#YesAllWomen…

Because I shouldn’t have to explain and then defend this hashtag movement to the men in my life

Because every woman I know has experienced some form of harassment, or unwanted sexual advances, or verbal abuse, or physical abuse, or rape at some point in their life

Because no one markets rape alarms to men

Because if a woman says no she is a prude, but if she says yes she is a slut

Because if a woman finds other women sexually attractive, she ‘just needs a good, hard fuck’

Because the footpath along my university campus was known as ‘Rape Ally’

Because we teach teenagers more about sexual health than about healthy sex – and sometimes not even that

Because if a woman dresses to please a man, other women says she has no respect for herself, but if she dresses to please herself, then men say she has no respect for herself

Because society screams about techniques and behaviours to avoid rape, instead of screaming ‘Don’t Rape’

Because sexual consent is based on saying no, rather than saying yes

Because someone too drunk to speak is incapable of ‘asking for it’

Because the only time someone is asking for it is when they actually say with their words ‘Would you like to have sex?’

Because it is not enough to say ‘No thank you’

Because when I worked as a waitress and a bar maid I was repeatedly slapped on the ass, pinched, groped, physically pulled, and cornered by male customers who thought it was ‘just a bit of fun’

Because saying ‘I have a boyfriend’ instead of ‘Not interested’ has more effect – men respect other men more than they respect your preferences

Because I was told repeatedly by male friends and male strangers that the only reason I got a tongue piercing was to improve my blow job technique

Because if a woman has had several sexual partners she is a slut, but if a man has had several sexual partners he is a stud

Because I cannot count the times I have stood at a busy bar or in a nightclub or at a gig and been groped or rubbed against from behind by complete strangers

Because women learn young how to smile their way out of an uncomfortable situation even when genuinely scared, rather than risk uncomfortable becoming violent

Because knowing the risks is not the same as accepting the risks

Because women are told to take unwanted comments on their appearance, cat calling and wolf whistles as compliments

Because ‘Show us your tits love!’ is never a compliment

Because a positive response to street harassment perpetuates it, but a negative response escalates it

Because male dominated politics is making uninformed and ill-educated decisions about womens healthcare

Because women are still fighting for equal rights

Because women that choose a career secretly want to be men, women that want to be stay at home mamas are sponging off of men, and women that want both are trying to prove they are better than men

Because I was told by my university teacher that despite hard work and good grades, I would have as much chance of getting into the course I wanted if I wore a short skirt

Because women are taught to show less skin, rather than men being taught to show more respect

Because women are told it is safer to hand out a fake phone number than to reject a stranger

Because my outfit apparently says more about my consent than my actual words

Because dating and relationships are described in game terminology; but the competition is between men, and women are only there to level up, score, win and keep as trophies

Because we use terms like being ‘hit on’ or ‘pulled’ in the context of dating and relationships without examining the power of violent terminology

Because when men say no it is the end of the conversation, but when a woman says no it is the beginning of negotiations

Because school girls are told that wearing shorts during summer is a distraction to male students and teachers

Because a teenage boy in a popular football team gets more social support than the teenage girl he raped

Because ‘boys will be boys’


Because there is so little understanding of consent in our society that my husband and I make a concerted effort to teach consent to our toddlers

Because when I started my menstrual cycle my father said he could ‘never trust someone that bleeds for a week every month and doesn’t die’

Because breasts are now so over-sexualised in society that a woman’s right to breastfeed a child in public is a political issue

Because body shaming and victim blaming are so common that women are told to just ‘get over it’

Because the death toll is higher when a hurricane is given a female name, purely because people take it less seriously

Because when asked about a ‘Men’s Movement’, we point to several thousand years of a patriarchal society

Because in many cultures a womans life is still valued as half of a mans

Because we decry other societies for their treatment of women without exploring and eradicating the misogyny and violence within our own

Because all around the world every few minutes women are beaten, raped and killed – most often by male relatives and partners

Because we are more likely to remember the perpetrators name than the victims name

Because a woman that stands her ground against a known abuser and harms no one in the process still gets separated from her children and 20 years of jail time

Because much of society fails to understand that Feminism means female equality, not female superiority

Because not all men consciously harm women, but because all women are subconsciously aware of the potential violence

Because of blogs like When Women Refuse

Because statistically the biggest threat to women is men

Because this post is just the tip of the iceberg – and that is sad and terrifying

Because we need a #YesAllWomen to start this conversation about pervasive, inherent sexism, misogyny and abuse in our society

 

 

 

 

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