Because to men, a key is a device to open something. For women, it’s a weapon we hold between our fingers when we’re walking alone at night.
Because the biggest insult for a guy is to be called a “pussy,” a “little bitch” or a “girl.” From here on out, being called a “pussy” is an effing badge of honor.
Because last month, my politics professor asked the class if women should have equal representation in the Supreme Court, and only three out of 42 people raised their hands.
Because rape jokes are still a thing.
Because despite being equally broke college kids, guys are still expected to pay for dates, drinks and flowers.
Because as a legit student group, Campus Fellowship does not allow women to lead anything involving men. Look, I know Eve was dumb about the whole apple and snake thing, but I think we can agree having a vagina does not directly impact your ability to lead a college organization.
Because it’s assumed that if you are nice to a girl, she owes you sex — therefore, if she turns you down, she’s a bitch who’s put you in the “friend zone.” Sorry, bro, women are not machines you put kindness coins into until sex falls out.
Because only 29 percent of American women identify as feminist, and in the words of author Caitlin Moran, “What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Did all that good shit get on your nerves? Or were you just drunk at the time of the survey?”
Because when people hear the term feminist, they honestly think of women burning bras. Dude, have you ever bought a bra? No one would burn them because they’re freaking expensive.
Because Rush Limbaugh.
Because we now have a record number of women in the Senate … which is a measly 20 out of 100. Congrats, USA, we’ve gone up to 78th place for women’s political representation, still below China, Rwanda and Iraq.
Because recently I had a discussion with a couple of well-meaning Drake University guys, and they literally could not fathom how catcalling a woman walking down University Avenue is creepy and sexist. Could. Not. Fathom.
Because on average, the tenured male professors at Drake make more than the tenured female professors.
Because more people on campus complain about chalked statistics regarding sexual assault than complain about the existence of sexual assault. Priorities? Have them.
Because 138 House Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. All 138 felt it shouldn’t provide support for Native women, LGBT people or immigrant women. I’m kind of confused by this, because I thought LGBT people and women of color were also human beings. Weird, right?
Because a girl was roofied last semester at a local campus bar, and I heard someone say they think she should have been more careful. Being drugged is her fault, not the fault of the person who put drugs in her drink?
Because Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly she was hospitalized, yet he still has fans and bestselling songs and a tattoo of an abused woman on his neck.
Because out of 7 billion people on the planet, more than 1 billion women will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes. Women and girls have their clitorises cut out, acid thrown on them and broken bottles shoved up them as an act of war. Every second of every day. Every corner of the Earth.
Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.
Because a brief survey of reality will tell you that we do not live in a world that values all people equally and that sucks in real, very scary ways. Because you know we live in a sexist world when an awesome thing with the name “feminism” has a weird connotation. Because if I have kids someday, I want my son to be able to have emotions and play dress up, and I want my daughter to climb trees and care more about what’s in her head than what’s on it. Because I don’t want her to carry keys between her fingers at night to protect herself.
Because feminism is for everybody, and this is your official invitation.
Tried to re-blog this through the original post, but it doesn’t seem to be working.
Excellent blog post here commenting on an article from The Nation by Jessica Valenti regarding the rhetoric of motherhood here. Some really interesting comments and discussion.Reminds me a little of this post I wrote a while ago.
My favorite bit of the article: “Fathers are never expected to subsume their identity into parenthood the way that mothers are. If President Obama were to tell us that he is ’father-in-chief’ first, America would balk. How could a man be an effective president if he put the needs of his children above the needs of his country?
Yes, we are mothers and sisters and daughters and wives. We’re also much more. And declaring our individual importance as people and citizens does not diminish the depth of love we have for our children or the central role parenthood plays in our lives.
When we tout ourselves mothers first, women give those who would enshrine their dehumanization more firepower and assure that their domestic work will only ever be paid in thanks, not in policy or power. Until that changes, I’m a mother second.”
So I’m sitting on my bed, eating potato chips I shouldn’t be eating (kettle, sea salt and black pepper) and washing them down with cognac, scrolling through the blogs I subscribe to before I go to sleep.
“Never one to shy away from stating her opinions, Globe and Mail columnist Katrina Onstad, wrote on Saturday February 5, 2011 that princess-to-be, Kate Middleton should get a job. Onstad argues that Middleton and Michelle Obama, along with “opt-outers” (a minority group of educated, privileged women who choose to play a supportive role to their high-powered spouse) are ultimately depriving themselves not only of compensation but contribution. Needless to say, these are fighting words that have long fueled the battle between stay-at-home moms and working mothers. The 4mothers have a lot to say in response to Onstad’s comments and will be the focus of February’s At Issue.”
I then read a follow-up post at the same blog, and, when I wasn’t tearing my hair out and screaming, focused in on this paragraph:
“I have three children, and I felt Onstad’s cry of ‘Get a job!’ hit home with me. One of the biggest shocks of motherhood for me was how crippling the sense of isolation and worthlessness can be. I got to the end of one day last winter, and I miserably noted that my biggest challenge of the day, in fact of the entire week, was the simple logistics of getting three kids through snow to and from school. I so desperately wanted a pile of papers to mark, lectures to prepare, an article to write: the kind of work I trained to do, the kind of work that feeds my soul and gives me an abiding sense of worth. A pile of laundry, dinner to prepare and three kids to wrestle into pajamas was not the meal my soul needed. Being at work is what I need to feel whole, and I am a better mother and citizen for it.”
Well, bully for you.
And I’m not saying that days as a mother aren’t crippling, nor that they can’t be full of a sense of isolation. But getting three kids to school through snow can be a formidable task, and worthless? Raising your own children is worthless?
And just because you need to be at work to feel whole, why do you then feel entitled to tell me I need the same?
Now don’t get me wrong — I have always worked — like the author of this blog post, partially out of necessity, and partially out of a need to fulfill some part of myself that being a mom couldn’t fulfill. And yes, I believe I was a better mom because I wasn’t only a mom. But that was for me to decide, me and me alone, and this propensity of women telling other women what they should or shouldn’t do just really, well, pisses me off.
And if that doesn’t piss me off enough, we have this closing sentence:
“But it really, really shouldn’t be to appear on the arm of a man.”
This is in reference to whether women like Kate Middleton, Princess Diana, Michelle Obama, have “opted out” of the workplace in order to “support” their high-powered spouse.
Are these people actually implying that Michelle has “opted out”? Out of what? Working part time, nights, as a law clerk in order to “feed” some “starving” part of her soul while her husband’s President? PRESIDENT? Are you wordIcan’tsay kidding me?
I guess it would be better for Sasha and Malia to be in daycare?
Isn’t feminism about having equal pay and equal opportunities for equal work? And if Michelle chooses to do important things that are related to her role as First Lady, things which don’t include the provision of a paycheck, does that make them less important? less meaningful? Did I miss something somewhere that “feminism” includes a requirement that I have to do what other women think I SHOULD do? Why can’t I choose? Speaking of the pressure women are under, why is it that so much of this pressure is imposed by other women? And why can’t men “opt out” without being “denigrated” as the “wife” or the “mom”? Are those such bad things to be? What kind of pressure does it put on them? Why does anyone — singly or collectively — get to decide what’s right for me? my family? my spouse? my children? my life?
Meanwhile, women decide that Michelle Obama is a bitch, or that Hilary Clinton is either a bitch or not feminine enough, and that Sarah Palin is a viable candidate for president because she’s pretty and non-threatening and speaks just as incoherently as they do.
Why can’t we all stop telling each other what to do and let us all just do our best?