“I like being a woman, even in a man’s world. After all, men can’t wear dresses, but we can wear the pants.”
I’ve always struggled with my parents about what I was allowed to do and wasn’t all because I was a woman. Being a woman in itself is already a struggle. We have to deal with appearance issues and self-esteem. We have to know how to do our makeup, do our hair, dress nicely and talk properly. If we dress too much we’re called attention whores. If we don’t dress at all we’re not a proper woman and we’re considered messy. If we cut our hair short and wear baggy clothes we’re called lesbians. From my parents I’ve been told that a woman’s place is at the house and at work. If she’s not able to cook and tend to the house she’s worthless. If she can’t work both inside and outside of the house she’s just being too lazy. I’ve been told that a woman’s place is behind a man. The man is the one to make all decisions and the woman must abide by them. I’ve been told that being single and independent will turn me into a lesbian. From some of the men I’ve dated I’ve learned that some of them only dated me because of the way I looked. I was their trophy to be displayed and nothing more. I know labels don’t define a person but those same labels can help alter what individual’s think of themselves and others.
On January 21st, 2017, Women’s March took place all around the United States to fight for equal rights for women and everyone else who felt like they voice wasn’t being heard. I was on Facebook watching the live streams because I was unable to attend. A guy had posted a status saying,
“Maybe its just me that doesn’t understand. But what rights are all these women protesting about? What rights are supposedly being taken away from them, or don’t they have?”
I won’t lie this really did upset me. With everything happening around us I would have thought that anyone would be able to get an idea of why women and others felt the need to march and let their voice be heard. Nonetheless, I decided to reply to the status. I said,
“They’re fighting to be treated with respect and not just a walking body. They’re fighting for equal pay and the same opportunities that would be given to a man in a work setting. They fight for the right to choose what they do with their body and whether they want to proceed with a safe abortion practice or not. They aren’t just protesting for themselves though, they also fight for the LGBT community , immigration community, black community etc etc”
The guy then replied,
“In my opinion the whole idea of y’all are walking bodies and no one treats y’all with respect is all in yall’s minds. Not every man is the same. Not every man looks at y’all like that. Y’all also already have the right to do whatever y’all want with yalls body. Abortion on the other hand is someone else’s body imo [in my opinion].”
The conversation continued after that and we agreed to disagree. Just reading this reply from the guy still upsets me. He says that women who think that no one treats us with respect is all in our minds. How many cases are there where women are brutally abused by their boyfriends or husbands? How many times has a man glanced at you because you have a nice body and only wanted to be with you because of it? The main point is that it happens and for someone to say that it’s all in our minds just makes me angry. He also says that not every man is the same and I completely agree. There are many shades to the color spectrum just like there are many men with different characteristics. He then says that women already have the right to do whatever with their bodies. Yes, we do have that right but it is slowly being taken away. On the abortion topic, like I said to him, I would personally never have an abortion but to take that away from other women who might needed for what ever reason is in my own opinion wrong. The majority of women seek clinics where they can have a safe sanitary abortion. By prohibiting clinics from conducting these abortions it will increase the number of women who decide to have an abortion unsafely and in the wrong environment. Like they say, “where there is a will, there is a way.”
Someone a while back asked me if I was a Feminist. I didn’t know how to reply because I was still unsure what being a feminist meant so I simply said I don’t know. I remember a man complaining about how now females think they can surpass males. Even my own mother said to my aunt, “It’s not the same as before. Now women think they can do everything on their own without a man and think they are better than them. Times are tough” I couldn’t believe my mom had said such a thing. I understand that back then women were married off to men and were taught to only clean, cook, and tend to the babies. They were told that men were the providers, authority and they could do what they pleased. My mother still continues to tell me that if I don’t know how to cook and clean no man would want me. My father tells me that if I don’t dress like a proper woman should then no man would look my way. I fight this everyday and this is why I’ve become determined to show them that I can be independent and get by just fine without a man.
I’m still not completely familiar with the term feminist but I’ve been able to get an idea of what it might mean to be a feminist. Personally, being a feminist is not about women wanting to be the new authority and rule over the men. No. It’s about being able to stand NEXT to men and have the same opportunities that are offered to them. Being a feminist to me means being able to show men and others that women don’t only belong in the house but they are also able to become architects, managers, mechanics, and even the president of the United States. Being a feminist doesn’t mean a women is a bitch, slut, whore, whiny baby, useless etc. It is a movement to show that women along with others who have been discriminated against deserve the rights that ANY human should have because at the end that’s what we all are: HUMAN! Needless to say, the fight for equal rights for women, blacks, immigrants, LGBTQIA, and others is far from over but I know that someday everything will be worth it.
*Everything in this article is solely based on my personal opinion. You have the right to your own opinion and whether you agree or disagree is fine with me (: