this one day. I asked him “Why do men feel the need to honk and whistle at women like this? It’s insulting.”
His response: “Men whistle and honk at all sorts of things they like..maybe a nice car or something..it’s a social cue that they like what they see.”
Me: “So I’m like a really nice car?…cool, that’s what I’ve always wanted to be.”
My point is that it is objectifying. I am not walking outside to be pleasing to someone’s eye. No matter what a woman is wearing, it is simply unacceptable. The message men send when they engage in this behavior is clear: I do not respect you as a coequal human being. Rather, I see you as an object for my entertainment.
Well, I’d like for my message to be clear as well. I am not interested in the slightest what your opinion of me is. I certainly do not need to hear your lack of self control verbalized as I try to carry on with my day.
For some comedic relief.. Check out this link to Buzzfeed’s “18 Kickass Illustrated Responses to Street Harassment”
As a new feminist party, Feminist Initiativ, emerges in Swedish politics “out with the racists, in with the feminists!” is the slogan leading their political battle. The party’s founder, Gudrun Schyman, has been a politician for over 30 years (prior to which she was a social worker). The new feminist party was almost elected into Swedish Parliament, but fell short of the 4% needed.
The party is trying to present a platform of non-discrimination along not only gender lines but also race, disability and sexual orientation. While Sweden is typically thought of having relatively progressive politics, there is still a blatant gender gap.
Men routinely still earn higher wages while performing the same jobs as women, and sexual violence is still rampant. According to the guardian “The fact that Sweden is “better” than other countries when it comes to gender politics is not to say that equality has actually been achieved.” http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/12/sweden-election-political-party-feminist-initiative
It is one thing to have a political system with legislation and policies that encourage equality non-discrimination, but it is another thing entirely to execute it.
I don’t believe that there can be any real change regarding sexism in politics, or in our daily lives for that matter, if the mindset behind it is not changed first. Legislation and political developments is certainly a start, but the way people think is what needs to be revolutionized to create lasting change.