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:
- See how long you can go for without making ‘jokes’ that play on gender stereotypes
- Don’t talk about how much you hate weaves, make-up or any references to accessories and appearance in general
- 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)
- Same goes for any weird names you use to refer to women (this includes phrases like ‘that thing’.)
- Try not to openly stare at females with those hungry eyes: there is a fine line between flirting and Criminal Minds level of creepy
- Take a refresher course on the difference between porn and real life
For the girls:
- 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)
- Find other ways to insult women without using the words ‘fat’, ‘bitch’ or ‘ugly’
- Give your eyes a rest: no more elevator eyes to scope out the competition
- 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.