Saturday, 7 June 2014

Yes ALL women.

This is a post all about being a feminist and is basically a series of paragraphs all about various thoughts and topics that I've been trying to cover over the past week or so. I'm sorry if things don't flow very well or sound nice but I'm very passionate about this and my writing tends to get a little all over the place when I'm feeling all the feels.

I wanted to start by addressing the phrase that will undoubtedly pour out of many of your mouths when you hear about feminism but specifically concerning abuse of any kind. "But not all men". You will continue in a chaotic manner attempting to portray that no, not all men abuse/harm/hurt women and others. When that matter is already incredibly clear. But yes, all women will have been afraid of a man at one time or another in her life, I can practically guarantee that and can definitely say that from personal experience. Every single women on this planet has been afraid of walking home alone at night, walking to the bus stop at night, catching public transport by herself, going out to socialise in what should be a safe, fun and carefree environment but ends up being a more or less anxious experience. Every women has been afraid that someone could hurt her, follow her, easily harm her, but oh never mind that. If anything happens it's her fault. Of course it's her fault. The way she dresses. The way she talks.The way she acts. She should have known better. When you want to utter the phrase "but not all men" I think you need to think about this short, sweet, incredibly simple sentence. All women are afraid of almost all men. *I urge you to check out the #yesallwomen hashtag on twitter to get a better understanding of what I'm attempting to say here- I'm positive it will give some of you a better understanding*

Now that might seem a little extreme to you, but unless you really know a male, I highly doubt you will approach one at night to ask for assistance or even just for a casual chat. We are even supposed to be afraid of our friends now, for fear that they will attempt to fabricate a romantic or sexual relationship instead of the assumed friendship. After all, we shouldn't be expecting anything else after that. We don't owe them anything. We would never expect to be knifed in the neck for refusing an invitation to prom. We would never expect to be shot dead by a stranger just because we refused to sleep with him. Never.

This all comes into light for many of you with the case of Elliot Ryan- that twenty-two year old that went on a shooting rampage in California a few weeks back. I just want to ask you to not comment on this post defending him. I find his actions incredibly disgusting and disturbing and I know some of you will disagree because of course the women that rejected him should have said yes to prevent his following rampage, which many of you seem to think is reasonable.

I identify as a feminist and have for many years, not that how long you have been educated on feminism matters at all. On the internet the word "feminism" get's thrown around a lot. This is typically seen on social media websites such as Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Often, being a feminist is confused with being a misandrist and according to good ol' Google misandrist is defined as "a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against men". This is definitely not what feminism is about. Feminism is all about equality. We want equal rights for everyone- ALL genders and ALL races. We want equal rights, We want equal wages. We want equality. We do not want men to be pushed below women (and others), we want everyone to be on a level playing ground. As equals, as it should be.

I now want to move onto victim shaming. Victim shaming is when someone is assaulted (sexually or otherwise) and is blamed for their assault. People telling them they were wearing "inappropriate" clothing, acting in a "inappropriate" manor, that they were "asking for it". No, just no. You should never, ever, blame a victim for their own assault. Ever. No one is ever asking to be assaulted, no matter what they're wearing, how they're acting or what they're doing. No one asks for it and the fact that many people continue to blame victims is incredibly shameful and disgraceful. As if living through an assault isn't difficult enough, these victims also have to deal with people questioning everything they were doing. They have to deal with people telling that they "should have expected it" or "should have been prepared for that to happen". This is a prominent problem within rape culture and feminists believe that no victim should ever have to defend themselves when they were the ones being assaulted. The only person to be blame is the assaulter or rapist, and they need to be punished for their horrid actions.

Now keeping on track with the same topic of assault. In school and life in general, women have constantly been taught about trying to not get raped or assaulted. But why is no one getting educated on simply not assaulting or raping someone? This is from personal experience, but in high school girls were often called aside from particular years to be told about protecting ourselves and learning self defence- which is definitely important and I think this should be taught everywhere- but no-one was getting taught no to assault or rape. We were getting told to make sure we always travel in groups, to always have an emergency plan, to never go out alone at night and to always be careful about what we were wearing, but I always wondered why the boys weren't being told to control their urges? They were out playing sport and having a laugh whilst we all quietly absorbed as much about protecting ourselves as possible. Now this is getting quite personal, but I believe this has something to do with my anxiousness in recent years. I'm not over exaggerating when I say that they thought of going out on a Thursday or Saturday night with my friends terrifies me. Sure, the times that I have gone out I've really enjoyed myself, but the entire time I'm anxious about what I'm drinking, how I'm acting, what I'm wearing and what situation I've gotten myself into. If you knew me back when I was an energetic, constantly smiling and always bouncing of the walls girl, I'm sure you'd be surprised now.  I shouldn't have to feel scared to go out, let loose and relax with my friends, but I am, and it's incredibly annoying.

I think I'll leave this post here for now, there are so many things to discuss and educate and learn so I think this is enough for now. Please don't disrespect my beliefs and thoughts and I'm just wanting to express what I believe in, which is equality for everyone.

Thank you for reading, love from Maddie xo

1 comment:

  1. This was such a thoughtful piece of writing, I agree totally with what you've said, especially the equality for ALL message :) x