Yes, I am a feminist

Yes, I am a feminist.
Because sexual harassment happens everyday,
And it’s okay for men to tell a woman how much she should ideally weigh.
Because it’s considered funny to joke about a woman’s body entitlement,
And groping a woman in public, well that should just be considered a ‘compliment’.

Men don’t have to walk at a fast pace at night,
Holding onto their keys so very tight.
Checking over their shoulders every so often,
To wait until they get home, to let their tense muscles finally soften.

We make up excuses, just so we can be left alone.
It’s not enough to say you just want to be on your own.
“My dad’s waiting outside”, “I have a boyfriend”
Why do we even have to pretend?
He respects another man more than you,
What happened to just a simple ‘no thank you’?

Yes, I am a feminist.
Because rape jokes aren’t funny,
I’d like to be referred to anything but a demeaning “honey”
And calling me bitch, slut or hoe is just offensive
I shouldn’t even have to be this defensive.

Girls saying no – such awful rejection.
But I think I’m entitled to my own affection.
If I don’t want to, I don’t have to return the feelings of some guy,
Because this so-called “friend zone” shouldn’t make me feel shy.
Or guilty. Or ashamed.
My feelings and comfort with another partner should not be blamed.

Women and girls have been roofie’d, drugged and abused,
But it happens so often that we are the ones accused.
“He was probably drunk”, “Surely you provoked him”,
This gender unfairness is just too grim.

Yes, I am a feminist.
Because every girl should know that rape is never her fault,
That they are never responsible for someone else’s disgusting assault.
And don’t you dare tell me to wear longer skirts and hide my skin,
Those twisted excuses belong nowhere but in the bin.

We’re not even able to call someone out on a sexist joke,
We’re just supposed to let our comebacks go up in smoke.
What kind of world has this become?
If girls can’t defend themselves and have to pretend they’re dumb.

Yes, I am a feminist.
Because the lack of gender equality is not yet considered a serious ‘issue’,
Poor little girls are just supposed to wipe their tears away with a tissue.
The fact that the discussion of feminism even continues today,
Should be a clear enough sign that gender equality is a long way away.

Yes, I am a feminist.
Because we deserve to live free from sexual assault,
From domestic violence and crimes because of gender’s fault.
Women and girls are human beings too,
So imagine the day when equality of the sexes is finally true.

Emilia Persson

Catcalling is not a compliment, it’s harassment.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a girl who has never been catcalled. It can happen anywhere, at any time, whether that be during the day or the night. “Catcalling” usually refers to the situation where a male whistles or yells at a female, in the hopes that the female will sleep with him. Now, if a guy whistles at you or yells at you in the middle of the street, “hey beautiful” or anything similar, it usually suggests that he thinks you’re good looking. But boys, let me tell you… this is not how you go about it.

Catcalling, or anything similar for that matter, is disgusting. It’s not a compliment, regardless of what your intentions are, because it’s simply just harassment. It’s extremely uncomfortable for us girls. And I guess now is the time to note that these are strictly my own opinions and perhaps there are girls out there who are flattered by someone who catcalls them. But this is how I see it: the mere name “catcalling”, suggests that we are subordinate to the man, and that we aren’t even human. We’re not dogs or any other animal who is willing to listen to any of your commands.

It’s offensive. It’s frightening. I shouldn’t have to feel like I’m being watched while I walk to school, or to the bus stop, or even just on my way home. If you catcall me, or any other girl, you’re not taking us seriously. It’s not okay for you to harass someone while they’re going about their own business. Harassment of any kind should not be tolerated.

It’s also humiliating. How could I ever consider a whistle to be a compliment? If you want to compliment me, then talk to me like a normal human being. But don’t invade my privacy, or go up to me with the intention of trying to have some kind of sexual encounter. Why can’t men just talk to women, without having the mere aim of undressing the woman at the next best available moment? I highly doubt that you honestly believe that all there is to us women is being able to have a sexual relationship with us. And if you do, well, then there are even bigger issues to consider here.

So don’t expect to us be flattered by your demeaning whistles, or your condescending comments about how “sexy” we look today. Keep it to yourselves, gentlemen. Women deserve the exact same respect as men do, so don’t ever assume that such harassment is considered to be a compliment. Ever. Continue reading

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,   
That’s me.
 
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.   
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
 
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
- Maya Angelou

Ambitious or just self-destructive?

Recently I’ve been living in this little bubble of unexpected irritability, continuous anxiety and just overall dissatisfaction. I’ve had strange outbursts of anger where I start raging about the smallest of things that have annoyed me throughout the day. Has it been worth it? Absolutely not. More than anything, it’s only made things worse. I’ve gotten into fights with my parents, clearly annoyed my friends and just made myself feel more miserable about how I react to situations. This has come out of nowhere and so I turned to my best friend google. Here’s a tip – never search for symptoms on google. It will, guaranteed, always tell you that you have cancer. Always. It makes no sense but nonetheless, it got me thinking. What is it that really has made me so irritable?

Expectations. I am so grateful that I have gotten the opportunity to be a part of the IB Diploma Programme. It such an amazing programme that will challenge you and really push you to do your best. Even if it causes you unbearable stress and unavoidable sleep deprivation, it is pretty great anyway. But I’ve gotten to the point where I am constantly aware of what my achievements and failures might do to my future choices. I am such a perfectionist, and I have this terribly disgusting competitive side. I will literally compete in almost every aspect of life possible. It is of course a good source of motivation and ambition, but it is also something that I have a difficult time controlling. I have recently, for example, started to compare my grades with everyone else in my class. I mean, I’ve been aware of my grades in comparison to others’ but now it has become increasingly more important to me. It shouldn’t be though. What I do is completely up to me, and what someone else might achieve has no effect on me or my own achievements. Basically, what I’m getting at is that I have really high expectations. I want to be the best at everything I do and yes, people call me an overachiever or a “try-hard”, but what is really so bad about that? I admire anyone who is ambitious and aims high whether it be in school, work or anything really. But the problem for me is that I have set almost unrealistic goals for myself and in a way, I have always thought that people around me also expect the same high standards of me too.

I am no genius. I’d like to think that I am, but no. A girl can dream though. I need to learn how to handle my stress, my expectations and my goals. Because when I fail to meet my unrealistically high expectations, I punish myself for it. I become so terribly disappointed in myself and I know, I am a harsh critic of myself. But moderation is unfortunately a word that has not yet been included in my vocabulary. A little bit of self-criticism is necessary, because narcissism will only get you so far. There is always room for improvement…. even if you’re Beyoncé.

So to conclude, I need be critical of myself and I need to push myself to do better but I need to find a balance. I’ve become so consumed by my studies and my academic achievements that I have sort of forgotten to enjoy myself. To be honest, I’d rather get a decent grade and be happy, rather than achieving the best and feeling miserable and absolutely shattered. Ambition shouldn’t make you feel more miserable about yourself, it should be a healthy form of motivation. I think there is a fine line between extreme ambition and self-destruction. In some cases, less is more.

POSITIVE THINKING! 

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Lots of love… ♡

Are you a feminist?

There are a few types of people in the world that make me so incredibly mad, and frankly I even hate some of them: murderers, rapists, homophobes, racists, child traffickers… you get the idea. But one thing that has really been bothering me lately is sexism.

‘Are you a feminist or what?’ Somehow, this question is supposed to be an insult. Calling someone a feminist would mean that they have short hair, hairy armpits, unshaved legs, and that it is in their best interest to destroy the male gender in order for women to radically take over the world…. Oh yes, of course, it must mean you’re a lesbian too.

WHAAAAAAAAAAT?! Since when does feminism entail that you have to be any of those things listed above? Surely, you can be all those things and still be a feminist, but that’s not what I am getting at.

I am so sick of hearing jokes like: ‘go make me a sandwich!’ and ‘go back to the kitchen where you belong’. It’s not funny, and despite them only being jokes, it still reflects a horrible reality. It’s time we stop telling ourselves that gender equality exists at all levels. It clearly doesn’t. Just by looking at the Western media we get a clear picture of what we think a woman should be like: ridiculously thin, impossibly beautiful and obviously, a man’s needs are always met first in any relationship.

First of all, the image of such ‘perfection’ doesn’t exist. Photoshop is the creator of what we call ‘beauty’ nowadays. So why is the media giving us an image of something that is just a myth? This brings me on to my second point: insecurity. Young girls and women lose their confidence, thinking that they can never reach such perfection. They shouldn’t have to! Of course men are also being misrepresented in for example media, but not to the same extents. Media is creating misconceptions about women and as a result, women don’t get as far in life as they perhaps could. Both because men think they’re incompetent and because women tell themselves they can never get there.

PMS or mood swings don’t make us incapable of taking on leadership roles. We’re not ‘hysterical’ just because we stand up for ourselves. Showing your emotions isn’t a sign of weakness. Not all women want to become models and work within the fields of fashion – we want to be able to work anywhere. Just because we might care about the way we dress or how we express ourselves, doesn’t mean we can’t do well in other fields as well. Not all women want to stay at home after they have given birth to a child. Do any of these stereotypes sound familiar?

From my own experience I know girls who tell themselves that they don’t care about the way the look, how much they weigh or what others might think of them. But recently, a lot of guys in my school have been using ask.fm. For those of you who have been living under a rock these past few months, ask.fm is a website where you can ask a person questions both anonymously or by keeping your name visible. It sounds harmless but a new “trend” has appeared. Anonymous people list different girls in the ask field, so that the person can rate them on a scale from 1 to 10, usually those answering these are boys. It makes me so frustrated that no one realises how incredibly stupid and selfish this is! Obviously, people who ask these “rate” questions want to find out whether the person thinks that they are ‘hot’ or ‘not’. What they don’t realise is that they’re bringing other people down with them – people who don’t want to be listed or want to find out whether that person thinks they’re good looking. It’s very superficial and perhaps what really makes me so pissed off is the fact that the people who get asked actually do rate the girls (and boys) listed. They don’t ignore the question, but they actually ANSWER IT! Of course it would be satisfying to see your name getting a higher score. But what about those people who unwillingly have been listed and then have to see on the internet, along with about a billion other people who can see it as well, that they’re not good looking based on a shitty little number. Excuse the word choice. Now this isn’t the perfect example of sexism, but it does show how small things in your daily life relate to the judgmental nature against women…. and some men too.

You shouldn’t have to be judged by your gender… or your ethnicity, or your sexuality for that matter.

So to answer the big question. Yes, I am a feminist.  Because I do believe in “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes”. For those of you who didn’t realise, but that’s the real definition of feminism. There are so many other issues that we still face in terms of sexism, big and small things. Why wouldn’t you want to ensure equality for yourself and others like you?

To end this, I’d like to quote Rebecca West, a woman who really got it right: “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” 

Lots of love!