feminism

#DearMe

So, International Women’s Day has been and gone, and (as usual) I’m a little late to the party. Thanks to staying home with a fever and the wonders of the internet though, I’ve managed to catch up on the week’s happenings. Yes, we’ve come a long way, but I am so glad that people are sharing and discussing the issues still faced by women.

In the midst of all this ibuprofen fuelled internet trawling research, I had a look at YouTube’s #DearMe campaign and a bunch of responses to it from other bloggers. It all ties in with something I’ve had brewing in the back of my head for a while now, so here it is:

climb those mountains

Climb those mountains

 

Dear Little L,

Honey, you aren’t crazy. You don’t think too much. You are not overreacting. Stop questioning if your perception of reality is as distorted as he says it is – as they have all said it is – and take a step back for a minute. Notice how calling you crazy is a really effective way of shutting down conversations they don’t want to have, emotions they don’t want to acknowledge?

You are not crazy. You are being manipulated.

You won’t figure it out for a really, really long time, and you’ll wonder why your famous ‘gut feeling’ let you down. You’ll wonder how you let it happen over and over again out of stubborness, losing parts of yourself each time the stitches are pulled out too soon. Your determination is unequalled, girl, and it will hurt you as much as it helps. Eventually he’ll come around. He’ll have moulded you into something quiet and complacent, something he can love, and you’ll win him over.

It’ll take all of five minutes until you realise the “you” he’s finally into isn’t you at all. You’ll walk out of there and a week later, you’ll be onto bigger and better things.

I guess you had to learn that one the hard way.

By now you’ve realised how much of a lie you were sold by the education system. You got ripped off just like, well, everyone else you know, so there’s no need to feel stupid. There was nobody there to tell you that you’re smart enough to do without the debt and the lectures and just learn shit on your own – the only “advice” even younger you was given was that uni was your ticket out of small town misery. Yes, you’re wasting time, money and energy, and you won’t remember a THING twelve months down the track – I speak from experience here! So give up. It’s okay. You will still manage to cruise through the remainder of your degree with enviable grades, only this time with much less undeservedly given fucks. That bit of paper you earned will do little for you, but the experiences you had and the people you met there will. They, alone, are worth it.

Don’t waste too much energy on that internship either – it already cost you your job, and you’re going to really struggle for a while because of it. You’ll come out of it exhausted, but okay, I promise. Maybe spend a little less money on those late-night junk food runs, and you’ll be a lot better off in more ways than one.

Would you believe me if I told you that in a year’s time, you’ll be holding down a decently salaried leadership role at an Argentinean restaurant and saving enough that you haven’t worried about money for months? And working with horses again on your days off – even sometimes riding? Yeah – that part of you isn’t over, it never will be. And planning a trip to Rio to go visit that bigger and better thing?

Yep.

You’ve always had a knack of getting things to pull through, and this time it’s no exception. Just let go of all the crap everyone else piles onto you. Cut out the things that aren’t letting you be you, and be frank about what you want and what you’re about.

All of this good stuff will start unfolding if you stop getting in your own way and just LET it.

Love,

Little L.

Yes, This Woman


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Because my male friends have used physical force to prevent me from leaving a bar and walking home alone.

Because I feel less safe in a taxi.

Because helping a woman escape unwanted attention = cockblocking.

Because apparently a man changing his opinion of my moral standing is the only motivation I have for turning him down.

Because the creep outside my window only left after he saw there was a guy in the house.

Because I didn’t realise how effective “I have a boyfriend” is until I got one.

Because I can’t work out at home some days due to the audience it gathers.

Because I was told I needed to make more of an effort at work when I didn’t wear make up one day.

Because I was told to remove my makeup when I wasn’t wearing any.

Because I got in trouble for insulting a boy at school who frequently lifted up my dress.

Because I also got in trouble for wearing shorts instead.

Because he was not reprimanded at all – boys will be boys, yadda yadda yadda.

Because taking bets on my bra size was deemed acceptable workplace behaviour.

Because I wear a sports bra if I am feeling particularly averse to attention that day.

Because it works.

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Because when a stranger put his whole face in my cleavage last weekend, it was “hilarious”.

Because men who make their wives uncomfortable by flirting with me are the best tippers.

Because I was told I would lose my job if I refused service to a male customer who physically hurt me inside the store.

Because I am not overreacting, I am not hysterical, I am not on my period and I do not need to relax.

Because I’ve watched people make rape jokes in front of friends who were raped.

Because NONE of them reported it.

My experience as a woman is unnacceptable, but unexceptional – which is exactly why I’m thrilled that #yesallwomen is making headlines and equally thrilled that #notallmen are passing it off as hysteria. Nice one, internet! 

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