Tag Archives: feminism

Soph

My parents are divorced, now, and I don’t see my dad anymore, of my own choice. But when when my parents were still together, I remember my dad would get home from work, sit on the sofa and watch television, almost everyday of the week. My mum didn’t work so he expected, when he got home from work, that all the dishes would have been cleaned, the clothes would have been washed and the whole house would have been tidied. Then for dinner to be cooked and laid on the table once she had picked up my brother and me from school. In theory, it sounds easy enough for her to get all this done in one day, but that’s just theory. There are so many more little things she has to do and everything takes time. If any of it wasn’t done my dad would say: “Well what the hell have you been doing all day?” as if she had been sat at home twiddling her thumbs. Married women with children who don’t go to work are often called ‘Housewives’. But personally, that doesn’t make sense. She isn’t married to the house, is she? Though equal rights have come far from when women couldn’t even vote (in some countries they still can’t), there is still this expectation that men have of women and of their wives. If a wife is a stay-at-home-mum then she has chosen to look after her children, the future of this world, than to earn money. Many men still think, “Well I earn the money for this household so I don’t need to do much else.” But that isn’t right. That isn’t being equal partners. This condescending outlook is part of the reason my parents aren’t still together, and part of the reason for many other couple’s divorces. Most people have normalised this behaviour so it is often overlooked, especially in the man’s perspective who doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong. But it is the women who notice it, get fed up of it, and stand up against it. Yet when they do, they are seen as nitpicking at the cracks in the relationship, like they’re almost trying to create a problem. I wish this didn’t happen. I wish that women, or even people in general, were not stereotyped or judged for their gender. When I say I’m a feminist, most people think I’m a ‘bra-burner’ or that I’m ‘bias to the female gender’. It’s like people don’t even know the true meaning of feminism. If a guy was a feminist, he wouldn’t be questioned on how he must hate men. Yet many people would ask, “How can you be a feminist if your not female?” I think feminism is underrated and not enough people talk about it, openly. The feminist movement is quite a slow one at that as there is always going to be someone who disagrees and with such things as female chauvinistic pigs, it seems rather hopeless. I think there should be lots of safe places online and IRL for people to talk about these issues, otherwise nothing is ever going to change. Awareness is key, and I just don’t think there’s enough of it.

Aoife Grace

I need feminism because when I was 4, we learned the colours. After class, a group of boys came up to me and asked what my favourite colour was. I said “blue” and and one of them replied, “you can’t like blue, it’s a boy colour”. Upon telling him that my dad’s favourite colour was purple, I was told, “your dad must be a girl then”. I didn’t tell my dad because I thought that being compared to a girl would upset him too much. My dad is a feminist. I need feminism because when I was 13, my class worked on a project with NATS AIS. In the final stage of the competition, I was transferred into a group with 6 boys ‘for representation’. As project manager of my last team, I assumed that I’d have some creative input and delegation opportunities. I was put on research with a guy who played 2048 the whole time but still took full credit for the work I did. One lesson, the project manager was away so I took it upon myself to show some initiative and start the PowerPoint presentation. The next day, it had been deleted without a thought and a new one was being made; it was exactly the same but grammatically incorrect. When I tried to argue, I was called bossy and told to ‘get back in the kitchen or wherever [I was] supposed to be’. I need feminism because I saw the bewildered look on Harvey’s face when I did better than him on a physics test., despite the fact that I had beaten him on every science test beforehand. He used to call me dumb every lesson, still does. He just can’t believe that a somewhat attractive girl has the capacity to be good at science. Or maybe his ego’s just big. I need feminism because a girl I go to school with got raped by a boy in our year. For three weeks leading up to the event, she had reported him to the school 6 times for touching her inappropriately in class, she even had witnesses. He got a ‘serious talking to’ and nothing more. He wasn’t even moved away from her in class. She came into school crying and she stopped talking for a few days. One of our mutual friends got really mad at her for ‘being over-dramatic and complaining too much’. When I got angry at this, she said “well if it had been me, I would’ve just told him to stop and kicked him in the balls’. I had no words.

Stephanie Hayes

My housemate (he’s 24 years old, I’m 32) – “Women should never shave any part of their heads, it’s a big turn off for a man. So if you do it, just so you know – I’ll hate it!” I did it – I fucking love it! : ) MY HEAD, MY HAIR He also added, “Women should never have tattoos on their arms or any part of their body that are obvious.” I have a tattoo on my wrist, my shoulder and my pelvis. And just for you, Adam – I’ll soon get a whole sleeve of tattoos, on MY BODY

Dee Rose

I am disappointed in the country’s choice of a new president, and ever since the election, I am outspoken about it. Without resorting to false information, memes, and name-calling, I make intelligent researched arguments on the topic. However, posting on social media draws a host of men who attack me as a woman to knock me off course or attempt to upset me with creepy comments. One man told me he wanted to “collect my tears and drink them,” or perhaps he could just “lick my face.” Another man, in an attempt to be derogatory, said, “you must be one of those feminists,” and that he “should have known there would be alligators in the water.” His fiend told him to stop attacking me because I am “super hot.” Since the election, I have heard every kind of screwed up opinion on reproductive rights. I spoke out to someone on this, and he told me, “because I like you, we’ll deport you last.” I am angry that women’s voices are dismissed repeatedly as unimportant, whiny, or irrelevant, and the only way for a woman to merit respect is to be “super hot.”

M.

I want to talk about the sexism in a relationship, specifically mine and my experience. My boyfriend gets upset when he asks me to do something like grab him something to drink or go do him a favor and I say I can’t because I have something of my own to do. He also beat me sometimes and he says it’s my fault because I nag him too much or I shout. He also always wants me to have perfect and straight hair when mine is curly and always wants me to dress sexy because he says I look like a man if I don’t. He always insults me and says I’m fat and ugly and offends my family and if I do anything like that he gets so angry I can’t control him. He always likes other girls’ pictures and looks at other girls and makes sex jokes right in front of me but I can’t even look at one of his guy friends (who’s also in a relationship) while he’s talking to me. I always have to clean up after him because he says that’s a ‘woman’s job’. He also says he doesn’t know how to be romantic but he certainly knows how to put me down. He always says I’m good at nothing because I don’t know how to cook.. I’M 16 YEARS OLD! Before I was in a relationship with this guy I was going out with another guy.. I was still a virgin. I went out with him once and we were outside near the fields looking at the stars. Suddenly he starts kissing me and taking my clothes off and I started pushing him off and telling him I didn’t want to. He said he wasn’t going to put it in but he did.. and when he finished he said ‘Haha I still got my way’ My now boyfriend knows this guy and knows what happened. The other guy told everybody and without knowing the whole story my boyfriend called me a slut. If my boyfriend doesn’t want to have sex he will simply decline but when I don’t feel like it or get tired he will just ignore me because if we don’t have sex there is nothing else he would like to do with me like talk or something. I also once had an experience with my mum’s boyfriend. He was really handsy and would always touch my butt or my boobs or walk into my room without knocking. I never told my mum until one day when he came to give me 20 euros and he put it in my bra as I was washing the dishes and I was so sick of it that I told her everything. When I told her about the thing with the 20 euros she replied ‘So? He didn’t touch your boob, did he? So what’s wrong with that?’ I know a lot of people accept this kind of behavior because they believe that a man is superior to a woman.

Autumn

In my university where I study art, there are classrooms around our art studios where they teach plumbing, construction, etc. There isn’t one female in any of those classes, all just guys. They frequently catcall, whistle and comment sexual remarks to the females in my class. This happens frequently and it is not okay.

Grace

I am currently doing a project on Catcalling for the final year of my BA degree that is greatly inspired by the work of Everyday Feminism, Hollaback and similar sites. As I walked out of my university building after a productive meeting with lecturers and tutors on the direction of my work, a man smoking outside of the doors startled me by shouting “Hey Sexy” then proceeded to follow me around the corner to where my bike was parked in a gated lot. I stood at the gate with two choices, either open and risk him following me into the dark corner where no one would be able to help if he followed me in, or to turn around and confront him. I chose the latter and asked him why he felt inclined to follow me and if he studied at the university, to which he replied – ‘not really’ as he relentlessly asked for my number and for me to go out with him. I gave him my number and said that I’d love to get in touch with him and have an interview on why he thought it was acceptable to refer to me as sexy and follow me into a dark alley. He took my number and said ‘I’m going to call you and make sure you didn’t give me a fake number’, (this part of our conversation has really stuck with me as I always wonder what he would have done had I changed the number) so he called and insisted on small talk until I said I had to leave. Disgruntled, he wandered off to finish his cigarette so I was finally able to retrieve my bike, as I walked out back into the alley to join the road he had hid behind a pillar and jumped out in an effort to startle me once again as I walked past. This time I took no chances and jumped straight on my bike and have never cycled so fast in my life. In reflection the situation seems ironic considering my efforts to tackle Catcalling, however the most striking observation I have made both in my personal and academic experiences is that their are no two situations that are the same and it is so hard to produce a response when you genuinely fear for your safety. So the idea that women either enjoy being catcalled or are unaffected by it is reinforced once again in this vicious cycle. There was a point while we were speaking that I almost felt guilty for being so standoffish with him however I know that is because this world has taught me to constantly stroke the masculine ego and be the subject of their dominating gaze, this was another physical reminder that the world is built by men, for men.