I grew up in an environment where if a boy in fourth or fifth grade pushed, hit, or shoved a girl, that girl was told “oh, he likes you”, and he was not punished, or even reprimanded. Of course, being me, my reaction to being pushed, hit and/or shoved was to usually do the same back. Now, just guess as to who it was who got reprimanded. Yes, it was me, since a girl was always expected to be nice, no matter what. That’s what we were told, no matter what someone did to you, be nice.
All this conditioning has a price. That price follows us all our lives, and causes women to “put up” with verbal and sexual harassment without saying anything. It also causes us to not speak up about other kinds of mistreatment – after all, who want to be known as a “bitch”. Yes, this is another instance where we’ve allowed others to monitor our voices and behavior.
When I was young, it wasn’t unusual for me to be “felt up” while I was riding the bus, in an elevator, or in other situations. Did I say anything? Usually not, however, the spikes of my pumps got quite the workout. I hope that I did plenty of damage to the offending man’s toes and/or insteps. The fact of this harassing behavior, is of course, designed to make woman and girls to feel “less than”. The list of behavior goes on and on: “ratings” based on our looks; verbal abuse telling us to “smile”, trying to force women and girls to interact with strange men – and threatening comments when these men are ignored; women and girls being reduced to just their body parts – the dehumanization of an entire gender.
The examples of rotten comments are too long to list. However, my husband has told me in just the last few days that I chop wood “like a girl”; and I throw the Frisbee to the dog, “like a girl”. In my head I thought – if you’re so much better at chopping wood, why the heck aren’t you doing it?
These comments are considered “normal”, and often if a woman says anything she is considered to be a “bitch”, or a liar, or both. When we stand up for our rights as human beings, we are told to shut up and be nice. Being nice has gotten us things. The biggest “thing” that being nice has gotten us is less wages than men. Yay! What a testament to being nice. Look at the offensive comments that were made by men, about Hilary Clinton when she ran for president. The sad thing is that some of those same negative comments were also said by women.
Fifty-three percent of white women voted a known sexual predator into national office. Really? What the heck is wrong with you? I will never understand people who vote against themselves. And, this political party has proved itself to be the party of sexual predators. Get your head on straight, women. Together we will be an unstoppable force. Stand together as one, and see the entire world change for the better.