CONTENT WARNING: This post mentions sexual abuse.
Yesterday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day. It was amazing to see so many people coming together to celebrate women.
And that got me thinking…I should talk more about human rights and feminism on my blog. It’s something I believe in deeply, and I can go on and on and on about it.
Let’s start off small today with 8 reasons why I am an intersectional, equal-rights-for-all, feminist.
1. WOMEN ARE HIGHLY SEXUALIZED
Once you start noticing how sexualized women are, you can’t unsee it. Yes, men are viewed as sexy. Some men are more popular or fantasized about because of their looks. And hello, Sexiest Man of the Year.
But what bothers me the most is when men use women’s bodies as a way to get ahead. Men’s magazines. TV shows. Movies. Music lyrics and videos. Sports. Even most female characters in video games are sexualized.
To everybody reading this, I say keep the derogatory terms out of your mouth. Keep women’s boobs and butts off of the screen for your benefit. It’s disgusting, and something needs to change.
2. CLOTHING DOESN’T DEFINE US
A man can take his shirt off when he’s feels hot. A woman can’t even wear a crop top and short shorts without being called “easy.” But newsflash: What a woman wears has nothing to do with her sex life.
And even if she does wear more revealing clothes and has frequent sex, does that make her any less of a person? As long as she’s being responsible, absolutely not.
It’s like some people believe women are here just to suit men. People should feel empowered to wear whatever they want.
3. CONSTANT CATCALLING
I can’t even remember how old the first time I was catcalled. It was definitely under the legal age of 18. Plus, I look young for my age, so that makes these men even more disgusting. Since then, I have been catcalled way too many times to count.
And even if someone doesn’t verbally catcall me, I can see the stares as I walk by. I notice where someone looks at me and for how long. I have two eyes, a contact in each eye, and I can see exactly what it happening.
Anytime I do get catcalled, it’s supposed to be a form of compliment. I’m supposed to be flattered that a “man” found me attractive. No, it’s disgusting and makes me want to throw up directly on their face.
4. PERIOD PRODUCTS ARE EXPENSIVE
First things first, why are periods still such a taboo subject? So many people menstruate, and not just women either. We can’t forget about our trans men and women and genderqueer.
Pads and tampons are too expensive for their own good. Add tax to their purchase, and it costs hundreds of dollars a year for something that we need.
Why can you get condoms for free when you can’t get free sanitary products? If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to do anything or go anywhere. They provide me freedom. Freedom should not cost that much, if anything at all.
5. GENDER PAY GAP
Yes, women’s rights have come a long way. But there is still so, so much room for improvement.
According to The American Association of University Women, women on average make only 80% of what men make. In Wyoming, women make only 64% of what men were paid. Of course, the gap is higher for women who are minorities.
A study done by Forbes in 2016 said that only 24% of senior business roles worldwide are held by women. 33% of firms have no women in senior management.
The Paycheck Fairness Act hasn’t been updated since 1963. If we keep fighting for our rights, maybe we can encourage the government to make these fundamental rights more accessible.
6. ANYONE SHOULD USE ANY BATHROOM
People should feel free to use what ever public bathroom they feel comfortable in. They should be allowed to eat at restaurants, go shopping, and go to any other public buildings as they please. People should always feel safe wherever they’re at.
What is written on a birth certificate has nothing to do with someone being a male or female. Plus, there are way more than two genders. All it is simply just a label. A social construct.
I firmly believe that we should all be accepting of other people, regardless of what they identify as. Especially when they can’t help who they truly are.
7. SEXUAL ABUSE NUMBERS ARE TOO HIGH
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), here are some loud statistics:
- 1 out of every 1,000 rapists will be convicted
- 9 out of every 10 victims of rape are female
- 1 in 33 men will be victim of a sexual assault
- 94% of women victims experience PTSD
- Trans people are most likely to fall victim
I, myself, am part of a statistic. I am one of the 1 in 5 women who will be sexually abused some time in her life. Maybe that’s why I’m so passionate about this aspect of feminism.
8. RAPE CULTURE
As if the act of sexual abuse isn’t bad enough, the after effects are almost worse. Victims are told they are liars. They get asked if they were drunk and what they were wearing. And any male who was victim of abuse is supposed to “enjoy it.”
It seems like rape culture keeps getting louder and louder.
The phrase “Boys will be boys” is still thrown around, and it only enforces the thought that girls should learn to accept harassment from boys all their lives. “Boys will be boys” grants boys a free pass to be loud, rude, or even hurtful towards others on the grounds that their behavior is uncontrollable.
Everyone is taught that boys can basically do what ever they want just because they are boys. And if a boy is mean to a girl, pulls her pigtails, snaps her bra straps, or touches her in any other inappropriate way…it is because he likes her.
That is completely unacceptable. Something needs to change. And it needs to be done today.
*Even though it is an incredibly triggering documentary, I highly, highly recommend watching The Hunting Ground. It’s shows you how far colleges will go to keep sexual assault a secret.
Do you identify as a feminist? Why or why not?
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