Written by Yasmine Rachidi.
Everybody take a deeeeeeep breath.
1. Men in power still have control over your reproductive organs
Here’s a photo of men deciding what YOU can and can’t do with your uterus.
Taking away the opportunity to have a legal and safe abortion and repealing access to free birth control and cancer controls for women.
Also, FGM — which for those not living on this planet — stands for Female Genital Mutilation. It includes all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons as defined by the WHO (World Health Organization). This process is another thing decided by laws imposed on women by patriarchal societies, and although it could seem such a retrograde measure, it still exists in a lot of countries; more specifically in 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East (as stated by UNICEF).
2. Russia is set to decriminalize domestic violence.
I honestly wanted to make a whole post dedicated to this crazy shit and I will, but for now let’s just explain this “slapping law” as they called it.
This law permits the non-criminalization, unless it’s a repeated offence or causes serious physical damage; like if it breaks your bones and disfigures your face, stuff like that.
Also there’s nothing stated about the psychological side of it, so I guess that is not even considered a THING…
3. The Gender Pay Gap
That glass ceiling is getting thicker and harder to destroy.
Let’s see some numbers: According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, in the U.K., women earn 18% less than men, in France it’s 24%, in the U.S. 20%, in Sweden 15%, and in Germany, (which I would never have thought) they earn 22% less.
What really drives me nuts is that objectively there is NO real justification for it. Other than the usual BS that goes like this “Well, my dear, he has a family to take care of, you don’t.” F*** off, my dear. This idea that women’s role is to ensure the reproduction of humanity has gone too far. It is NOT my duty to create a family. But even if I wanted to, taking care of it is not my only job unless I chose so. Whether you like it or not, a family is not necessarily created by just one person.
- I don’t need to have a family to be rightfully paid for my job.
- What if I want to have a family? Will you then give me what I deserve or will I have to rely on my man cause he’s a man?
- In case you weren’t aware of this, there are so many families that are actually being provided for by the mother so…
Therefore, if you wanna do something about it, take part in the next “Equal Pay Day” a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.
The date on which this event will take place, symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. For instance, in France women make 24% less than men, and since the equal pay day in France is on March 31, 2017, it means that women would have to work until that Friday to be able to earn what men earned in 2016, which is basically saying women should work 3 more months to have the same pay.
4. Sexism on social media
When high profile personalities make fun of one of the biggest marches ever — yeah I’m talking about the Women’s March. Almost 2.6 million women AND men in all communities, LGBTQ+ included, have marched all around the globe to defend strong values we should all believe in.
And yet people can post a meme on Facebook saying: “Will the woman’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?” captioned by ” just asking.” They then respond to the criticism saying, “some people just have to get a sense of humor” and add that they do support women’s rights after all — “it’s not like we’re in 1700s.”
Or when the Nebraska State senator Bill Kintner quoted, “Ladies, I think you’re safe,” meaning the women marching weren’t attractive enough to be sexually assaulted anyway.
Or again when a city councilor in New Mexico wrote that women have rights, “including a right to cook and clean […] you also have the right to be slapped”
Yo, there are plenty of them out there but Imma stop here.
5. Ridiculous dress codes
When they’re more interested in what you’re wearing and how attractive you are, than in what you’re saying in a business meeting for instance.
When they tell you, you can’t wear a hijab to play box.
Or that you have to wear heels at work.
Or again, that at school you can’t wear strappy t-shirts, regardless of the temperatures of the season: SUMMER; because it “distracts the boys.”
Or when in class you’re trying to fix your bra strap in a discrete way, but your male teacher tells you off in front of everybody for trying to act sexy.
6. …Even for babies
Unicorns, glitters, and pink hearts for girls; cars, Legos, soldiers for boys.
This alone says it all.
It basically stands for “girls need to be pretty and lovely; boys on the other hand can be reckless and have fun being adventurous.”
7. Cat calling
Whenever I go out I get verbally harassed, just like the vast majority, by young or old males. And it DOES make you uncomfortable. Just imagine walking minding your own business and having people shouting names and so called “compliments” at you, or rather, at your body. It’s not fun, trust us.
8. Feminism is a dirty word
When an entire movement that stands for women’s rights, and for women to be treated equally to men on an economic, social, and political front, becomes a target for sexist jokes.
Or when you consider yourself a feminist and you’re immediately labeled as the “extreme social justice warrior” which, if the “extreme” taken off, I would take that more as a compliment that anything else.
Because guess what! I don’t necessarily hate men, I’m not necessarily a lesbian, I shave when I feel like it and I’m not for women’s supremacy. I’m for EQUAL rights.
9. Double standards
When a woman has one night stands, she is a slut; but if a man does that, then it’s okay ’cause men can’t keep it in their pants because “boys will be boys.”
When you come home late and your mom welcomes you with “is this the time for a girl to come home?” And then you realize your brother isn’t even at home yet and when asked, you’re told he’s out with his friends.
Wait what? He’s not home yet, and you’re not gonna tell him off? Nice.
10. Rape Culture
First and foremost, when we talk about rape culture, we mean when sexual assault, rape and sexual violence in general are ignored, normalized or made into funny scripts for comedians.
Want some examples? Here we go:
- A judge who sentenced only 30 days in jail to a 50 year-old-man who raped a 14-year-old girl (who later committed suicide), saying the girl was “older than her chronological age.”
- Calling students who are brave enough to report their rapers LIARS.
- Women being told to take measures to prevent rape instead of men being told not to rape.
- Defending celebrities accused of rape just because they’re celebrities and ignoring the victim.
- Women feeling less safe walking the streets at night than men do (happens to me all the time).
- And to ice this gorgeous cake: the Brock Turner case, the man who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a party but only served 3 months of his sentence in jail due to good behavior. (Because otherwise this could affect his reputation as a swimmer.)
Talk about white male privilege.
See, whether you like it or not, this is the reality we are living in. I’m not a sexist, and hopefully you’re not either, but as long as we don’t understand what sexism is and start calling it out and recognizing it in our daily lives, then you just wasted 5 minutes reading this article.
Society has been telling us women (and men) what to do and how to behave for decades now and it’ll never stop if we don’t try to end it.
If we don’t call out sexism, if we don’t educate our daughters and sons about being equal, if we don’t teach them that women are not just bodies and men have feelings too, if we don’t stop victim blaming the one with the courage to call out injustices, if we don’t tell boys that women can wear whatever they want and that doesn’t mean they’re asking for it — this vicious cycle will never end if we keep blaming her for what has been done TO her. We must remember this is not just a Women’s March; men have to walk too.