Because you are

  

Consent is a Three Letter Word

consent

Why is it my friends are still feeling pressured? We’re not hair-mascara victims or Laguna Beach loving youths anymore, but sometimes we still feel this way.

We are modern women who know all about consent and rights. We can be Prime Minister or President and speak for thousands of people, but we still can’t always speak up for ourselves.

I was talking to a friend recently about a particularly persistent male and how it made me uncomfortable, and she replied with a story of a similar circumstance, adding that in order to get out of that situation it was ‘easier just to kiss him and pretend I liked it’.

How sad is it that in 2015 women are still scared to say no?

It’s not just one woman I’ve heard stories like this from either. Looking back over the last few years I can recall countless friends, and friends of friends, who have been in positions like this, and worse.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to hear of women who didn’t really want to have sex with a man in their life. Some of my peers are in long term relationships and feel guilty for a lack of sex drive, but more worrying is that the majority of these stories are one night stands which they were coaxed into through a lethal combination of free drinks, a strangers approval and fear.

If you put yourself into the position of a young woman out partying with her friends, she’s drinking, having fun, a male approaches her showing interest, she’s flattered, he buys her drinks, gets her drunk, she makes out with him in the club because, why the hell not?

Now she’s waking up in his bed under him, as he clumsily tires to paw off the rest of her clothes and she tries to avoid the stale stench of booze on his breath. Her mind is racing, wondering where her phone is, how she got here, how far away from home she is. She knows what he want’s and she must have found him somewhat attractive to kiss him in the club… She’s intimidated by the situation and the fact that actually; she doesn’t know this guy at all. All these factors considered it becomes the safer, easier, option to just placate him with his desire and grin and bear it.

Does that seem fair to you? If you were the male, would you be content in the knowledge that she only had sex with you out of no other desire than self-preservation? No. We’re underestimating the men of this world, most of whom would never have initiated something they didn’t think both parties were completely happy with. 

There will be a few devils advocates among the readers of this piece who will ask why she didn’t just go home with her friends? Why did she accept his drinks and kiss him in the club? Why did she let it get that far? And for you, all I have to say is; that drinking a drink is not consent. Kissing a stranger is not consent. Being drunk is not consent. Unless I tell you clearly, soberly, coherently, explicitly that I want to have sex with you; it is not consent.

I have heard, seen and experienced this kind of behaviour far too much to accept it as normality any longer, and I’m sure many of my friends and peers feel the same way. Just think that if this can become an issue which is talked about openly in our modern, western world, that soon women and men in poorer, remote regions may learn the value of consent and that one day we can all make safe, sound, secure decisions together.

Hypolitical

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In this day and age I can’t think why anyone wouldn’t identify as a Feminist. A feminist simply means someone who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. If you’re still going to ask me why isn’t it called humanism or another bogus, non-committal term then you still don’t get it.

It’s called feminism because it is far more women in this world who don’t experience equality. It is their social, political and economic rights, which are compromised, all around the world, day after day.

I find it bizarre when people dismiss the term because they think that attaching it to the female gender is a bad thing, this is exactly why we need feminism. Why is a female pre-fix connoted negatively, an insult?

This is why I find it particularly damaging when an educated, prominent member of society dismisses the term, because they are then inadvertently dismissing all that it stands for; equality of the sexes in its most basic form.

When David Cameron recently refused, not one, but five times to take part in ELLE’s inaugural feminism issue by wearing a ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ t-shirt, he was sending a pretty clear message about his views on the subject.

What’s worrying isn’t the number of times he declined to be part of the magazine, nor the fact that he is the political spearhead of one of the most prominent nations in the world, for me it’s the message this sends out that we’re still confused on the fundamental values of a feminist.

I hope that, as the issue gains more and more media attention every day, feminism becomes more accessible and positive, but this is just one of thousands of examples of how the world still doesn’t understand what the word even means. How can a man who is so progressive in some ways (the UK are one of only 16 countries where gay marriage is legal) be so backward in others?

David Cameron has been confused about feminism before, and no doubt will be again, but on the upside; I never thought I would hear such sense from Miliband and Clegg, (who couldn’t wait to wear their t-shirts with pride) so at least someone is getting it.

clegg n mil

 ‘Feminism means striving for a world where power is something we share equally as men and women, a world where equal pay is a campaign our children learn about in history books and a woman in the top job is no longer a novelty; a world where girls are asked what they want to achieve not what they want to look like and women don’t fear violence for speaking out or wanting more. Feminism means a better world for us all and a battle yet to be won.’  – Ed Miliband

‘I support equality and choice – so yes, I’m a feminist. How on earth in this day and age can you not be? As a wiser person than me once said: “Men who actually treat women as equals are the ones with more cojones.”‘ – Nick Clegg

Why I’m not looking at the leaked nude photos and neither should you.

jlaw

When this kind of thing happens, of course you want to take a quick peak to reassure yourself that your body isn’t that bad and celebrities aren’t perfect, but at what cost is that to these women?

This kind of behaviour is not only cultivating a rape and body shaming culture which is so damaging for women; it is telling them that their privacy, their bodies, belong to the public and that they shouldn’t expect to have any control over it.

By looking at these pictures you are only reinforcing the kind of treatment women receive in everyday life; catcalling, sexual harassment, sexism, slut shaming. Need I go on? There have been a number of compelling arguments against looking at these images online, but really there need only be one reason; because you respect people and their human rights.

Yes, you probably don’t know Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst or Kate Upton, but you know that their bodies aren’t your property. You know that if this was you, you’d be hoping and praying that people wouldn’t be looking at your body with lust, scorn or violent thoughts.

The only saving grace about this whole situation is that for the first time I can recall, in all the times this has happened before, this is the first time people are taking a stand against it. People are actually speaking out and trying to make sure that this kind of thing does not go unnoticed because this is not a leaked photo, this is a sexual harassment case and the hacker is a sex offender.

In my opinion, the ‘Don’t take nude photos if you don’t want anyone to see them’ argument is just another case where women are expected to foresee every eventuality in order to avoid any sexual harassment or assault, despite the fact that the hacker could just not have hacked, or the rapist could just not have raped.

So, here I am; urging you to take a small stand against sexual violence towards women by not looking at these leaked photos. After all; curiosity killed the cat.

It’s not me, it’s you.

So I just got catcalled TWICE when walking down my own road from the shop at the top, to the bottom where I live. It’s a five minute journey and two cars full of boys shouted at me separately.

One was just leering out the window and said ‘Hey baby’ but the other one was on a different level. He was sat in the back passenger seat slowly detailing all the things he was ‘Going to do to me’ all explicitly sexual and disgusting. I know I probably shouldn’t have but I turned around and asked him to ‘Please stop talking to me’. Obviously this was met with laughter and ‘How dare she say that to you blood’ etc. I’m not sure what I was expecting… They then started driving right next to me until two cars behind them were beeping for them to move on.

Catcalling isn’t cool, it’s sexual harassment and it needs to stop. I do not need a pathetic little man in the back seat of a car to tell me my ass looks great in my jeans. I know they’re good jeans, that’s why I wear them. everytime it happens I can’t stop thinking about this and how ridiculous they really are.

I would love to just laugh it off but the thing is, he’s driving round in that car now thinking that behaviour is okay and it’s not. What’s to say that he won’t actually try to do all those things he was listing to me, to another girl who won’t be able to stop him.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you what I was wearing because instead of teaching our girls; what to wear, not to drink, how to defend themselves and to never walk around alone at night, we could just be teaching our boys not to rape.

I’m so angry with myself but my first thought was ‘I’m not even wearing a skirt, I don’t have much makeup on, my hair is tied back, why are they doing this to me? I don’t even look nice.’ I realised it doesn’t matter, they do it because it’s socially acceptable and they can. It doesn’t matter what I do. All I do is exist, the rest is down to them. 

Making Feminism Fun!

jazz

Here we have another great post from buzzfeed which is there to reach the ladies. After the debacle that was ‘Women Against Feminism’ it’s safe to say we definitely need to continue spreading what feminism really means to the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 SEXIST OBSERVATIONS EVERYONE SHOULD FIND UNATTRACTIVE

 

Contrary to the belief of the individual who wrote 10 THINGS MEN FIND UNATTRACTIVE IN WOMEN  I actually spend less than 10% of every day trying to impress and attract men.

When I go out with my friends and have drinks, I do so because I am enjoying the company of my friends and the taste of the cocktails. Similarly, when I put make-up on or do my hair in a different style, I am 95% of the time doing so to please only myself/ kill time/ try out something I read in a magazine/ saw on YouTube.

When I raise my voice to someone, especially someone who is raising their voice towards me, I am doing so to get my point across to that individual, whether they are male or female. I may also use this raised voice when excitedly speaking about meeting up with friends for a night out, if so I do apologise, I understand this is very irritating for you men. However, if one of our friends/ parents/ colleagues does something which upsets us, I promise never to bitch or moan about it, I know you hate it when us lovely little ladies turn into negative Nancys.

Believe it or not, us women actually lie too. I understand this is bad and that men never do it so I really have nothing more to say on this point. On behalf of the entire female population, I apologise. I am also deeply regretful for the fact that I sometimes think I have a valid point which may be superior to yours, it’s like I think I can do whatever I want or something which is just ridiculous.* Also, on the rare occasion that I decide to make an effort for the special man in my life by dressing up and then popping to the shops to pick up supplies to make his favourite meal, remind me to get changed before going. Wouldn’t want to be an ‘Attention (W)Horde’, would I?**

 

* I think I was just having a mood swing here. I am completely incapable of controlling myself during that time of the month

 

** And before you ask, yes I have read this: http://news-hound.org/unattractive-in-men/ and these are still my views

Monday Sep 30 (Day 3) – New magazine campaign helps “Re-brand Feminism”

Equality For Women

This week’s current news about feminism shows that the famous magazine companies like Elle created a project called “Rebranding Feminism” where they create new covers and advertisements in order to campaign feminism.  I found this article on here. The editor Louise Riley states that women today do not believe they are a feminist nor do they want to be associated with the term.  She points out there are many ad campaigns that help promote feminism and show people that “It is not extreme. Feminism is the “radical” belief that women are people”.  These advertisement as Riley also states “The ‘Rebranding Feminism’ project aims to re-imagine the feminist movement for today, in the context of pay gaps, [and] stereotypes” which shows the strategies the project aims for in order to promote feminism.

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All these advertisement shown above are going to be shown in magazines. They will allow everyone to see the…

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The Language of Dude Feminism

The sort of language used to assert men’s dominance over women has a pretty recognizable pattern across the cultural landscape. Men, we are told, are in charge of things because they have something women (supposedly) lack: physical strength, honor, higher cognitive facilities, or the mystique of the male organ itself. Women, sadly “lacking” these qualities, need to be “protected” from the all-consuming lusts of strange men.

This can be spun as noble chivalry, brutal domination, or a playful battle of the sexes, but at the root it’s the same: women are denied the freedoms that men take as a God-given right, assigned subordinate status, and coerced into performative gender roles.

In this dialectic, men’s protective abilities and ravaging urges come from the same place and are both aimed squarely at women. Language, of course, did not create the patriarchy, but language is a powerful method of inscribing the possible, shaping…

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Opened Eyes

When you feel like you’re looking really good and someone pays you a compliment, it’s great. If that person’s a stranger on the street, that’s also great, but when that stranger’s a man who says something like ‘Wow, I’d smash your back doors in love’ that’s sexist. I’m sick of being leered at or commented on by complete strangers in the street. Yes I dress up, but I dress up for me, because it’s nice to look nice, not for the general male public. I do not get dressed in the morning in hope that some fat balding builder checks me out. I do not do my hair or make-up praying for a car full of jumped up twenty-something ‘players’ to beep their horn and shout out the window at me.

Thing is, we live in a society where this behaviour is completely normalised and it’s got to the point where I don’t even notice it anymore. I remember being thirteen, (and believe me, I was a young thirteen) walking home from the bus stop in my school uniform and getting beeped at by a car. It made me jump and I dropped all the things I was holding, so the man in the car got out and helped me. He was about thirty, and I remember seeing the horror on his face (and mine) as he realised how old I was. I was thinking then, and I’m still thinking now, why did you do that?

However, it wasn’t until I was on a recent night out that I realised just how bad this has got. I was helping a drunk friend find her feet for a while, round the corner from the club we had been to that evening. She was in a bad way and a guy approached me asking if I wanted to come home with him. I asked him to leave us alone and immediately was a ‘Fucking dirty slut little bitch’. Ah yes, it is us girls who look after our friends and refuse a one-night-stand proposition from a stranger who are the ‘dirty slut’s’ of the world. I completely lost it at this point and told him he was being a sexist pig. Stupid I know, but I felt like he should know he can’t speak to people like that. This was met with more aggression and it got bad enough that the guys friend came over and pulled him away saying ‘You don’t wanna fuck these skets anyway mate’.

How have we found ourselves living in a world where this is an acceptable way to treat women? It’s not an acceptable way to treat anyone, but sadly women bear the brunt of it, and it has to stop. It’s only writing this that I re-remember other incidents and realise there are probably hundreds of times where I have experienced sexism from strangers. My new aim is to challenge all the future comments I get, in a calm, rational way simply asking ‘Why?’ in the hope that it will open some eyes to everyday sexism.

 

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