“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” -Unknown
In my first blog post I made a joke about how we shouldn’t care about what guys think of our body hair because it’s 2016 and I’ve started thinking a little harder about that reference. The words strong and women are not usually used in the same sentence, especially when referring to a mental or emotional state. I’ve noticed in interviews when a woman is in the hot seat the question “How do you get your confidence?” is always asked. Um, because they are successful people would automatically be my next thought. It’s as if no one thinks being any kind of woman is good enough. They probably mean it in the nicest way possible, but it’s actually insulting. A client once told me to read Caitlin Moran’s biography How To Be A Woman so when I ran across it in Barnes and Noble Saturday I snatched up the last copy. So far she has made me realize some things that I think y’all should realize too.
1. Periods Suck
Every girl who has had to shove a plastic applicator up her body or walk around with what feels like a mattress between her legs understands the above statement, but it’s more than that. Yes, we not only gush out what looks like reminece of a Criminal Minds scene and feel like we have bowling balls being thrown at our stomachs constantly but periods suck because society says they do. When men buy razors they are taxed as necessaries but when women buy tampons we are charged extra for luxury tax. I don’t know about you but I do not know a single woman who thinks bleeding for up to 10 straight days is a luxury. Society tells us to cover up the evidence then charges us extra when we do as they say. As long as I can remember periods have been considered gross and an excuse for men to not take women seriously. If one more guy’s comeback to me is “are you on your period?” no matter what week it is, I may just punch them in the stomach and see how they think it feels.
2. Education Sucks
Have you ever thought about how crazy it is that when you are being taught about rape or being kidnapped or scary situations that you were always told to yell “FIRE!”? Am I the only one who thinks that is insane? We are teaching children and teens that not only can the word fire can get more people’s attention but that fires in general are more important and unsafe than rape or sexual assault or kidnapping. Or think about how many fake numbers you have given/received in your lifetime. Why do we think it is smarter to give a fake number than to just say no? Society has taught us that as women we always want to please a man so in turn they will not turn mean or violent, that it’s better to lie than to turn a guy down. Or my favorite, when we are taught to not leave our drinks alone at a bar or nightclub but we are never taught to not rufee a drink. We are taught how not to be a victim but we are never taught how not to victimize someone.
3. Porn Sucks
Every fetish and every fantasy can be found online if you have Google and 15 minutes to spare in your day. But as Caitlin pointed out in her book, one act is still missing. The act where the woman and man actually want to have sex with each other, where it’s not some random penetration, where the girl actually has rent money and doesn’t have to pay through intercourse, and where the woman comes. Is it too hard to actually make a pornagraphic scene where the girl gets just as much pleasure, if not more, as the guy? So much that is imbedded in us comes from porn without us even realizing it. The trend of brazillian waxes: porn, our sexual fantasies: porn, the way we view if real life sex is good, bad, boring, or wild: porn. The porn industry is a multimillion dollar business that takes up 11% of the World Wide Web so why in sweet baby Jesus’ name can we not get a porn scene that lets us know that girls coming and feeling good about it is totally normal and should be praised, not punished.
I am only halfway through How To Be A Woman and already I have learned and processed so much. I don’t know if I’ll stop shaving or get a feminism bumper sticker but I definitely will think about the day to day struggles we go through asthe gender society labels as lesser. To me Feminism is not about burning bras and hating men, it’s about being able to be strong and have a choice, to be able to live in a society where being pretty is not the rent you pay to exist in this world as a woman.
written by: Mary