My facebook is a very upsetting place lately…why? Let me tell you.
See, I’m a late blooming feminist. This may seem off topic, but it is important for YOU to know that until recently I didn’t believe there was a need for feminists. It was an archaic word that lived with the 60’s and 70’s and since my mother had nothing doing, that idea was not something that ever got changed for me. It was a word filled with unshaven legs and lesbians. Ugly. And unnecessary. Un-fucking-necessary.
Can you believe my ignorance?
Anyway, back to my facebook. I’ve seen horrible things like the Steubenville Rape…the problems in the military …and the everyday –every damn day- reports of husbands killing wives, boyfriends killing girlfriends, men killing/assaulting/raping/abusing women (and let’s not get into the catcalls/belittling/valuing on beauty alone/etc.). Evil things.
And yes, I can hear you telling me that evil is in the world. That evil happens. That we can’t stop crazy people from doing what they will.
But let me point out the disproportionate number of men that do the killing and assaulting. I am so often confronted with this that I mistakenly believe (on a regular basis) that there are less women in the world than men. I try to understand this overwhelming imbalance in my reality by convincing myself it must be the fault of the numbers.
It is not.
But back to facebook. Serena Williams did some victim blaming the other day. Serena Williams, a woman and a role model for our little girls, stood up and shit on every one of us the other day. She told us that as women we are not allowed to have a good time, get a little stupid, and make mistakes without paying for it with our bodies. She told us that WE have to be responsible for not only our missteps, but the missteps of every creep and rapist we meet. We, as 51% of the population cannot let our guard down for ONE INSTANT. It is our fault if we do. It is our fault.
The fault of the woman…
For how she is dressed.
For how she speaks.
For how good she looks.
For saying no.
It is the fault of the woman…it is our fault. Alone.
Even worse was the mother I saw posting in support of Serena.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to rage. I fucking got up and left my house so my wife would not have to watch me cry. Why? Because that little girl is going to have the weight of 49% of the population on her shoulders. She will be taught from a very young age that men are bad, and that as a girl it is up to her to MAKE them not do things to her. It is HER FAULT when she is assaulted, raped, beaten. She will be told that it is strength to not drink too much when it is offered from a friend. Told that it is admirable not to give in the constant barrage of sexual pressure. That it is the right thing to do to walk away when a man is badmouthing you and threatening more. That it is a woman’s place to make sure her man does not stray, and does not hit, and does not lie or cheat or steal. It is a woman’s place to make sure a man is perfect. When that is FAR from the truth.
We need to begin to recognize, as a gender, that we have missed half of the lesson of feminism. We remember the strong, we remember the bold, but we’ve forgotten the everyday respect. We should be demanding it, and we should be holding every man accountable that refuses to give it to us. Even more, we should stand up for the men that stand up for us, we should be vocal and proud and outraged. We should teach our boys that we are worthy and we are one. We should momma bear every girl, no matter what we think of her decisions. And we should give as good as we get.
We should stop confusing the issue, and stand up for ourselves as women.
I just wish it was as easy as it sounds…