So, for my first monthly random post I wanted to take a brief moment to discuss sexism. It is deeply sad to me that in our supposedly modern world we still have to discuss an issue like this. But we do and will continue to do so until we finally get equality.
In light of the upcoming US presidential election I feel it’s pertinent to discuss Trump’s apparent ‘locker room talk’. Apart from completely hating this excuse, which should not even be an excuse anyway, it is actually symbolic of a much wider problem. To too many men, women are still seen as sex objects. I want to state that I am not accusing all men of having this attitude, this isn’t reverse sexism, but you can’t deny the amount of men that agree with either what Trump said or the point he was making.
I recently watched two documentaries on Netflix that disturbed me, the first ‘Audrie and Daisy’ was about two young schoolgirls that were sexually assaulted, the second ‘The Hunting Ground’ looked at the same issue of sexual assault on college campuses. I know that this does not only pertain to women, however, in this particular context this is the view I am taking to illustrate my point. These are extremely serious issues and I can’t stress enough how heartbreaking it was to hear these girl’s stories but what I want to comment on here is the way in which these crimes were handled, or not handled. A lot of it seemed to come down to boys will be boys, a similar sentiment to Trump‘s ‘locker room talk’. The amount of these cases that were either dismissed or ignored was incomprehensible to me. Why is it that when a girl is assaulted, it seems to be the concern over the boy’s future that becomes the most important? Why are the girls so often blamed because they were drunk or were dressed provocatively? Is it me or are men just being provided with an excuse to treat these girls as sex objects? And in letting them get away with it, what is that teaching anyone?
I in no way want to seem like I am undermining sexual assault by describing it as sexism I only use it as an example of disrespect towards women. This is of course is an extreme example and mostly has to do with power and not sex, but this severe look at sexism filters down in to everyday life. The idea that men have all the power, that men are above women and in a lot of these cases, above the law. It wasn’t just the actual assault that struck me in these documentaries but the complete disrespect for women. The gender gap in society should be shrinking, in fact, you would hope it would be obsolete, however it feels to me like it is just as wide as ever. Women are still paid less than men, women are still not as respected as men in certain areas of power and business. And so much of it is down to respect. What worries me as well is how this is teaching young girls to view themselves.
This is not about how girls dress or how much make up they wear, it is about growing up in a world where sexism is so blatant that it is harder for young girls to respect themselves. The phrase ‘that’s just the way it is’ is said far too often by women as well as men. Just because something appears to be the status quo doesn’t mean it is right. It would take too long to comment on every example of sexism from literature, film, advertising etc. but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. You might think that equality will come with equal pay however until women are given the same respect as men in all aspects of life sexism will remain as prevalent as ever. The fact that Donald Trump is even in the running for President of such a powerful country makes a far bigger statement than I am able to make.
Feminism is not an ugly word, despite the amount of people who have tried to make it one. Just the fact that so many people described feminists as ugly lesbians who are just trying to cause trouble says everything about the disrespect shown for women. Feminism is not reverse sexism as some people have tried to dub it, it is about equality.
(I welcome comments from anyone and I have no problem with people disagreeing with any of my posts, however, disrespectful or hateful comments are not welcome and will not be approved.)