14 Things That Are NOT Okay

1. A teacher making sexist jokes because all but one student in the class is male
2. Students sexually harassing other students in the hallways
3. The victims of [2] reporting this to their school and having NOTHING done about it
4. Having a debate in class about women’s rights and allowing boys to make sexist jokes about the girls pointing out ongoing inequalities
5. Teachers witnessing sexual harassment and not saying anything
6. Constant jokes about women belonging in the kitchen
7. People saying a girl deserved for something to happen to her because of how she was dressed.

And that’s just my high school. That’s just this semester.

8. Asking the question “Who would you rape” on a fraternity survey
9. Girls being made afraid to tell their stories
10. Girls being driven out of the fields they want to work in in favor of more supportive environments
11. A girl being told it wasn’t really rape, just her having second thoughts
12. Victims being told to “get over it”
13. The government failing to intervene in cases of domestic abuse because they are “domestic issues”
14. As Hayley previously discussed, people using date rape drugs as part of jokes/games

And after all of that, there are still people who want to look me in the eye and tell me that women are treated equally? That there’s no discrimination? Because when my sister’s government teacher brought up the issue of women’s equality today, that WAS the response of one girl in the class-~-in a class where the boys, upon the girls mentioning that there is still de facto discrimination in society, immediately responded that maybe those girls belonged in the kitchen.

Send us your examples of things that are NOT right at RadicalButLogical@gmail.com. Tell the stories. Now is as good a time as any.

When people make racist jokes, someone will usually point out the problem. But when that joke is sexist, or homophobic, no one says anything. Why? Why is okay to make a crack about me being a woman but not about my friend being black? Either way, it’s offensive. We’re just more sensitive to certain groups’ feelings than others.

WAKE UP. I know not everyone has gotten to study gender issues from an academic perspective, but you hardly need a women’s studies degree to look at that list and know that there is something WRONG here. There is nothing funny about sexism, date rape, sexual harassment, or slut-shaming. It’s not amusing to us, America. The joke has been over for a long time.

Ladies, don’t let them convinced you that just because legally we have all the same rights as men we’re totally equal. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be, but I am saying, we’re not. There is a big difference between HAVING rights and being able to ACCESS those rights. And I have two words for anyone who thinks that we’re totally able to access our rights: rape culture. You think we truly have the same sexual citizenship as men in a society that blames women for the actions men take? You think we truly have the same rights when women are “sluts” for having multiple sexual partners but men are just practicing masculinity?

Here’s the thing: it’s pretty clear to someone that they shouldn’t be walked all over just because of the color of their skin or the religious symbol they wear. But women are socialized to accept other people’s crap, to take care of them, to put others first…and somehow, we’re finishing last because of it. Women are still being paid less for the same jobs or pushed into lower-paying positions. Women are still seen as bad mothers if they put their careers first, because their first duty is to their kids while MEN can work all they want with no social consequences. Women still bear a disproportionate burden of domestic duties in addition to their paid jobs.

But hey guys, it’s cool. We’re all equal here. Now would someone mind getting me a sandwich?

Look, I know that equality is a long and difficult battle, but unless women realize that the fight isn’t over, there is no way anyone is going to win. And I don’t WANT my daughters to grow up in a world where people think they deserved to be raped because they were wearing short skirts. I don’t want them to grow up in a world where people tell them they should be teachers or nurses instead of politicians or neurosurgeons. I don’t want them to have guys make comments about their bodies that make them uncomfortable at school, and have their teachers do nothing, the way MY teachers did nothing.

I don’t ever want them to be told they belong in the kitchen instead of a lab, or office, or wherever else they want to be.

We DESERVE better. We’re just not demanding better, because we think that this is as good as it can get.

Here’s a radical idea for you: if we aren’t actually equal, we better keep working until we are, because no one is going to fight that fight for us. They’ll be too busy asking us to get them a beer.


~ by Randi Saunders on December 21, 2011.

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