I’ve been in a bigger dither than usual about how women are viewed and treated. Between government interference in our decision-making process, and our dress and behavior that is geared to being noticed by men, I feel my blood rising.
It’s great that women can stand strong in the business world and hold positions in government, but that doesn’t mean we’ve come anywhere close to achieving the status of men. This world is still a patriarchal one, and women are still treated as the inferior human.
This latest brouhaha about contraception, and the “personhood of the embryo” bill, feels like a war against women. What makes it repugnant is how people use God to justify their decision. Susan B. Anthony said, “I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.” Isn’t it interesting how many politicians think they have the right to mix church and state, in their quest to control humanity, especially women?
I am not in favor of abortion, but I am in favor of women having the right to choose. I read an article about a man on Fox news ,who suggested that women on welfare should be sterilized. Well, I have a better suggestion: how about performing a vasectomy on the men who impregnated these women? Why target the women and not the men who are helping to make these babies? If a woman gets pregnant and she does not believe she can take care of a child, I say make the father responsible for raising the child.
Women’s right to their bodies shouldn’t even be a government issue. But then women’s right to vote, to own property, to keep their own name, to be admitted to colleges and get degrees only given to men, should not have been a government issue either. It should have been a right given to us at birth as it was for men in our world.
What are women to do? How do we help put an end to being treated as chattel? I recently read that 53% of thirteen year old girls are unhappy with their bodies, and that number increases to 78% by age seventeen. Sixty-five % of women have eating disorders and 17% of teens engage in cutting and self-injurious behavior. The rates of depression among girls and women have doubled between 2000 and 2010. These are horrifying and sickening statistics.
I see women losing ground when I notice young girls being held hostage by a society, and many times by their own mothers, to the notion that they have to be thin, beautiful, and sexy.
I was talking to a young women about the high heels that women wear in today’s world.
She said she wore them because she liked the way she looked in them. I asked her if she really liked the way she looked, or if she liked the way men looked at her when she wore them? Sheepishly she agreed that she did wear them to look sexy and be noticed. Male/female interactions are part of life, but why do we usually feel the need to make them about sex?
Are we that shallow that we’ll stand and walk in an unnatural position, and perhaps do harm to our feet and backs so men will look at us? Come on ladies. How about if we spend the greater part of our time developing our vocabulary, our minds, our creativity, and our soul? Of course, we already know that bright, wise women do not ordinarily attract men to us, so instead of focusing on developing who we are, we develop what we look like.
When I look at how females dress and behave, it seems we’re going backwards in our efforts to be taken seriously. In today’s world, many mothers start sexualizing their daughters when they’re just little tots. I feel so sorry for these little girls because at age six they’re learning to impress others with how they look.
What would happen if there was an uprising of women? Are there women today who are willing to stand in the front lines and be punished, abused, and ostracized like Lucy Stone, Julia Ward Howe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Margaret Sanger, Susan B. Anthony, and many others?
I suffer in my heart and feel the sting and the burden that women have picked up and carried for so long. This is not about blame or making men wrong, because we’ve carried this banner. It’s about us. I appreciate men and I’m blessed to have a supportive husband, and a loving brother, sons, and grandsons.
It’s time to take men out of the equation, and focus on what we deserve and our self-worth. We’ve bought the lie and we’ve lived it for too long. Being inferior is ingrained in our consciousness from the time we’re little girls, and it is up to us to throw off that mantle.
For change to happen, it seems women will have to be willing to take the blinders off and quit pretending that we’ve been liberated. The last wave of the feminist movement gave women the impetus to get college degrees and head corporations, which was a good thing, yet it did not earn us the respect or equality we deserve. As long as we play the “let’s see how sexy I can look” game, we’ll be treated as objects.
I’d like to hear from both men and women on this issue. Does anyone else see what I see and feel what I feel? How do we liberate the females in our society? Where do we start? It feels like a huge job, one almost as large as building the pyramids in Egypt. Any thoughts?
Research on effects of wearing high heels: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22241055