I had a conversation with a friend of mine a while ago and he said- “Sexism is no longer a thing, it’s just something we joke about, you know?” and I felt extremely offended. But instead of getting angry I asked him why he thought that it’s no longer a thing.
“I don’t know, just common sense?”
Growing up, my parents gave me all the opportunities other people gave their children and much more. I got to choose my religion, my fashion, my friends and my lifestyle, I could choose whatever I felt most comfortable with. But my parents were rare, most of my friends had to dress a certain way, do a certain sport or have specific hobbies just because they were girls. I am 100% sure that most of their parents didn’t mean to force them into anything, that all they tried to do was protect them from bullies and people that still believe that just because I was born a girl, I am worth less than if I were to have been born a boy. But that is exactly what they did wrong- they were discriminating their own children because of their gender- and in the process they created a bunch of sexists.
If you grow up being told that pink, fluffy, cute and ballet is for girls, and blue, tough, messy and football is for boys then it’s only a matter of time before you actually start to believe it.
My parents might have been really open and accepting- some people in my family certainly weren’t. As soon as I turned into a “woman” physically a lot of sexist and discriminating comments were made at family gatherings, comments that certainly are not okay. I do not want to go into detail, but there’s things that I can’t even write out on my blog without being overwhelmed with disgust and shame and I have yet to speak to a girl that never had to deal with this kind of discrimination.
How can anyone think they have the right to tell someone what they can and can’t do, because of something they were born with?
Sexism is still very present in our current society, slightly less in corporations, religion and politics- more inside family homes and schools. Places where we should feel safe, places where we develop our sense of self worth.
I reached out to you on Twitter to collect some examples showing that there’s still girls and boys being discriminated because of their gender:
“I got sent home from school because I had a tank top on showing my shoulders- while there were boys walking around topless around me (they were not sent home).”
“I couldn’t go to university but my twin brother could, because I’m a girl and ‘you don’t need a degree for raising kids.’ ”
“My teacher laughed at me when I was 7 years old : I said I wanted to become a nurse when I grew up. It was ‘funny’, because I’m a boy.”
“I told my grandparents I didn’t want any kids, they spat at me and said that having kids is my only duty as a woman.”
“Feminism is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke’; it means you believe in equality.” – Kate Nash, singer
“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.” – Rebecca West, writer
I apologise for this rant- I just needed to get it out of my system.