Wednesday, May 28, 2014

the women movement

I started following the hashtag #YesAllWomen yesterday after reading about the response to the California shootings. I had never really understood feminism, the treatment of women, or the culture until I had a Grad Assistant in my office who was a Women's & Gender Studies major. She opened my eyes to how women are perceived and treated in society and media. She taught me to reflect on my own experiences to realize that I had been in situations of mistreatment and harassment. The sad truth is, and this can be seen with the YesAllWomen conversation, that I had been in a situation...that all women have been.

Especially being in a college setting, I'm seeing more and more girls becoming victims of assault and harassment. I think one of the worst things about that is if I saw it happening in a public place, and stepped in to protect the girl, I would most likely be labeled a 'bitch' for interrupting. It's the same if a guy was being inappropriate with me in a bar, if I defend myself, he reacts differently, so I'm forced to play it off to avoid a conflict. It reminds me of the movie I Spit On Your Grave (a disturbing movie not for the faint of heart); a girl was being hit on by a guy so she embarrassed him in front of his friends, but he later found and brutally attacked her for revenge. It actually makes me think twice about how I react to a guy's unwanted advances. And I shouldn't have to even think once about it.

These stories, along with the students at Columbia who wore red tape for commencement to show solidarity with sexual assault survivors, are making more headlines, garnering more attention, and really are starting a movement. While some people are quick to say that a hashtag is not going to do anything, at least the stories are out there, men are discovering how we feel, how we perceive them, and hopefully how they've been conditioned by society to act in certain ways toward women.

It may be a bit of a deep post today, but sometimes I think we need that in the midst of lovely things. It makes you stop and think. It gives you some perspective.


2 comments:

  1. This is such an important hashtag. Everyone needs to follow it.

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  2. I need to follow this. It's so true that women all have gone through some form of harassment at one point or another.

    ReplyDelete