Day three and I can move on from the terror that was describing myself
(see here:Blog a day for May 2015, Day 2 – Positively describe yourself)
This one is quite timely – I’ve had feminism on my mind a lot lately. I’ve written about it before (find it here: on feminism).
I keep coming up against examples of exactly WHY the feminism movement is still relevant today. Our own Prime Minister seems to think it’s acceptable to pull the hair of his waitress. Not only is this completely immature and ridiculous behaviour (to say nothing of how it can actually be classified as assault), but you can guarantee that if his waiter had been a male with long hair, there is no way he would have behaved in the manner he did.
It’s no secret he’s not one of my favourite people, but you have to ask yourself why he thought this was ok – and my take on it is that we live in a world that say’s it’s ok. You only have to read some of the commentaries surrounding the incident to read that so many people supported him and made comments about how funny he was. Hmm…I totally don’t agree. He put his hands on a woman who was just doing her job and, regardless of her obvious discomfort at the situation (as evidenced by his wife telling him to stop) he carried on. Not ok.
I read two articles the other day which also showed just how commonplace sexism is. One (here) recounts the story of a builder’s reaction to a woman complaining about daily harassment in the form of comments and wolf-whistles by offering the following justification:
“I didn’t even see her face, and I wouldn’t recognise her if I fell over her in the street, so I don’t know how that could possibly be sexual harassment”
Good god. Neanderthal. Seriously – the fact that you are objectifying her without even seeing what she looks like (ie – solely based on the fact that a female walked past you) absolutely points to sexual harassment.
The second article (here) tells about a mayor in Australia who…
‘ has cautioned women not to walk alone at night after the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl, saying it was an invitation to be taken advantage of.
Let me be completely clear about this – it may be unsafe for a woman to walk alone (although the girl in this article was walking at 6.20pm – hardly the depths of the night), but it is only unsafe because of people who have unsavoury motives. I could walk naked down the street in the middle of the night drunk out of my mind and it is STILL not an invitation to be taken advantage of. And it would never be my own fault in that situation – it would be the fault of the attacker, not the victim.
These three incidents (which were in the news within days of each other) saddened me because they show how far we still have to go. It makes me sad that we, as women, put off the fight for feminism because we get caught up in other causes – we want to heal the world. I think that healing the world starts with making it a safe and equal place for our daughters to grow up in, and that means that she should be able to walk down the street without being objectified just for being there, that men in power shouldn’t think that it’s ok to suggest that she is at fault if (god forbid) she was ever assaulted, and that those same men in power don’t think it’s ok to pull her hair in a pathetic attempt at being funny.
So…that’s what’s been on my mind most lately. What’s been on your mind?