Understanding feminism and what it means to be a woman has significantly altered and progressed throughout my life.
I started as a young girl in a world where it was “unattractive” to be a feminist – it was something men didn’t like in a woman and therefore something I didn’t want to be.
I started as a passive young girl who always followed the rules of men in her life and let their opinions be her defining source of self worth. A world where “Mean Girls” was the anthem – take down the girl who is different than you, especially if it gets you the guy.
This isn’t an attack on men. This is reflecting on the social stereotypes that have filled my child to adult hood. It took years upon years to grow the courage to turn my back against the people who I endlessly loved because their worth in women reflected in their painful disrespect towards me. Years, to break free from a mold where those actions became a reflection of my own personal self worth. It took me jumping into the world on my own and becoming independent to realize what I was worth, what women as a whole are worth, and what it truly means to be a woman – an equal member of society. It took a lot of self reflection, exploration, and understanding to realize what being a woman in America means. So all I can say to you is break free from your mold, explore, gain experiences and learn about new cultures to find what it means to you to be the woman that you are. Educate – you may not be able to change those who can’t understand, but your voice will be heard. And don’t ever forget that women all over the world outside of our bubble are still being devalued, disrespected and dismembered. Being a woman is a much larger responsibility and much more powerful title than you could ever imagine.
This was very touching for me. I hope it can impact you just the same.
“My rapist doesn’t know he’s a rapist. You taught him it wasn’t his fault, I drank too much, flirted and my shorts too short. I was asking for it. He left me in a parking garage staircase. My (ex)boyfriend spit in my face, he called me a SLUT, he called me a whore. I deserved it. My friends gave me dirty looks. They called me trash, not realizing it could have been them. This culture, your culture, my culture, told them, told me, this was my fault. And I suffered. But my rapist doesn’t know he’s a rapist. I am not ashamed. I will take a stand. – SlutWalk, DC 2011”
Here’s some more lovely inspiration that will make your day, or maybe even your week… here
While bored, freezing cold and embracing my recent snow day, I was scrolling through my Netflix account and ran across the documentary “Sexy Baby” by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. Described as a documentary in which explores the lives of three very different girls living in todays society and media overload, and how they’ve individually been affected by it. Right away I was intrigued. I’ve taken a women studies class in college and have deeply explored our cultures sexual phenomenon. I so badly wish to enhance people’s insight on this topic, especially mens, who on many occasions have thrown comments in my face about the topic, like “you’re all just looking for attention,” “if you want respect then stop being sluts,” and so much more. Ugh the ignorance blows my mind.
I’ve seen many documentaries on society and the way woman are represented and treated because of the way they are projected in the media, but this one was different. This documentary didn’t try to push the point on how wrong it is, it doesn’t blame the media, and how men and woman should change. It’s not example after example of the exploitation of women’s bodies in magazines and the way men control them. This simply catches the reality of three women’s lives in today’s society and lets you reflect on your own the way they are affected and are rounded by social media, sex, and exploitation. It leaves you to judge what’s wrong and right, and to realize how deeply the lives of not only these girls have been shaped, but even yours and the people around you. There’s no explanation necessary. So please, spare the 82 minutes of your life and watch this documentary. It’s truly eye-opening.
Oh, and if you haven’t already, check out Lilly Allen’s song, “Fear“.