No, this was not a question from a friend asking me if they could pick me up, say from home as we headed out, but from a deli owner asking me with a half evil smirk as I tried to reach the top shelf to get some kitchen paper.
I don’t know what it is about this that has provoked me to write about it here – it’s not like this is the first time a man has objectified me as a receiver of his sexual insinuations, and it certainly won’t be the last.
Everyday girls all over the world face the same issues, and in most cases like this, you have a casual laugh about it and move on. Because sadly enough, we know it will never change. And so we choose to not invest our energy into every trivial encounter with a man who wants to feed his ego and prove dominance over anything remotely female.
No I’m not a feminist activist writing all men off and glorifying the womenkind – I’m a realist – I say it like it is.
There are exceptions in each case, even reversed situations, and I am fully aware of that. Nor am I denying that sometimes people do have genuinely good things to say, I’m not one to confuse someone being nice as the same as someone being flirtatious.
As a girl who goes for what she wants, I know the difference between that, and just making a move because you think you can.
Now why would you want to be this girl?!
Confident? Ambitious? Attractive? Unconventional? Straightforward?
Aren’t these the exact things every girl should aim not to be?
Because god forbid you are even one of these, let alone all, you are in for a whole world full of labels, sexual innuendos, salacious gossip and slanderous talk.
It’s not just the opposite sex that will implicate these, but your very own kind as well, and I really have no words to express about how this makes me feel.
Except that it is sad, very very sad – we let our insecurities and jealousies get the better of us, and the better of our own kind.
We have a lot of disbelievers and naysayers around us, watching our every move, questioning our every decision, just waiting for us to slip a little so they can point a huge finger your way – why then do we make it so much easier for them?
This patriarchal society is not changing anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t. If only, we all, each one, just acts better, does better, is better, is more human, not man or woman.
The conversation of equality and women’s rights is much much bigger and we all have a part to play in it, we all are fighting for it. But so many more are against it. The least we can do is make it a little harder for them to swear by the old ways.
Strength is solidarity – these words mean so much more.
There are so many thoughts and feelings in my mind right now, I could take this is many different directions and keep writing – but most of all, what I’m feeling is tired – I’m tired of being treated as an object not an individual, I’m tired of labels, I’m tired of chauvinism, I’m tired of men thinking they can get away with saying anything to me and some women as well, I’m tired of being judged by the way I look over what I say, I’m tired of people’s opinions, of being told what I can and can’t do and what is appropriate for a girl like me, and yes, I’m really tired of not being accepted for who I am, a girl, who knows what she wants and is ambitious enough to go for it.
The funny thing about this though is, it drives me to be more and more unapologetically myself!
And why should I not be – people will still have their slanderous labels, men will still think they are superior, the world will still hold “beauty” on a pedestal – so I will be myself!
In a perfect world this post would be gender neutral because honestly this hold true for anyone, but as a friend once corrected me when I said – why should we celebrate women’s day, the real victory is when we don’t need to celebrate it – to that she had said: “Until that day comes, that is the very reason we need to celebrate it.”
So to all my girls out there, this can never be said often enough – don’t let labels define you, don’t let men or anyone treat you like an object, and don’t ever let conventions hold you back – because you are who you are – own it, make it your strength, and play on it.
Most importantly, in this worked game that is played, remember, we are all on the same side, supporting each other, and if needed, picking each other up ❤