The night the hashtag #YesAllWomen began I had gotten home around 2 and I was in bed on Twitter like a normal human being would do after a night of friends and bad beer. I saw the hashtag and was confused. I clicked on the hashtag and I immediately started to feel a fire in my chest—a good fire, the kind of fire you feel when you know something incredible is happening.
Going through that thread made me feel solidarity with every female on there. As a female it never crossed my mind that men don’t understand how it feels to go out at night alone, which is sad because that just illuminates that I think its normal to stick my keys in my hands like a weapon when I walk to my truck. I never thought about this being such a huge issue for females because it’s a part of everyday life. That’s not OK.
It’s also very sobering to think I’m one of the lucky ones because I’ve only been groped and not raped or worse. I always make jokes when I’m uncomfortable and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to make light of the fact that some guy approached me while pumping gas or while I was out with friends. I love attention as much as the next lonely girl, but being told you’re "fine as fuck" isn’t the attention I want. Just the other day while I was riding my bike ALONE, I had roofers whistle at me and I snapped and started screaming about how unsafe they made me feel with a bunch of F-bombs in between. And all one guy said was, "I just wanted to say, ‘Hi.’"
That’s not how to do it. The amount of times I’ve been inappropriately touched, yelled at, hollered at, and made to feel inferior to men is sickening. I have two nephews who are 8 and 10 and I find myself every day telling them "We don’t hit girls," "We don’t talk about girls’ looks," and "We make every girl feel special" and that thread made me realize I’m projecting how I wanted to be treated growing up, and even now, onto them. I’m getting worked up now thinking about how hard I will kick those boys in the ass if they ever hurt a girl in any way, physically or mentally, when they grow up. This isn’t about special treatment for the "fairer sex"; it’s about not treating women like we’re just a piece of meat. I’m 23 years old and my mom would burn the town down to stop me from going out at night. My dad still to this day will drop whatever he’s doing to go with me to Hobby Lobby if it’s dark outside, and my dad hates Hobby Lobby more than I hate spiders and the Kardashians combined.
I’m tiny—only 5’1". So it’s needless to say that I’m always looking over my shoulder when I go to Walmart past 8. I shouldn’t have to feel that way!
I shouldn’t have to think about getting my concealed handgun license for safety when guns are on my shit list.
I shouldn’t have to worry about leaving my drink at a bar when I go to the bathroom.
I shouldn’t have to worry about being touched inappropriately without my consent.
I shouldn’t have to worry about going out with my girlfriends and being on bodyguard duty when one of us decides tequila shots are a good idea.
I shouldn’t have to feel unsafe when I’m alone at any given moment.
WOMEN SHOULDN’T HAVE TO FEEL THIS WAY.
Believing a woman should be submissive to her husband…you’re part of the problem.
Believing a girl’s outfit is her "asking for it"…you’re part of the problem.
Believing that a girl can’t do a job as good as a man…you’re part of the problem.
Believing a guy should keep "his woman" in check…you’re part of the problem.
Believing that a woman shouldn’t get paid as much a man…you’re part of the problem .
Believing a woman shouldn’t speak up for herself in the workplace, relationship, and/or in life…YOU’RE PART OF THE FUCKING PROBLEM.
This is more than us women bitching about inequality. That’s not the point—it’s about not wanting to have the burden of always feeling unsafe, feeling like being raped is our fault, and feeling inferior to men. The feeling of being unsafe has become a part of my everyday life, and according to that hashtag I’m certainly not the only one. The men who are shaming all the females getting in on the hashtag—YOU ARE THE MOTHERFUCKING PROBLEM.
Males: All I’m asking is that you read the hashtag and try to understand for a second what it’s like to be a female. And try to help the situation. Females: It’s not your fault.
I don’t know how to change the world, but I can tell you the #YesAllWomen hashtag is a start and should be required reading for everyone. Who do we call about turning those tweets into a textbook—a free one, not like the ones in college that I have to sell my kidney to afford?