Monthly Archives: November 2013

A little bit of activism


November 25 was the international day for the elimination of violence against women. It was also the beginning of a campaign called 16 days of activism against gender violence. 

So after retweeting a few bits of info from the UNWomen account and wondering if I could honestly commit myself to a Sunday morning football game in the name of raising awareness, I decided that its time to talk about something much closer to home.

By that I mean sexual harassment in all its pervasive forms. Being a woman, I can vote and I can buy a car and I can earn a salary. But I can’t defend myself from the war that society seems to have waged on me.

From the moment I leave my door, I can expect leery stares, catcalls and the odd unsolicited grope. Then there are the ‘jokes’ and words of advice about what I can and can’t do. And all the articles telling me things that I’m not sure I need to know, like whether or not women with short hair make good wives.

We live in strange times.

Anyway, here are some suggestions that I think we can try in order to feel part of this campaign to end gender violence, or at least sexual harassment and other douchey behaviors.

For the boys:

  1. See how long you can go for without making ‘jokes’ that play on gender stereotypes
  2. Don’t talk about how much you hate weaves, make-up or any references to accessories and appearance in general
  3. Keep those nasty references to sex/ body parts in your head (especially the ones that imply that you are dealing with a piece of flesh)
  4. Same goes for any weird names you use to refer to women (this includes phrases like ‘that thing’.)
  5. Try not to openly stare at females with those hungry eyes: there is a fine line between flirting and Criminal Minds level of creepy
  6. Take a refresher course on the difference between porn and real life

For the girls:

  1. Take a break from all the articles telling you how to think, feel, dress and behave (bigger problems out there than how to look good while doing the walk of shame)
  2. Find other ways to insult women without using the words ‘fat’, ‘bitch’ or ‘ugly’
  3. Give your eyes a rest: no more elevator eyes to scope out the competition
  4. Think a little bit more about friends with benefits

It may be all fun and games, but the fact is, up to 70% of women experience some kind violence in their lifetimes. It doesn’t just happen in war zones and far off places you don’t care about. 70% is literally everyone. Including your mother and your precious sisters.

Step one, let’s be a bit more sensitive to all the crap that women have to put up with every single day of their lives because of their anatomy.

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