Posted in Discussion

Ramblings with Em, #YesAllWomen

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If you’re a twitter-er like me then you’ll probably have seen the hashtag #YesAllWomen.

This is such an important topic, and I think this really shows how powerful social platforms like twitter really are. It’s not just for letting everyone know that you ONLY JUST GOT UP, or how mental your last night out was, or even how in love you are with your latest book-boyfriend (Yep, I’m guilty of this one), DUN DUN DERRRRR, shock horror I know! Twitter can be useful.

So why ‘yes all women’? Because no, not all men are rapists and objectify women, not all men are sexist or abusive. But, yes all women have been the subject of a sexist joke or the victim of harassment by the opposite sex or made to feel as though they should be somehow grateful or to blame for unwanted sexual advances by men they’ve never met.

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A lot of my male friends are shocked by the sheer amount of women who have been the victim of men. Whether it’s cat calls from a passing car or men following you home.

I was once walking home late from a night out on my own. This is something I should be able to do without fear. Was I scared? Of course I was. I’d spent the last hour or so making sure all my friends were in a taxi home with the promise of a text as soon as they were home safe. Then I set of walking. Earlier in the night I’d found a nail on the side in a club, and my first thought was to put it in my bag so that I had something to protect myself with when I was walking home alone. A lot of the guys I was out with thought it was over the top, but for girls it’s normal. How many girls have rape alarms or pepper spray? Now how many guys do?  Anyway, so I was walking clasping this nail in my hand, pulling self consciously at my dress and covering myself with my jacket and I was checking over my shoulder very few seconds. I had at least 6 different men ask me to come home / go for a drink with them all whilst looking me up and down. One guy even pulled his car over and offered me a lift, then when I said no and refused to give him my phone number I was called a bitch and told I should’ve been grateful they were being so nice, then the guy threw a piece of pizza at me and drove off. (I know right? Waste of pizza if you ask me) After that with only a couple more guys following me down the street in their car, I managed to get home and count myself lucky nothing worse happened.

It’s ridiculous that I was made to feel like it was my fault, as countless other girls are. Well I shouldn’t have been wearing a short dress or walking on my own, I was blatantly asking for it. It’s pathetic. No matter what a girl chooses to wear does not mean she’s asking for it. No means no, no matter how short my dress is.
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Don’t teach girls to cover themselves up or to use the ‘buddy-system’. Don’t treat them like it’s their fault if they are the victim of unwanted sexual advances. Teach everyone to respect eachother. Teach people that no means no. Teach people to be kind.

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We need to be teaching people to respect each other. Not to treat women like shit. They’re not inferior or objects. They’re equals. EQUALS. That doesn’t mean they’re better than men. Being a feminist doesn’t mean being a man-hater. It means wanted equality for both women and men.

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I want my female friends, my sister, my possible future daughter and every woman and girl to feel safe and confident in their own body and in their own abilities. I want men and women to have a healthy respect for each other. I don’t want women to hate men or for men to treat women like rubbish.

So what’s your take on all this? Any experiences you want to share? And are their any boys/men that would like to share their experiences and opinions? Leave a comment and if you have a link to your own post or twitter share it!

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