A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism.’
The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.
Your world is full of freedom and possibility.
Then you pick up a newspaper or go online. You read about angry women ranting about sexism and inequality. You see phrases like ‘rape-culture’ and ‘slut-shaming.’ You furrow your brow and think to yourself: ‘What are they so angry about? There is no such thing as sexism anymore.’
Now imagine this:
The year is 2013. You are a 25 year-old Pakistani woman. A few months ago, you married the man you love. A man you choose for yourself. You are also pregnant with his child. You see your life stretching out before you, filled with hope and happiness. Suddenly, you and your husband are dragged away from each other. You are both beaten with bricks and batons. You can’t fight back. You can’t escape. No one comes to help you. Through your fading vision, you look up, and look into the eyes of one of your assailants: into the eyes of your father.
The year is 2013. You are a 23 year-old Indian woman. You are a physiotherapy student with a promising career ahead of you. You are sitting on a private bus travelling home alone on a warm December evening. You gaze out of the window as the buildings of New Dheli rush past you and feel content. Suddenly, a blunt force hits the back of your head and you fall to the floor of the bus. A group of strange men are standing over you. They bring the metal bar down on you again and again and again until all you can taste is the blood filling up your mouth. You pray that you will die soon. And you do, but not then. You are raped, beaten, and tortured over and over again. Death is slow and agonising.
The year is 2014. You are a 13 year-old girl from Niger. You no longer live there though. You are now living in the neighbouring country Nigeria, sitting alone in small room on a small bed in a small apartment high above the city of Kano. You are not allowed to leave. Your stomach is swollen from the unwanted life growing inside of it. You had no choice. The father is a man in his 40s. He is a businessman. He has bought you as his wife. You were a penniless, uneducated girl when he came for you. You don’t know of any life you could have had. Neither did your family: just one less mouth for them to feed. You still have the body of a child, and it’s straining under the pressure from the one inside of you. You feel like you’re about to be split in two. You don’t wonder if you will survive the birth. A part of you doesn’t want to.
These are fictionalised accounts of real events that have happened to real women living in our world today. They follow the past 250 years of women and men campaigning for women to be given equal rights to men to prevent these kinds of injustices and abuses on the grounds of gender taking place. Over the course of this time, campaigners – Feminists, both female and male – have been locked up, beaten, tortured, and even killed, in the pursuit of equality. They did this with pen and ink and print; they did this with their voices; they did this with their bodies; they did this with art and music; they did in courts of law and halls and houses of government that they fought be to allowed into.
They did this so that women would no longer been seen as property, livestock, breeding machines, sex objects, punching bags, or infantile morons. They did this not just for themselves, but also for their daughters, and their daughters, and their daughters for generations to come. They did this for women they would never meet – women who lived across countries, across vast oceans, across the entire globe, and even across time.
They did this so that women like me – a white Western woman – could attend school and university; to learn to read, write, and think critically; to gain a degree; to get a job and be paid an equal salary to a man in the same position; and to sit here with my own computer and type all of this.
Feminism is a movement for freedom, equality, choice, love, compassion, respect, solidarity, and education. We may argue, we may disagree, we may struggle to understand the choices and perspectives of others sometimes, but these core beliefs of the movement have never changed, and they never will.
That is why I am a Feminist.
If you feel that you have so far lived your life unaffected by even the mildest form of sexism – anything from feeling uncomfortable when a man catcalls you in the street, to feeling scared walking home alone at night in a secluded area – and are treated with love and respect by every man in your life, then to you I say: I’m glad for you. If you don’t think you need feminism, then that is a victory for the movement. You have fulfilled all those dreams that every suffragette being force-fed in prison and every ‘witch’ burnt at the stake dreamed you would one day.
But perhaps take a second to consider the life of the Pakistani woman who was beaten to death by her own family for marrying a man of her choosing. Or the life of the Indian woman who was raped, beaten, and murdered on a bus by a gang of men. Or the life of the little girl in Niger who was sold to a man more than twice her own age and forced to carry a baby that may kill her to deliver. Do they still need feminism?
And perhaps take a second to consider this too: Even in our liberal, Western world, why do women still only fill 24% of senior management jobs? Why are more women than men domestically abused or even killed every week at the hands of their male partner or ex-partner? Why is there still a pay gap (in the UK specifically) of 15% for women doing the same jobs and working the same hours as men?
And what about on a cultural level? Have you ever noticed how comedy panel shows usually only have one female panellist compared to 4-5 male ones? That almost every dieting product on the market is solely aimed at women? How a lot of newspapers and advertising campaigns will use a sexualised or pornographic image of a woman to sell news or products that have nothing to do with sex?
Or perhaps on a personal level: Do you choose to wear certain clothes because you want to or because you feel ‘unfeminine’ if you don’t? Do you choose to cover yourself up because you want to or because you feel ashamed or intimidated by a man looking at your body? Do you shave your legs and underarm hair because you want to or because you will look ‘ugly’ if you don’t? Did you parents dress you in pink as a baby because they liked the colour or because you were born a girl? Do you want to have children because you want to or because you are a woman?
When you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, do you see yourself through your own eyes, or through the eyes of the men that will look at you when you walk out the door?
The fact is, like it or not, you still live a world where gender matters. Where gender controls not just the entire course of your life – but the lives of women all over the world. Every second, a child will be born female in a country where she will persecuted for this random biological occurrence for the rest of her life. So before you hold up your anti-Feminist placard proudly and smile at your own sense of empowerment, think not what Feminism can do for you, but what it can do for that one girl. She needs someone to stand up for her. That someone could be you.
[ x ]
Read this. Read all of this. Then read it again.
still upset that the films never acknowledge that Peeta loses a limb in the first arena and goes through the Quarter Quell with a prosthetic leg
or that Katniss has suffered permanent hearing loss in one of her ears and now requires a hearing aid
or, you know, the Avoxes
because, you know, why show disabled people doing things
When you could have a love triangle instead?
Hey! So, Coming Out Day is coming up soon (Oct. 11) and I just want to post a very stern reminder to NOT out anyone without their explicit permission.
Do NOT out anyone.
AND DON’T “COME OUT” AS STRAIGHT OH MY FUCK
Do you ever get those moments where you know if you speak, you’re going to end up sounding like early episodes Martin trying to stand up for himself?
I realized this last night and I’m a fucking nerd but honestly
it helped me to think about it like this
because I don’t wanna be on the side of the Wall
Zodiac Expression of Nerves
- ♈ Aries: Hyperactivity, headaches, impulsivity, recklessness, hostility, frustration, confrontation, restlessness, rapid speech, over thinking, displays of vulnerability and need for reassurance, inability to complete minor tasks
- ♉ Taurus: Reservation; they will dissociate into their own worlds and be untouchable, binge eating, compulsivity (cleaning, organizing, hand washing), silence; anxiety will come in waves for Taurus and be sustained for a long period, sore throat, 'blank' mindedness
- ♊ Gemini: Giggling, restlessness, rapid speech, talkativeness, tremors, hyperactivity, distractibility, racing thoughts, insomnia, inability to stay focused on and complete even minor tasks, loud and more talkative inner monologue, chest/lung discomfort
- ♋ Cancer: Teariness, catastrophized thinking, imagination worst case scenarios, inability to stop distressing thoughts and inner monologue, drifting off/inability to focus, food cravings, isolation but co-current feelings of neediness and reassurance, stomach cramps and nausea
- ♌ Leo: Frustration, hostility, catastrophizing (imagining and living worst case scenarios) martyrdom, impulsivity, binge eating/drinking, they tend to go out of their way to help and do things for other people/keep busy in service, back pain, somatic troubles
- ♍ Virgo: Digestive upset, restlessness, repetitive movements (hair twirling, counting) tremor, rapid thinking, withdrawal into isolated 'bubble', compulsive tasks (cleaning, organizing), need to keep busy and distracted may pace back and forth
- ♎ Libra: Unusual quietness, increased needs for re assurance, stomach upset, restlessness, distractibility, insomnia, negative inner monologue, catastrophized imagination, repetitive hand motions, inability to explain themselves or say they are unwell
- ♏ Scorpio: Increased need for control, hostility, violent frustration (wall kicking, throwing objects), irrationality, increased obsessiveness - they may spend hours and hours focused on one task almost manically, rejection of others though frustration they are not 'there', flashbacks
- ♐ Sagittarius: Increased vocal volume, higher impulsivity, hostility, hyperactivity - they are liable to go out running or try to repress it physically, substance use, rapid thoughts, recklessness, giggling, distractible, back pain
- ♑ Capricorn: Tension, overwhelming feelings of butterflies and nerves inside especially in their stomachs although they remain composed externally. Over thinking and inability to distract themselves from worst case scenario, hostility, isolation, tendency to take on more work shifts or responsibilities
- ♒ Aquarius: Talkativeness, rapid speech, over thinking, restlessness, insomnia, confusion; Aquarians will feel anxious or nervous yet have little insight into why they feel this way or what is causing it, their minds and emotional responses are not connected, back pain
- ♓ Pisces: Teariness, catastrophized thinking, inability to distract or change thought patterns, flashbacks, hysteria, chest discomfort, digestive upset/nausea, irrationality, distressing inner monologue, substance use, increased need for assurance
THE WORST FEELING EVER IS WHEN YOURE SO ENTHUSIASTIC TELLING SOMEONE SOMETHING AND YOU CAN JUST PHYSICALLY FEEL THEM NOT CARING AT ALL SO YOU TRY HARDER BUT YOU JUST CANNOT GRASP THEIR ATTENTION SO YOU SLOWLY FADE OUT AND LET THEM GO BACK TO DOING WHAT THEY DO AND YOU WANT TO APOLOGIZE FOR TAKING TIME OUT OF THEIR DAY TO TELL THEM SOMETHING YOU’RE HAPPY ABOUT
My post-dinner Christmas experience in a nutshell.
'useless fucking paperclips'
I think I found my new bff.
i’m procrastinating because i’m stressed and i’m stressed because i’m procrastinating