Cheesy, overly used expression; I know.
But sadly, the message has still not sunk in.
It still hasn’t registered with people just how important women are. What’s even more annoying than this is the fact certain people are under the impression that it is impossible to celebrate and applaud women whilst still appreciating men. Because God forbid we might all appreciate each other!
Now, this isn’t to say men aren’t important because of course they are, but that is a separate topic and is not one for me to discuss.
This is about looking at women and recognising the core value they contribute to the world. This is about acknowledging- really acknowledging, that physically you would not exist without a woman. And yes, before any smart ass points it out, I realise a man is just as important in giving his bit to making a baby. But it is the woman who carries it.
Just for one moment, can we stop and think about how significant that is? That God, The Universe or whatever higher power exists, gave this gift, the almighty unbeatable gift of life to a woman to give to others. Take away all the flowery language and poetic comparisons and seriously think about that fact: you would not be here without your mother. She literally gave you YOU. She is the reason you’re here reading this right now.
It’s just insane for me then to even remotely relate to the attitudes of the past where women were totally disregarded and seen as ornaments with no other use than to sit there and look pretty. Like are you serious? You literally would not exist without a woman and now you’re trying to tell me they have no use.
It’s equally as ridiculous to think women’s purpose in life starts and ends with childbirth, as if their job is to function as nothing more than a vessel to carry children.
But this post isn’t about those outdated ideals. For the purpose of this I’m going to assume the majority of us are past that point in history.
I personally am not living back in Victorian times, I’m in the 21st century so I assume the same applies to you. However, despite how seemingly advanced our world may seem with women like Beyonce “running the world” and more females in power positions, there is still many struggles going on for women across the globe.
I can’t speak on behalf of women in third world countries or transgenders or any other woman, but I can speak for myself. And I can tell you that being a woman, even for me as a relatively privileged white girl at University, is not always easy. Everyone has their burdens and worries regardless of status, but one worry I think all women share is the fear of being preyed on. The fear that someone may single you out to hurt and abuse you, simply on the basis of being a woman.
This is my biggest fear and is something I realised recently, is almost entirely reserved to females. For as long as I can remember I have always been warned about strange men, the “dangers” of short skirts and walking home alone. Although, I can imagine men and women alike, grew up with similar teachings from their parents on safety, I don’t think men get it as severely as women, especially when it comes to the teenage years. And the thing is, because we’re such self absorbed people (not sarcasm, just facts), living in our own bubbles, a lot of the time I don’t think men even realise these extra worries and fears renting space in the minds of women.
A while back I remember reading a study or a story or something of that nature about a situation where a woman was jogging at night and a man, whom she later conspired to know, pulled up beside her to offer her a drive. Naturally the woman was extremely shaken by the situation as she instinctively thought worse case scenario expecting the man to be a sexual predator. The man in question was obviously extremely apologetic as his only intention was to do her a good deed. Anyway long story short, the man had no idea an action such as pulling up beside her would strike that kind of reaction as he is living in a mans world; a place where fear of predators is little to none. Had he been a woman, he probably would have known better than to creep up on her like that.
Similarly, another study looked at the fact more men than women tend to jog at night. The study aimed to get to the bottom of the reasoning behind this, by putting this question to women: if men had a curfew of 9pm every night, would you feel more comfortable going out to jog? I can’t remember the exact stats but trust me when I say the majority of women admitted this would encourage them to jog at night.
This study really struck me. Not that I’ve any interest in jogging (fat bi$h for lyf), but it made me realise the core fact which is that we, as women, are essentially afraid of men. Not so much afraid of men, but rather afraid of the potential for their power over our bodies. As a result of this, in many ways, the body of a woman is a burden to them. But again this isn’t really why. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with our bodies. There is no reason for our gender to be held against us, the only thing putting it there is the connotations society have constructed around them- around our boobs, our short skirts, long legs. They have all been sexualised by men, by society- and who suffers? Women.
Instead of teaching men not to see a short skirt as a free pass to rape someone, we teach women not to wear short skirts. We teach women to play down their femininity and look less “attractive”. Because what? We might “ask for it” ?
But then in the other ear you have society telling you, you need to have Kylie Jenner lips and you need this spray tan and this boob job. But wait no hide your boobs that’s slutty. But wait no show your assets, show your curves, work it honey.
You have all this shit being fed to you pulling you in two different directions. Sometimes it seems like you have to choose between protecting yourself and looking nice.
There have been so many times when I have found myself questioning my outfit choices on no other basis other than the fact I’m afraid of what that might mean for me if I bump into the wrong guy. I have had hands go up my skirt at discos when I was only 15, I’ve been manhandled on nights out, I’ve been sent creepy messages .. these are just a handful of things that being a woman and “looking nice” brings on you.
So does this mean I’m going to give up on femininity and make myself unattractive to avoid all this? Absolutely not. I’m going to continue to wear short skirts and tell inappropriate boys where to shove their “compliments” or uninvited feels and continue to be a woman.
But just know if you are a guy reading this that, that “cool” “bust down thotiana” touchy type shit might fly in a music video but it doesn’t in real life and if you ever lay a finger on me I’ll break your hand 🙂
Also just take note that this is genuinely the stuff that goes through women’s minds on the daily. This is literally such a short snapshot of what it actually means to be a woman but please take note of the message.
Ok this got wayyy more depressing then I intended but basically my intention writing this was to convey just how strong women truly are. This is just one small factor from a much bigger picture but for me, it’s the thing I struggle most with. Feeling safe as a woman is really hard so be proud of yourself for going outside when it’s dark even though you have these worries in the back of your mind. Be proud for wearing short skirts. Be proud for telling that guy to fxck off when he wronged you.
And if you are a victim of sexual assault as so many girls are, give yourself a pat on the back for even having the courage to still speak to guys. That is true bravery. I have this quote on my wall that I always look at and it goes like “Life is unfair but if you dwell on that it becomes even more unfair”. I think there is so much truth to this. I know the justice system is so unfair especially in terms of rape and assault, and victim blaming should not even be a thing, but sadly it is. And yes, together we will work towards changing that but for now, don’t dwell on all the hardship or wrongs you’ve experienced because all you are doing is adding to it. You’re taking away more of your precious time and isn’t that even more unfair? Don’t let someone else’s wrong doing take your life. Stand up and show them you are tough and you can do this.
Because you’re a woman. And women are the strongest creatures on the planet.