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Girl Power

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the war on women.  Politicians are trying to legislate our lady bits.  The media is trying to pit us against one another.  Judge Mathis is looking out for us, helpless as we are.  There is, without a doubt, a war on women.  Society’s attitude towards women is moving backwards and it’s infuriating, frustrating and sad.  The days of girl power full speed ahead with the Spice Girls at the helm are long behind us.

We’ve been waging this war for decades.  There is a belief that women have achieved equality.  That’s all a lot of hooey.  We’ve made great strides, to be sure, but we haven’t won anything.  I do not know one single woman who hasn’t been harassed in some way at work.  I don’t know any women who haven’t had to prove themselves twice over to reach the same status as a man.  I don’t know any women who haven’t, at some point, in some situation, been called honey, sweetheart or baby by a stranger.  Every woman I know has to try harder, move faster and shout louder than any man in order to reach the same goals.

I’m an “is-what-it-is” kind of person, so I just always roll with it and adjust as necessary.  But in the midst of all the news about the war on women, I can’t help but think that this is not new.  This is just a new battle, if you will.  It’s ugly and unacceptable, but it’s just a new face on the same fear, resentment and condescension that women live with every day.  Sexism is alive and well and insidious enough to be overlooked.  And so, since women are equal, maybe it’s okay to refuse payment for birth control.  Perhaps they don’t need any medical leave from work after they bring a new human into the world.  Maybe we don’t really need to worry about whether they’re getting equal pay for equal work.  Maybe they haven’t even earned respect.  Probably the government should just make all their choices for them, those fragile women.

This is what it’s like to be a woman in 2012.

  • Men excuse themselves if they swear in front of you.  Even if you have just dropped an f-bomb yourself.
  • You can expect to earn eighty cents for every dollar a man in your position makes.  No matter how much harder you work or how good you are.
  • You will be vilified if you are a working mom or if you are a stay at home mom.
  • You will be labeled if you choose not to have children or not to marry.
  • You will be asked if “you can handle it” if you are in a difficult situation.
  • Compliments will be accompanied by uncomfortable and inappropriate innuendo.
  • If you make a mistake, you will be forever labeled dumb and/or uninformed.
  • If you are kind, you are too soft.  If you are firm, you are a bitch.
  • You will be judged harshly and watched relentlessly.
  • Even if you juggle a job, a family, doctor visits, soccer practice, meal planning, bill paying and homework, all in your heels, you are still considered “less”.  Less valuable, less worthy, less important.

Shame on you, America.  Shame on you for putting women into this position and then scratching your head when we say we’re not equal.  This, by no stretch, applies to all people.  I know a great many individuals who value and appreciate women.  I know just as many who do not, and, in the year 2012, that horrifies and saddens me.  I honestly don’t want to fritter away my life worrying about what I do not have because of my gender, or how things are hard for me, as a woman.  But the fact is that it is harder for women.  We have to ask for respect, even when we have earned it.  We have to demand to be taken seriously.  These are the things that men tend to take for granted.

I just want to say this, and let no one mistake it.  It is not fair.  It is not equal.  And if you dare to take away what little we have gained, you may rest assured that we will fight like girls.

  1. July 12, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I agree especially with the damned if you do damned if you don’t mommy situation of staying at home or working and the not having children thing. Would anyone think to ask a man why he never chose to marry or have children? Nope, he’s just a playboy. And, I hate how we war each other over the mother situation. It’s really ridiculous.

    • July 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      Yes, yes! It’s bad enough that society turned on us, it is the worst when we turn on each other. Also, I wonder how politicians would get along if they started making laws about circumcision…hmmm…. Thanks for commenting!

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