Women and sexual harassment

Yes this is one of the few topic I keep hearing about ever since the Trump fiasco. It’s just a shame how it took a republican candidate to make people realize how important the topic truly is to women and men alike.

Sexual harassment isn’t something new. Its existed well before my time. I’ve faced it, the woman next door has faced it, your girlfriend has faced it. I’m pretty sure there’s no female in the world who hasn’t experienced some issue with objectification in any form.

It’s disgusting to think that despite all this emphasis on female rights and preventing these cases, people will choose to blame the woman for her own action (or sometimes even inaction). It’s ridiculous that woman have to intrinsically act as if sexual comments or actions can be brushed off. It’s alarming that in this day and age, women still aren’t equal to men.

Now I’ve been lucky. I don’t put up with catcalling or comments on a daily basis. I don’t feel the need to wrap my hand around my keys when I walk home. I’ve never had someone try to touch me inappropriately.

Want to know my secret? I have a ‘resting bitch face.’

So while women are out on the street dealing with men who whistle, I’m out dealing with men who comment on how I should smile more or who mutter under their breath “bitch” because I’m not responding to their attempts.

It seems like I traded one problem for another. But whether or not you’re being hit on or being insulted, it really doesn’t seem to stop people from making comments.

Let me tell you a story. While I was getting over my first heartbreak, I met a guy who in the span of a day started to develop feelings for me. We went out to the local park after work where I told him that I wasn’t going to make any decisions about my relationship status while I was still in mourning.

He then asked me about what type of guy I was into. I told him straight out that I had no physical or romantic interest in him, and that he didn’t need to change himself for me.

“Yes but that doesn’t answer my question,” he protested.

So I told him my ‘type.’ When he discovered that my expectations for men were slightly above what he expected, he made a rather nasty comment.

“You should put out more if you expect guys your type to like you.”

I left him in the park. 

I’ve NEVER used my body to get what I want. I’ve never needed to. I have intellect, common sense and a healthy dose of determination to help me achieve my goals.

But to suggest that in order for me to get into a relationship I needed to use my body? 

I’m a woman. I’ve bled more than any man will ever in his lifetime. I live in a sexist society where every day more women are being objectified than men. I deal with being underestimated, undermined and scolded. And I face it all  without a complaint. 

If a man doesn’t ‘like me,’ I don’t make such disgusting comments about how they should ‘put out more.’ I get over the fact and move on.

I’m not writing to shame all men. I have the utmost respect for men. They too face the objectification in the media and they too work hard. But I’m writing so that people recognize that this isn’t right. 

It’s not right that a woman has to deal with sexual harassment on her way to work or in the office. It’s not right that a man can get angry and call a woman a ‘bitch’ when she isn’t interested. It’s not right that men in power can hurt women and not suffer the consequences because they have money. It’s just not right. 

So before you make that comment about how someone (male or female) is being a ‘whiny feminist’, take a minute to stop and think about what you’re saying. Think about how much women have to go through in their daily lives and ask yourself: “would I be able to handle it?”

 

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