The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About by: Gretchen Kelly

 

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There’s this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women’s issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren’t there more important things to worry about? Is this really that big of a deal? Aren’t you being overly sensitive? Are you sure you’re being rational about this?

Every. Single. Time.

And every single time I get frustrated. Why don’t they get it?

I think I’ve figured out why.

They don’t know.

They don’t know about de-escalation. Minimizing. Quietly acquiescing.

Hell, even though women live it, we are not always aware of it. But we have all done it.

We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable. How to avoid angering a man or endangering ourselves. We have all, on many occasions, ignored an offensive comment. We’ve all laughed off an inappropriate come-on. We’ve all swallowed our anger when being belittled or condescended to.

It doesn’t feel good. It feels icky. Dirty. But we do it because to not do it could put us in danger or get us fired or labeled a bitch. So we usually take the path of least precariousness.

It’s not something we talk about every day. We don’t tell our boyfriends and husbands and friends every time it happens. Because it is so frequent, so pervasive, that it has become something we just deal with.

So maybe they don’t know.

Maybe they don’t know that at the tender age of 13 we had to brush off adult men staring at our breasts. Maybe they don’t know that men our dad’s age actually came on to us while we were working the cash register. They probably don’t know that the guy in English class who asked us out sent angry messages just because we turned him down. They may not be aware that our supervisor regularly pats us on the ass. And they surely don’t know that most of the time we smile, with gritted teeth. That we look away or pretend not to notice. They likely have no idea how often these things happen. That these things have become routine. So expected that we hardly notice it anymore.

So routine that we go through the motions of ignoring it and minimizing.

Not showing our suppressed anger and fear and frustration. A quick cursory smile or a clipped laugh will allow us to continue with our day. We de-escalate. We minimize it. Both internally and externally, we minimize it. We have to. To not shrug it off would put is in confrontation mode more often than most of us feel like dealing with.

We learn at a young age how to do this. We didn’t put a name or label to it. We didn’t even consider that other girls were doing the same thing. But we were teaching ourselves, mastering the art of de-escalation. Learning by way of observation and quick risk assessment what our reactions should and shouldn’t be.

“It’s the reality of being a woman in our world. It’s laughing off sexism because we felt we had no other option.”

We go through a quick mental checklist. Does he seem volatile, angry? Are there other people around? Does he seem reasonable and is just trying to be funny, albeit clueless? Will saying something impact my school/job/reputation? In a matter of seconds we determine whether we will say something or let it slide. Whether we’ll call him out or turn the other way, smile politely or pretend that we didn’t hear/see/feel it.

It happens all the time. And it’s not always clear if the situation is dangerous or benign.

It is the boss who says or does something inappropriate. It is the customer who holds our tip out of reach until we lean over to hug him. It’s the male friend who has had too much to drink and tries to corner us for a “friends with benefits” moment even though we’ve made it clear we’re not interested. It’s the guy who gets angry if we turn him down for a date. Or a dance. Or a drink.

We see it happen to our friends. We see it happen in so many scenarios and instances that it becomes the norm. And we really don’t think anything of it. Until that one time that came close to being a dangerous situation. Until we hear that the “friend” who cornered us was accused of rape a day later. Until our boss makes good on his promise to kiss us on New Years Eve when he catches us alone in the kitchen. Those times stick out. They’re the ones we may tell your friends, our boyfriends, our husbands about.

But all the other times? All the times we felt uneasy or nervous but nothing more happened? Those times we just go about our business and don’t think twice about.

It’s the reality of being a woman in our world.

It’s laughing off sexism because we felt we had no other option.

It’s feeling sick to your stomach that we had to “play along” to get along.

It’s feeling shame and regret the we didn’t call that guy out, the one who seemed intimidating but in hindsight was probably harmless. Probably.

It’s taking our phone out, finger poised over the “Call” button when we’re walking alone at night.

It’s positioning our keys between our fingers in case we need a weapon when walking to our car.

It’s lying and saying we have a boyfriend just so a guy would take “No” for an answer.

It’s being at a crowded bar/concert/insert any crowded event, and having to turn around to look for the jerk who just grabbed our ass.

It’s knowing that even if we spot him, we might not say anything.

It’s walking through the parking lot of a big box store and politely saying Hello when a guy passing us says Hi. It’s pretending not to hear as he berates us for not stopping to talk further. What? You too good to talk to me? You got a problem? Pffft… bitch.

It’s not telling our friends or our parents or our husbands because it’s just a matter of fact, a part of our lives.

It’s the memory that haunts us of that time we were abused, assaulted or raped.

It’s the stories our friends tell us through heartbreaking tears of that time they were abused, assaulted or raped.

It’s realizing that the dangers we perceive every time we have to choose to confront these situations aren’t in our imagination. Because we know too many women who have been abused, assaulted or raped.

“Maybe I’m starting to realize that just shrugging it off and not making a big deal about it is not going to help anyone.”

It occurred to me recently that a lot of guys may be unaware of this. They have heard of things that happened, they have probably at times seen it and stepped in to stop it. But they likely have no idea how often it happens. That it colors much of what we say or do and how we do it.

Maybe we need to explain it better. Maybe we need to stop ignoring it ourselves, minimizing it in our own minds.

The guys that shrug off or tune out when a woman talks about sexism in our culture? They’re not bad guys. They just haven’t lived our reality. And we don’t really talk about the everyday stuff that we witness and experience. So how could they know?

So, maybe the good men in our lives have no idea that we deal with this stuff on a regular basis.

Maybe it is so much our norm that it didn’t occur to us that we would have to tell them.

It occurred to me that they don’t know the scope of it and they don’t always understand that this is our reality. So, yeah, when I get fired up about a comment someone makes about a girl’s tight dress, they don’t always get it. When I get worked up over the every day sexism I’m seeing and witnessing and watching… when I’m hearing of the things my daughter and her friends are experiencing… they don’t realize it’s the tiny tip of a much bigger iceberg.

Maybe I’m realizing that men can’t be expected to understand how pervasive everyday sexism is if we don’t start telling them and pointing to it when it happens. Maybe I’m starting to realize that men have no idea that even walking into a store women have to be on guard. We have to be aware, subconsciously, of our surroundings and any perceived threats.

Maybe I’m starting to realize that just shrugging it off and not making a big deal about it is not going to help anyone.

We de-escalate.

We are acutely aware of our vulnerability. Aware that if he wanted to, that guy in the Home Depot parking lot could overpower us and do whatever he wants.

Guys, this is what it means to be a woman.

We are sexualized before we even understand what that means. We develop into women while our minds are still innocent. We get stares and comments before we can even drive. From adult men. We feel uncomfortable but don’t know what to do, so we go about our lives. We learn at an early age, that to confront every situation that makes us squirm is to possibly put ourselves in danger. We are aware that we are the smaller, physically weaker sex. That boys and men are capable of overpowering us if they choose to. So we minimize and we de-escalate.

So, the next time a woman talks about being cat-called and how it makes her uncomfortable, don’t dismiss her. Listen.

The next time your wife complains about being called “Sweetheart” at work, don’t shrug in apathy. Listen.

The next time you read about or hear a woman call out sexist language, don’t belittle her for doing so. Listen.

The next time your girlfriend tells you that the way a guy talked to her made her feel uncomfortable, don’t shrug it off. Listen.

Listen because your reality is not the same as hers.

Listen because her concerns are valid and not exaggerated or inflated.

Listen because the reality is that she or someone she knows personally has at some point been abused, assaulted, or raped. And she knows that it’s always a danger of happening to her.

Listen because even a simple comment from a strange man can send ripples of fear through her.

Listen because she may be trying to make her experience not be the experience of her daughters.

Listen because nothing bad can ever come from listening.

Just. Listen.

 

Original post found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gretchen-kelly/the-thing-all-women-do-you-dont-know-about_b_8630416.html

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8 thoughts on “The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About by: Gretchen Kelly

  1. listening to women is something that our world needs to get used to. Because as cliche as it sounds, women is half of our population. Actually, more than half. So society doesn’t really have a choice do that?

    • I agree. And yet for most of human existence women have not even been allowed to have an opinion. Improvements have been made but there’s still a ways to go.

  2. > There’s this thing that happens whenever I speak about or write about women’s issues. Things like dress codes, rape culture and sexism. I get the comments: Aren’t there more important things to worry about?

    Have you considered the possibility that YOU don’t get it? I mean, can you accept that there exists that possibility? Hypothetically? Maybe?

    Are you the sort of person who questions your own world view and attitudes (from time to time at least)?

    Dress codes…… dress codes are far more restrictive for men than women. The ‘dilemma’ faced by women in the west usually boils down to having *too much* choice and the social freedom (and legal right) to pretty much wear whatever the hell you like. With freedom comes RESPONSIBILITY. The main issue feminists have with clothing is wanting to AVOID taking responsibility for what they wear. That is a sign of privilege not oppression.

    Men’s clothing styles (rigged, functional, uniform) is a legacy of the fact that men have been expected to work – often manual labour – for all of history. Women only decided to join the paid workforce AFTER modern technology created a bunch of safe, comfortable, machine assisted, centrally heated, electrically lit workplace environments like the modern office or mechanised factory. To begin with women rolled up their sleeves and put on trousers and tied their hair back… but before long most jobs (at least the ones women choose to work in) were so sedentary that a lot of women chose to dress up for work in short skirts, low cut tops and have manicured nails, make up, dressed hair etc.

    We would never tolerate men dressing up this way for work. We barely tolerate it if they do it in their free time. Imagine a man arriving for work in an office in an outfit which was so revealing and restrictive that he cold barely negotiate the stairs, and had to get a woman to help lift boxes of stationary or climb onto the table to fix the blinds for fear of his junk spilling out. Imagine sitting next to a man with a oiled chest and bare grisly legs on full display, with is perfume filling the room, perhaps with ‘chicken fillets’ strapped to his arms to give him more pronounced biceps, or padded underwear … and if you look at him for more than is absolutely necessary he will accuse you of sexually objectifying him. This is how millions of women behave on a daily basis in offices all over the world. Men give women far more leeway to indulge in vanity, narcissism, and sexually provocative behaviour in the workplace, than women would ever give to men.

    These issues are not oppression. They are women pushing against the limits of what is acceptable in a workplace environment. Oppression would be something like landing a spaceship on a comet and then being harassed by an angry mob who reduced you to tears and forced you to apologise on TV just because they didn’t like the shirt you were wearing (a shirt designed and given to you by a female friend and fashion designer) ….. and then having your employers and the media side with that mob instead of calling them out for being cry-bullies. That is what happened to Matt Taylor. Clothing restrictions for men as so extreme that in many situations men are required to wear exactly the same outfit!

    Rape culture….. Rape culture means a culture which condones rape or is apathetic about the issue. There is no rape culture when it comes to the rape of women. The rape of women is against the law and condemned by society as one of the worst crimes there is. Even being accused of raping a woman is enough to destroy a man’s career/ reputation/ relationship and potentially put him in danger of being murdered (street justice). The last three high profile rape accusations against men turned out to be FALSE RAPE ACCUSATIONS. The media was happy to report on them (remember mattress girl?)… but not so quick to cover the story when the woman turned out to be LYING…. a crime which is arguably far worse than actual rape, but which rarely gets women more than a slap on the wrist.

    The ONLY examples of rape culture in our society happen when the victim is male and the perpetrator is female. Women rapists routinely get let off (or much lighter sentences than men) and male victims are often not taken seriously at all. They are told they are lucky! Only the other day a woman was let off raping a man in a car park and only charged with drunken behaviour in public and not rape. Because men can’t be raped you see…..

    Feminists conducting studies into rape have been caught defining the rape of men as NOT ACTUAL RAPE in order to skew the statistics and make it seem like only women are rape victims. Feminists are the only group in society who normalise the rape of women. Everyone else defines it as abhorrent. Feminism IS rape culture.

    Sexism….. Men and women BOTH experience sexism from time to time. It’s not a women’s issue, it is a social issue. Men actually have less rights than women. Men have no rights that women do not also have – usually with extra rights on top. Can you name one right which men have which women do not have?

    The only sexism which is still LEGAL in society is sexism AGAINST men and FOR women… which is called ‘positive discrimination’ although obviously it’s not very positive for the men who are discriminated against. Legalised sexism includes such policies as ‘affirmative action’, ‘women only shortlists’ and all the other policies which follow the ‘he for she’ model.

    Women benefit from numerous sexist attitudes and conventions but feminists never complain about those…. Women have never had to fight wars and have been excused from doing most of the manual labour and other dangerous and harmful jobs in society. Even today men die 20 times more often in the workplace than women. Men are given virtually no resources to help them (shelters, helplines, support groups etc). Most of the homeless are men. Most suicides are men. Men have lower life expectancy. Nobody cares… because they are men. That’s sexism.

    The kind of ‘sexism’ the average western woman has to face is being whistled at in the street, having doors opened for her, or having the waiter show the wine list to the man.

    Meanwhile men are still campaigning to be granted legal equality with women in areas like divorce law, child custody, criminal law and genital integrity.

    Feminist theory itself defines ‘men’ as the oppressor class and ‘women’ as the victim class. That is also sexist by definition.

    > We have all learned, either by instinct or by trial and error, how to minimize a situation that makes us uncomfortable.

    And might this observation also include men? Or do you define men as somehow invulnerable, all powerful and never on the defensive?

    On balance women are far more outspoken than men when it comes to social issues. And it is far more socially acceptable for women to play the victim role than for men to play that role. For decades feminists have been shouting from the rooftops about every conceivable issue they face (real and imaginary). It is men who rarely speak out and who are raised to never ‘escalate’ because if they do they will face social ostracism, social condemnation …… or worse.

    Feminists are given platforms at the UN to demand ‘he for she’. Virtually the entire media, politics, academia and education is steeped in feminist politics and feminist ideology and has been increasingly since the 60’s. Feminism is mainstream.

    Men’s rights activists are not given ANY platform, and they are labelled as cry babies, terrorists, misogynists, pathetic men who can’t get laid and angry (white) men. A politician who is even sympathetic to the human rights of men and boys will soon find his career nosediving (which is odd considering the world is supposed to be run y and for men, and at women’s expense). If he starts fighting for men to be given the same legal rights as women his career is over immediately. Our “He for she” society won’t tolerate men’s rights being discussed or promoted in mainstream politics.

    Are the men who keep quite about their lack of own human rights (relative to women) for fear of losing their jobs, or facing social ostracism not an examples of men de-escalating?

    Of course, you are perfectly entitled to not care about the men’s rights or men’s issues and only care about fashion etiquette, or toilet door signs, or being called ‘bossy’, or whatever the feminist issue of the week happens to be….. but when you claim these are important social issues in the grand scheme of things don’t be surprised when some people disagree.

    In terms of comfort, safety, protection, life expectancy, living standards, disposable income, self expression, material wealth, lack of social/ legal accountability etc etc western women are the most privileged demographic in the world and throughout all of human history. This is naturally reflected in the kinds of things which modern feminists consider to be ‘important issues’. Feminist issues tend to be either (a) trivial compared to what the rest of the world has to deal with or (b) actually a consequence of female privilege (too much choice, too many unearned entitlements etc).

    This is an example of a trivial issue. Remember male babies are still being genitally mutilated in the west. Men still have ZERO reproductive rights.

    > The next time your wife complains about being called “Sweetheart” at work, don’t shrug in apathy. Listen.

    And this is an example of an issue which results from the OVER protection of women in society.

    > Listen because even a simple comment from a strange man can send ripples of fear through her.

    Society has never been safer than it is today (statistically speaking). Women are far LESS likely than men to end up the victims of violence in public. And a woman are far MORE likely to enjoy the protection of men (police, passers by) in the rare event she finds herself in a sticky situation. Statistics show this. Social experiments using actors also show this. You are far SAFER in public as a woman than as a man. FACT. (Not to mention twenty times LESS likely to die at work too).

    Yet most women fear violence far more than men do. This is because women are given far more protection than men from the moment they are born, and women are treated as more valuable than men and more precious (he for she). Nobody cares about the safety of men or boys and so they have to learn to look after themselves and learn to avoid dangerous situations, or get out of them using their wits. This is a drag for men, but it does EMPOWER THEM so by the time they are adults they usually feel more confident and probably with some experience of nasty situations under their belt which makes them fear it less. (We always fear the unknown more than the known).

    It is precisely BECAUSE we now live is a ‘he for she’ society where girls and women are wrapped up in cotton wool and told every day they live in a ‘rape culture’ that so many women now fear even going outside. It is precisely this extreme patronising/ patriarchal / paternalistic ‘he for she’ society we now have which MAKES so many young women so DISEMPOWERED and FEARFUL and FRIGHTENED. This over protection of girls and women is what has created the culture of trigger warnings and safe spaces and rape culture.

    And don’t get me wrong… this IS a bone fide issue for millions of women and for society as a whole. And it needs addressing. But the problem is the over protection of women, and not some sort of male conspiracy to oppress women.

    Thanks to feminism, progressivism and social justice we are hurtling towards the kind of culture they have in the middle east where women are defined as SO fragile and SO weak and SO vulnerable that they cannot possibly drive a car on their own, or be seen without a mask on, or go shopping on their own or go to a gym with men in it (gasp!). This is also where we are now heading in the west. Already feminists and social justice types are demanding gender segregation (women only gyms etc – just like in the middle east) and more and more ‘he for she’ measures to be put in place to protect all the weak, feeble, vulnerable, ‘acted upon’ women in society.

    If you relentlessly define and treat a group of people as fragile, weak ‘acted upon’ objects who are at the mercy of the world around them (like a leaf in the wind)… then they will end up BELIEVING this narrative and feeling that way. We’ve already had several generations of raising women to define themselves as ‘acted upon’ victims with no personal agency (as objects) and this is the result…. a lot of women now are terrified of even a man looking at them, or whistling at them or speaking to them.

    Many of these young women will have grown up in single mother households (thanks to feminism) and as a result they never grew up feeling the warmth, affection, love and protection of a man (a father) and so they never learned to trust men, or even view men as potentially trustworthy, empathetic human beings. Instead they were told by feminists that all men are rapists who must fight this urge for the whole of their adult life – as if men’s sexuality = the urge to rape women!

    Women raised in single mother households, with mostly female teachers and babysitters and all of her mother’s single mother friends bitching abut men around the kitchen table often grow up to view all men as an alien species. And naturally they find men scary as a result. Even though the reality is most men are far more protective of women (even random strangers) than women are protective of men.

    Fearing social contact in public (people speaking to you etc) is a mental health issue. It is a form of social anxiety, even paranoia. Seeking therapy might be the best option, rather than repeating the very fear mongering narrative which caused the anxiety in the first place, which will only make it worse. Just saying 🙂

    Women who grew up with fathers in the home and who were not bombarded with feminism or social justice narratives are 100x more likely to be confident and self assured in public and to actually ENJOY social interaction (even with men!) rather than fear it.

    Can you see how a white person who grew up in a white environment and was told that black people are rapists and savages and a threat to civilised (white) society might grow up to fear blacks and might get that sick feeling in their stomach if a black person speaks to them in the street – as if they are about to get mugged or raped?

    That is basically how feminism and single mother households train women to view men. It may not actually be men’s fault that increasing numbers of women fear them or view them as a threat……. just as it wasn’t always black people’s fault when lots of white people feared them and viewed them as a threat.

    > Just. Listen.

    And what about those people you complain about, who say the standard feminist narrative (women weak, men bad) is not particularly rational (or helpful) one to either sex? Should we ever listen to what they have to say?

    • While I respect all opinions, I do not respect someone stating their opinion as a fact. Furthermore I have trouble taking any of these arguments seriously due to the high amount of logical fallacies they contain (deductive fallacies, ad hominem, and red herring to name a few). If you can provide me with a logical argument and discuss these issues with an open mind I am willing to listen, if not please do not comment on my blog again.

    • 1. You mention that dress codes are far more restrictive for men than for women. I’m just wondering what sort of evidence you have to support this, because when I go out for a run, or to a yoga class, I certainly don’t see women taking off their shirts to display their bare chests.
      Men don’t take responsibility for their clothing, so why should women have to? In fact, in many cultures, men enforce such strict dress codes upon women that they can’t even show their faces in public. To say that it is a sign of privilege is completely false. Also, as a woman in the workforce, I have never felt the need to wear a short skirt or low cut tops or any sort of revealing clothing. In fact, I actually wear what you may refer to as “functional” clothing. You know, like jeans? And a sweater that covers the ‘chicken fillets’ that I use to pad my breasts.

      2. Your example of Matt Taylor wearing that ugly shirt contradicts your previous statements on women and the “responsibility” they must take to dress appropriately. Would YOU go to work wearing a shirt with half-naked women all over it? Would that be a “responsible” choice for you to make? You can’t complain about women dressing inappropriately and then use a man who dressed inappropriately as your example of “oppression.” Try again.

      3. According to FBI National Data (that is a source, by the way– you know, things that you use to back up the claims that you are making?) in 2013, it was reported that a rape occurs every 6.6 minutes in the United States. On top of that, 1 in 6 women will be raped in her lifetime ( https://www.aau.edu/uploadedFiles/AAU_Publications/AAU_Reports/Sexual_Assault_Campus_Survey/Report%20on%20the%20AAU%20Campus%20Climate%20Survey%20on%20Sexual%20Assault%20and%20Sexual%20Misconduct.pdf) compared to 1 in 71 men (http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf)
      I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty indicative of a culture that has normalized rape and other sexual violence against women (the actual definition of rape culture, btw). Let’s not forget the fact that we are only talking about REPORTED rapes. The rate of actual rape and sexual violence is estimated to be five times as high. FIVE TIMES. Based on statistics and research alone, your three “high profile” cases are completely insignificant compared to the millions of rapes that are occurring in the United States alone. I’m not denying that women have never been perpetrators; however, research shows that men rape other men far more often than women rape men (https://www.odh.ohio.gov/~/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/hprr/sexual%20assult/appendix182011.ashx).

      4. I’ll do you a favor and provide you with multiple examples of how men have more rights than women:
      – Men are not killed at birth for being men. In many Eastern cultures especially, boys are preferred over girls which leads to infanticide or abandonment.
      -You get to do whatever the hell you want with your body, whenever you want. You know, I can’t recall the last time Congress was debating whether or not men should be allowed to ejaculate or how they should use their penis, in general. Do you want to talk about oppression? Let’s talk about the fact that it is 2015 and our government is more focused on how women are out of their minds for wanting to have autonomy over their bodies. Unless you have the ability to grow a human inside of you for nine months, and then push it through a 10cm opening in your body, I suggest you leave my ovaries out of your political agenda.
      – Pay gap
      – Glass ceiling
      – Inequality in the workforce (more CEO’s are men than women)
      I’ll let you Google what the rest of those mean since you seem to be pretty good at doing that.

      Also, there is no such thing as reverse sexism, just like there is no such thing as reverse racism. Okay? Okay.

      ALSO, most resources/support/help that exist are not for exclusively for women. So, you’re statement is really false right there.

      5. Women are outspoken because not enough men are willing to speak with us. We’re not victims, we’re fighters. Next.

      6. “If you relentlessly define and treat a group of people as fragile, weak ‘acted upon’ objects who are at the mercy of the world around them (like a leaf in the wind)… then they will end up BELIEVING this narrative and feeling that way.”

      This is the only true thing you have said. Unfortunately, I still don’t think you understand what oppression means.

      Thanks to feminism, progressivism, and social justice, countries have banned female genital mutilation; women in Saudi Arabia have finally been given the right to vote and stand in elections; women have become powerful, inspirational leaders in our world.

      7. First of all, you need to get it out of your mind that all women just sit around, paralyzed with fear because they MIGHT encounter a man.

      Second, it is completely insulting to women who ARE very fearful of men to label their fears as “mental health issues” when their experiences were very real and very traumatizing.

      Third, it is also completely insulting to single PARENTS to just assume that they are telling their children how terrible the opposite sex is. Individuals do not train their children that way– society does.

      Yes, there are forms of feminism that do embrace a more radical view which you have expressed; however, they are far and few. Feminism is not about women taking over the world and men suddenly falling at their feet. It is being viewed and treated equally.

      It means not having to worry about something slipping something into my drink at a bar; it means being paid the same as my male coworker who does the same work as I do; it means wearing whatever I want without having to explain why I chose to wear it; it means having an equal number of male and female politicians; it means that women and men work alongside each other, fight with each other and work to create a more peaceful and less violent society.

      The comments you’ve made completely devalue the experiences of a majority of women that you probably know and encounter. By denying their realities, you’re actively working to oppress them and forcing them to “accept the narrative that YOU have decided to create for them.”

      P.S. Those are your words, not mine.

  3. Men’s clothing styles (rigged, functional, uniform) is a legacy of the fact that men have been expected to work – often manual labour – for all of history.
    To this I comment only that you must be deluded. You think women sat on their butts while the men were out making money? Women were not ALLOWED to have jobs outside of the house. (OH THE SCANDAL) We did not “decide” to join the work force, but had to FIGHT against completely male dominated government to be given the privilege of providing for ourselves or giving our opinions.

    Women only decided to join the paid workforce AFTER modern technology created a bunch of safe, comfortable, machine assisted, centrally heated, electrically lit workplace environments like the modern office or mechanised factory. To begin with women rolled up their sleeves and put on trousers and tied their hair back… but before long most jobs (at least the ones women choose to work in) were so sedentary that a lot of women chose to dress up for work in short skirts, low cut tops and have manicured nails, make up, dressed hair etc.

    -CHOSE to dress up for work? Even in my current job’s dress code it says that my hair has to be well groomed. For women to wear pants 70 years ago was absolutely against everything that had been ingrained into the gender “propriety wise” for centuries. Male dominated work places were probably not the most welcoming places for women then, nor are they now. Desk jobs were what we were allowed to do. Everything else we’ve been bullied out of or not even considered for or raised to “know” we weren’t meant to do them.
    -I also love how you said that women wear shirts designed by women designers or given to them by their friends… I can assure you that there are plenty of male designers contributing to the sex oriented clothing. There’s a girl side and a boy side to each store. We can only buy what’s there without being called “boyish” or having people wonder if we’re lesbians or saying that we simply don’t take care of our appearances. Oh but wait, you probably think we should “decide” to stay home and sew our ankle length dresses until we “decide” to all work in jobs where they’d get stuck in the machinery.

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