Monday, March 4, 2013

"I am Outraged Womanhood"*

I wish I lived in a world where it was COMMON to feel respected by men. I wish I lived in a world where this was the norm, this was the base accepted policy: that women were people with brains and feelings and they weren't interesting to men simply because they had sufficient sexual organs and attractive physical features perfect for using and objects. This whole dating thing has left me a little disheartened. I hardly ever date and it becomes nearly impossible to trust new people when so many of them seem to want me as an object. It is terrifying to my mind, heart and soul that so many men see me as a skirt they can spend ten dollars on and screw. I am not a commodity. I am not a thing. I am a person.

I've always considered myself a feminist, insomuch that I believe in equal rights for all. I've always considered this my truth, but I've never felt so small as I have lately. I've never felt so personally and so politically offended than I have of late. I'm not actually talking about some crazy politician or his insane remarks on the female body or rape, although a lot of this circulating in the news has been infuriating and terrifying and of course a topic of discussion. I'm simply talking about the way men treat me. I'm embarrassed for the world I live in. I'm embarrassed that I can't go downtown in my own city (which I love) in heels and a short skirt and dance. I can't do that without loathing the human race. I don't want to hear excuses like "men are scum" or "they think all girls at those clubs are looking to hook up" or "that's what people do at those clubs." I don't care WHERE I am or HOW I'm dressed. I want to live in a world where people treat me like a person. No matter what. I hear my own voice in my head saying "You're asking for too much," And at the same time, I'm replying "No. I'm not." It's not just about America. It's just not about downtown. It's not about men hitting on me in bars. It's not about "how hard it is to be pretty." This is about humanity and I'm a person. I deserve to be treated like one. We all do. And I'm sick of apologizing for asking for more. I'm not doing it any more. If this is what I'm supposed to expect and put up with because "that's just how it is", well frankly that's just not good enough for me.

I have no qualms with men and women who want to embark upon casual relationships or flings or one night stands. That can be great if it's what you're looking for, and I wish everybody safety (and caution) and a good time. However I just can't help but feel offended when it seems that everywhere I go, men want one thing from me and don't even care if they get to know me. I'm sure good men exist, after all I'm friends with some very good ones. But the fact that I'm a female stranger shouldn't automatically place me in the category of "potential meaningless sex" right? Even if chemically, a man can't help thinking about it, does he have to treat me that way?

The downtown example is simply that: an example. The trouble isn't this one instance, the trouble is that it is self repeating and this evening I speak of was just a tiny sample out of all the downtowns and all the people and all the men in the world. I know this frustration isn't new and my circumstances are far less dire than those facing countless women worldwide. Perhaps I'm being silly and overreacting.
All I  know is, my heart is heavy and my brain is tired and I can't go on pretending I don't mind being objectified to my own face.

*The Great Dorothy Parker. If she were living today, I wonder what she'd think.


Kelsy said...

Ugh, some men really disappoint me. It's a hard fact of life that you won't like every in the world, and many of them are jerks you'd rather not know. Hold out for good people! Feminist kisses.

Margaux said...


Delos Fox said...

Dorothy Parker had something to say about your dilemma:

“In youth, it was a way I had,
To do my best to please.
And change, with every passing lad
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know
And do the things I do,
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you.”

You won't be objectified forever, but you'll always be yourself.

Rejoice in that--your readers do.

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