I’m a girl and I’m not sorry. Just horny. Warning: This is a female empowerment article. Sexists beware, because there is actual logic and sense on this page! I’m really grateful to live in a country and at a period in time where I can freely express my thoughts. My sincerest gratitude goes out to all the brave women (and men) who have fearlessly fought for women’s rights and voices. My teachers in school taught me to question everything and to challenge authority. I am traversing this life on my own terms and every day is a new and different adventure, each challenge different from the last. Being non-comforming and having my own ideas and putting them out there I hope in the long run will be fulfilling. A lot of people don’t want to change the way they think and their mentalities have been passed down for generations. People are heavily persuaded by the thoughts of their parents and it’s very hard to change long-held generational concepts that are oppressive, such as gender roles.
But it needs to be done. I’m tired of feeling like I have to walk on eggshells. I live in a society where men have more privileges and a better quality of life. For starters, body standards are far more lax for men. Compassionate and likable phrases which make being out of shape socially acceptable, even attractive, like ‘dad bod,’ do not exist for women. Women are expected, even shamed, into keeping themselves fit. Second, men are not shamed when they have or talk about sex; instead, they are congratulated. In contrast, women are told not to be ‘easy’ or ‘slutty.’ Men are also not shamed when they express their sexuality or masculinity. Yet if women do the same and have sex outside of or before marriage, they are labeled derogatorily as ‘whores,’ and if they do not have sex, they are labeled as ‘prudes.’ Men’s ideas and careers are also taken far more seriously than women’s. Women are seen as neglectful of their careers if they choose to have children, and selfish if they do not have children. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t! You can’t win with the patriarchy. They just want a bunch of mindless obedient sex slave maid robots.
Men’s bodies are also respected when bathing topless in public, yet it is socially unacceptable for women to do so. In fact, women are taught to be so insecure about their bodies that many times they’ll try to hide their natural bodily functions from their partner. A girl in my improv class admitted that she felt so smothered by the fear that her partner would find out that she poops that she would go to the other side of the house to poop for the first year of her marriage, and even then, she tried to poop as fast as possible so she could destroy any evidence that she did poop at all. She said she felt so relieved when her husband would leave for vacation or even go to the store because that meant she could finally poop without fear he’d know. For a lot of women, and maybe even men too, marriage is a job. You are expected to hide your humanity, and in a sense, remain in character. You are expected to be obedient and follow societal trends instead of pursuing your own personal ambitions. Your dreams come after everyone else’s needs. This may be why so many marriages don’t last and so many people break down and have a mid life crisis.
Another girl I went traveling with was so uncomfortable with the thought of other people finding out she pooped that she didn’t poop for two weeks while she was sharing a room with the other girls in our group. She eventually had to be taken to the emergency room for severe constipation. Girls are brought up to believe they need to be like plastic barbie dolls and hide their humanity. This is unhealthy, degrading and even dangerous. Women die from undergoing surgery to lose weight, develop long term health problems from starving themselves to be unnaturally skinny, and cannot enjoy sex because they are so self conscious about their bodies and are afraid to tell their partners what they actually want out of fear of judgement (see my other post Let’s Talk About Sex). I even heard on the news that people in Japan have such extreme views about women’s bodies that Japanese women feel discouraged from gaining ANY weight during pregnancy, so they under-eat during pregnancy and give birth to underweight, unhealthy babies.
The weight that women gain during pregnancy and the physical changes they undergo are COMPLETELY NECESSARY and SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED. It is shameful that women who become mothers are subjected to such toxic negativity about weight gain and are put under such extreme pressure to lose weight. The fat that mothers gain is meant to be used as nutrition for their growing baby. Mother’s milk is far more nutritious than any baby formula on the market, and studies have shown that children who are fed breast milk instead of formula are healthier, and even smarter, than children who are fed formula. That extra weight women gain during pregnancy is meant to be converted into breastmilk and is supposed to naturally burn off as the woman feeds her baby. Weight loss should then be effortless and accomplished slowly. Evolution never intended for women to feel uncomfortable with the extra weight they gain during pregnancy, to starve themselves or to exercise like fanatics to burn it off. Women evolved to gain weight during pregnancy so they could nourish their babies for extended periods of time. When women choose not to breastfeed and try to lose weight as fast as possible instead of losing it over time as intended, they are fighting a very natural, biological process as well as putting their baby’s health at risk, and even perhaps their own.
Girls are also told to be quiet, but boys are not. I remember when I was helping my mom carry a table when I was a teenager and I was making sounds to relieve myself of the struggle of carrying this heavy table with her, she not only told me to be quiet, but she was angry when she said it. I found it very strange that she responded so negatively to my making noise. I asked her why she wanted me to be quiet and why she was so angry, and she couldn’t really say. She just said ‘be quiet.’ She just blindly wanted me to accept that I should be quiet without explanation. This is another dysfunctional gender inequality in society that people rarely question. Ways of oppressing other people are generational, in that they are passed down through the generations, and they are rarely questioned, well, because ‘that’s how it’s always been’ and ‘that’s how it is.’
What I wonder is, why has that ever been accepted as an excuse to keep recycling the same flawed ways of treating other people? Even people that ARE on the side of the oppression accept the way they are treated and go so far as to even oppress others like them because we have all been brainwashed that this is the way we are ‘supposed’ to treat others and this is the way we are ‘supposed’ to behave. Women have been and continue to be expected to be obedient and quiet. Even Jameis Winston, who is black and therefore is part of a demographic very widely known for being oppressed and mistreated, told a group of fifth graders that girls need to sit down and be ‘silent and polite.’ (He also raped a woman while he was a student at FSU and FSU tried to cover it up because they wanted to protect their athletic funding as he was a high status athlete on their football team.)
This idea that girls are expected to be quiet translates even into the bedroom. Because a lot of girls are raised to be quiet and self conscious, they don’t really speak up about what they want sexually. Even if they are enjoying sex, they feel too self conscious to verbally express that, so they remain quiet and do not make the noises they would otherwise make to communicate that their partner is making them feel good. They also don’t pursue sexual pleasure aggressively or confidently in the way they would like AND boys would like, too. Boys are always complaining that women don’t go crazy in the bedroom, but that is because women are raised to be quiet and obedient, not honest and forward. Women are also labeled condescending words like sluts and whores if they do pursue or express their sexuality and are discouraged from being the crazy sex beasts that they are by nature.
Society also encourages girls to be quiet and self conscious in the classroom. Girls are discouraged from speaking up and expressing their ideas in public places. In school growing up, whenever I voiced my opinion to the rest of the class on any topic, there were always at least a few boys, not girls, whose hands immediately shot up in response to my ideas followed, immediately by an aggressively and passionately destructive response to my theories. It was as if their objective was to simply prove my ideas wrong instead of to think about and build on them. Even as teenagers, these boys were a projection of mainstream society and long held generational beliefs that still negatively affect girls; mainly, that girls are not deserving of the same privileges and dignity that boys are. This is a phenomenon all over the world and it is going to be very hard to change, but it can be done. These boys who shot down my ideas simply because I was a girl did not respect me and they did not see me as an equal to them. They tried to discourage me from using my voice, and now I won’t shut the hell up.