I was scrolling through Facebook one day, just minding my own business, when I saw this post that really riled me up. It was from a Christian gentleman who was, out of the goodness of his heart, giving advice to women regarding how they should and/or should not dress. He talked about how men view women who wear clothes that show ‘too much’. Apparently, men will disrespect you and will not love you. They will simply use you for their own carnal pleasure and would never consider taking you as a wife. I’m paraphrasing, of course, because I don’t want to share the entire post here. I was overwhelmed by the number of men I saw commenting and agreeing with his sentiments. And, as a woman, I was offended.
All my life I’ve been a very humble, somewhat timid, person. When I was about ten years old, some boys in my class decided that they wanted to assert their masculinity (Yes, I’m talking about 10-year-old boys here) by bullying a few of the shy/timid girls in our class. They used to slap us often and threatened that if we told on them, they would do worse. At times, they even made us do things for them like their homework. I remember one time, we had a test for music class. My desk mate hadn’t studied, so he forced me to let him copy my work. The problem is, I didn’t really know all the answers. When our teacher graded our tests, he noticed that we had all the same answers and knew something was going in. He called us aside and asked us to fess up and say who had copied who’s paper. For fear of having my desk mate do something bad to me, I lied and said that it was me who had copied his work. I could tell the teacher didn’t believe me, but I stuck to my story.
After several weeks of putting up with this, we decided that we had had enough and went to a teacher. The boys responsible were disciplined thoroughly and were instructed to apologize to us. They said sorry, and we forgave them. In fact, I have encountered some of them recently (somewhat) and there are no hard feelings. I write this story because, as I mentioned in my “Becoming a Feminist” post, I’ve been thinking about gender equality issues a lot lately.
I think that, for generations, we (women) have allowed men to treat us as second-rate humans to the extent that they think they can, without even knowing what it really means to be a woman, dictate how we live our lives; How we dress, where and/or how we work, the roles we should fill in the home, and so on. Like I did when I was ten, we have let men intimidate us into thinking that they have some kind of power over us. While I am not the same timid little girl I was in Primary School, I find that I sometimes have the tendency to think of men as “better”, in some ways, than women.
As I am growing into myself and discovering who I am as a woman, I’ve had to actively remind myself that I am of equal value. I’ve also realized that if I want things to change, I am going to have to be more vocal about it. Which is why, as much as I try to avoid participating in controversial topics on social media, I had to call this nice gentleman out. I will continue to so do as God enable me.
“I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!”