I knew these girls back in high school that used to brag about the number of guys they’ve fucked, and they talked about it way too loud with way too much excitement, because at the time I think that they thought that it actually mattered. And I was that bitter hater in the back of the class, thinking, “Wow. What sluts. I’m glad I spent my weekend reading Sedaris and drinking red wine by myself. I am so cultured and mature.” At the time, I honestly thought I was right.
It wasn’t until the Santa Barbara University shooting when I put some thought into what feminism actually was. Suddenly, my Twitter feed was bombarded with #YesAllWomen hashtags. There were links to think-pieces with titles like “Why Feminism is Relevant.” Within hours, the Internet had vomited up one of the country’s deepest and darkest secrets that has been swept under the rug for years: misogyny.
That’s a loaded word, to begin with. I think it’s easy to blame the land’s male-counterparts, simply because they are the oppressors. By definition, males are the reason this word exists. This is not a defense for males, by any means. There is a huge disconnect between the society we think exists and the true nature of society. Listen to any male talk about the hot girl at the bar. Pick up a Maxim Hot 100 magazine. We’ve created a culture of men who objectify women simply because we’ve given them the power to consider us all only at face-value.
Personally, I believe that I am strong enough to ignore the fact that many men will objectify me, pity me, write me off as incapable in a variety of skill sets and actions simply because I am a female. But what bothers me is that for every strong, confident women who is able to realize she is just as capable as any man that stands beside her, there are countless numbers of young girls and even grown women who will believe in everything that this society preaches. And I’m sorry, but ladies, we aren’t helping.
It’s just like Ms. Norbury said in Mean Girls: “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” In this misogynistic culture we’ve created by pinning women against women, it has put the power in man’s hands to believe that he can treat us in the same, degrading way we treat other women.
From here on out, I never want to see another article like this ever again. The fact that we categorize ourselves into boxes that aren’t meant to be broken out of is a main contributor as to why men view us that way, as well. No, you don’t have to chose between being a sex symbol, or a mother, or the CEO of a company. If you want to do it all, be my guest. I’ll be right there, cheering you on.
Words like “slut” and “bitch” and “hoe” might be some of the synonyms you’ll find for women in today’s modern music, but I am asking you, as a woman, to please think twice before you judge another woman for just doing what she wants. To this day, I would never find myself taking pulls of Captain from a water bottle and hooking up with some dude from the hockey team with those girls back in high school. But now, to them I say, “hell yeah.” If that’s what floats your boat at the end of the day, if that’s what makes you feel confident and sexy and fulfills your life, then I’m down. I’m not going to call you a “slut” or a “whore” if you’re proud of who you are and what you’re doing. You’re completely entitled to your own pursuit of happiness, and I am no better or worse of a person simply because I, personally, wouldn’t do the same.
So the next time I see a provocative picture of one of my girlfriends on Instagram, I’m going to refrain from playfully commenting, “looking good, you little whore!” Instead, I’ll hit her up with a “like” and acknowledge the acceptance of women in all shapes and forms: whether they want to flaunt what they’ve got, speak their mind, or just simply be who they are.
I still believe in #YesAllWomen. I still believe that feminism, in its most basic state, is a very relevant and pressing topic in today’s society. And I do believe that the glass ceiling still exists. One day, I want to be able to promise my daughter that it, indeed, has gotten better. I don’t know when or if that will happen, but I do know where it starts: with us. You and me, sister.