I don’t think it would come as too big of a shock to realize that I’m a feminist.
It has struck me recently that I have realized how some men truly feel about women with interactions I’ve had within the past week or so. While at Plan B, a guy grabbed my ass because I wouldn’t dance with him. I of course was violated, and directly yelled at the man who would never understand the extremity of what he did wrong.
Last night, at the Brewers game, I was walking with Sam and two other guys, when a guy in a pack of four called me a slut to my face. There was no reason for it, not that there ever should be a reason to be called a slut.
In both instances, I was fully clothed, having a good time with friends, and was in a situation where alcohol was more than likely involved on the males’ end. Even if I were dressed a bit more racy, even if I was alone, even if I was absolutely drunk; that does not mean any of those actions are okay. In no way is it okay to grab someone you don’t know. It is not okay to call women sluts. It is not okay to objectify women or to believe they are an object, not a person.
I think of the movie Mean Girls now, when Tina Fey’s character is teaching the girls all about how by calling each other sluts and hos it makes it okay for men to do that. However, it should never be okay for a man to call a woman a bitch. Or to be called a slut. Or to be told they were being a tease and deserved unwanted sexual contact. It is not okay for women to be degraded. It is not okay for disrespect to happen.
There is not a clear solution to this problem. Things of this nature cannot be fixed overnight. However, there are small things to do for one another to slowly stop this problem:
– Stop using derogatory words with your friends and to others.
– Stand up for someone who is being bullied, sexually assaulted, or be supportive when a friend needs assistance after the fact.
– Never say a woman should be called a name or touched inappropriately because of her previous actions or the way she is dressed. No one should be treated in that way. You don’t automatically get a job when you go to the interview dressed up and having a resume, you have to prove that you want it. In the same way, women should not be unvalued because of the way they dress or their personal history, they still have to consent to any sexual contact.
I stand for feminist beliefs. That women should look out for one another. That women are not property of men. That women possess their own bodies and should be allowed to do what they wish to their own body. That’s what I believe, and I’m damn proud of it.