It’s not just about feminism

This is a post that has been brewing in my head awhile now.  It’s pretty much come to a head today when this made the headlines.

I can see you now. You’re rolling your eyes and thinking ‘great, another one of those posts.’  I know.  I often feel the same way.   I try hard to avoid political or hot topic posts on social media.   My ex (who is in reality not legally yet my ex but it’s just easier to refer to him that way) spends an extraordinary amount of time posting about political and hot button issues.  I grew to resent it, a lot, and I think as a result I shy away from it.  But indulge me for a little bit because what I need to say isn’t just about the news today.  It’s about some things I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

Ironically it was a situation with my ex that stirred the pot.  In an acknowledgment of our friendship and the spirit of moving forward we once again friended each other on FB.   We comment on each other’s posts.  It’s all very mature and forward thinking and then I noticed some of the other comments.  Comments by women that I knew weren’t his friends before.   One, two, three, no FOUR women on his friend’s list we’re all women that I knew.  These were women that a)had been guests in our home, b)had only met my ex because of their association with me, c)did not have a relationship with my ex outside of our association, and d)had at one time been good or close friends of mine.

And just in case you weren’t aware, divorce and/or the ending of a relationship is a very painful experience.   And during this painful time these women didn’t contact me.  They didn’t reach out to see how I was doing.   They friended my ex.

What does this have to do with nude photos of celebrities?  Bear with me people, I’m getting there.

Women, sisters, daughters, nieces – WE ARE IN TROUBLE.

We live in a world where everyone expects us to have personal responsibility for the actions of others.   And I worry that so many people don’t see what’s wrong with this.

As a female I learned early about this general attitude towards women.  I learned at the age of 16 that if I was going to go in the walk in freezer by myself at work I should expect the manager to follow me  and grope me.  I learned at the age of 17 that if I go to an adult that hold a position of authority and respect and I tell that adult that I’ve been abused for the better half of a year by my boyfriend that I will be told I just need to learn to not say and do things that make my boyfriend upset.   In my early 30s I complained about a man who wouldn’t leave me alone at a bar and I was told that apparently I say something different with my eyes.  I don’t even know what that means.

Today I’m learning that even though someone stole these pictures of Jennifer Lawrence apparently a vast majority of the population think’s it is her fault for having them.  God forbid we hold the criminals responsible.  She shouldn’t have had them in the first place.

You know what’s wrong with that?

If she hadn’t been dressed like that, she wouldn’t have been raped.  If she didn’t act that way, men would leave her alone.

That’s a dangerous road to take.

At the age of 46 I’m still learning.  And one of the things I’m learning the hard way is that until we, as women, quit trying to destroy each other, then these things will never change.   We’re so quick to tear each other down, body shame, humiliate, etc, etc.  Am I the only person that sees what’s wrong with this picture?

How can we expect men to respect us when we can’t even respect each other?   But, wait, you ask?  She can’t be talking about me.  I’m not part of the problem.

I call bullshit.  We’re all part of the problem.

I’m as guilty as anyone else.  The other day I called someone I didn’t like a whore.  Not to her face, but that doesn’t make it okay.   I don’t like this woman.  And she does a lot to set women back, but that’s not the point.   I could just as easily say I don’t like her because she does x, y, z.  Calling her a whore isn’t necessary.

There is a website that shall remain nameless and up until recently I followed their page on FB.  And then I spent some time really looking at their posts and I realized that it was a website set up solely for the purpose of publicly shaming mothers for what they post on social media.  And while I don’t agree that a woman needs to be live tweet her birthing experience, none of us benefit from shaming each other this way.  But I watch women on this site post horrible mean things about other women.   And the site is ran by a woman.   I’ve given up trying to wrap my head around this.

As women we need to support each other.  That doesn’t always mean we agree with each other.   But hell, stand up for each other.   We can see when something is wrong.   We’re so damn quick to turn on each other.

Even during the #yesallwomen movement I saw it.   It was subtle but I saw women blaming other women.   I saw women telling mothers of boys that it was their responsiblity to teach their boys to respect women.    So as the mother of boys now it’s my fault women are disrespected?

And by the way I do believe that women should raise their sons to be respectful.  I also believe that men should raise their sons to be respectful.  And I believe that my sons should be able to live their lives without constantly being surrounded by pictures, advertisements, movies, music, etc that show women as a sexual objects.  We’re all responsible.

This week I read countless posts about this amazing nail polish designed by college students.  If a woman wears this nail polish when she goes out it can help her identify a drink spiked with a date rape drug.

DOES ANYONE NOT SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS????   This is what we’ve come to.   Now we not only have to make sure we don’t wear anything provocative, we need to wear special nail polish.

But again I’ve strayed from what I really want to say.

We want equality.  We want respect.  We can’t even extend that courtesy to each other.   If we link arms, sister to sister, we have the power to create an impenetrable force.

Instead we’re too busy shaming each other so that we can feel better about ourselves.

It’s not about being feminists.

It’s about being good to each other first.

And if you have a few moments, read this post.   Because it says a lot of stuff that I want to say but lack the attention span or talent to do so.

 

 

 

 

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