There’s something from my last post which I wanted to address. I mentioned that I left my laptop at home when I went to Brooklyn for the weekend. This was a deliberate decision; why you might ask? Simple: fear. The same undercurrent of anxiety that I believe most young women feel. It can be walking down a dark street, a quick glance behind the shoulder, a slightly elevated heartbeat.
Beyoncé says that girls run the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for girl power but there is still massive progress to be made. One of the problems is, men have somehow been taught that it is OK to make inappropriate, aggressive and at times downright offensive comments to women. I’m not going to generalize, or man-bash, but the proof is in the pudding. After hearing enough horror stories, and experiencing some of my own, there is no denying this is a serious problem.
Walking down the street, grocery shopping, going to the bank. It’s as if it’s all done just to give men an excuse to badger, intimidate and demean us. I don’t want to speak for ladies reading this blog or otherwise, but I personally find it infuriating that this behavior is acceptable and even encouraged among men. And what’s worse, they think we like it!
My friend Marlena has a theory. There is a constant stress and pressure that young women feel every time they leave the house. It has little to do with what you wear or what you are doing; if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time you could end up publicly humiliated, or worse. This is where the fear comes from, this is why we can’t have nice things. If we weren’t constantly being harassed, maybe we would feel more free to wear that short mini or the sexy heels.
Because the truth is, we like it. And we don’t do it for the guys or the attention; we do it because it makes us feel great. But when we are made to feel degraded and dirty, it’s something we often choose to avoid at all costs.
All I’m saying is, yes Beyoncé, girls are powerful and strong beyond belief. But the idea that it’s acceptable for men to comment on women as if we are public property is long outdated. And unless we are talking about it, getting outraged about it, refuse to give up on it, things won’t change. So let’s change it. So we can all wear nice things.