Sunday, 9 March 2014

Let's Talk About SEX(ism)

Image Source: Madison Reid

Things are getting serious on the blog today, but please do not see that as a reason to not read on. However, if you are triggered by mentions of sexual assault or sexism then discretion is advised.
I have something really important to share to you all.

I wanted to write an absolutely fantastic piece for International Women's Day which was celebrated this week. The truth is that there are no words that can adequately sum up the international plight of the female sex. Domestic abuse, forced marriage, sexual abuse; these are just a select few of the atrocities that women are faced with. Now before you say anything, I recognise that these are hardships that any gender can encounter, and that is disgusting. The sad truth, however, is that women have been oppressed in a way that men haven't. Though I do realise that this often adds a stigma to men expressing that they have been a victim of sexism, which can be extremely difficult.

It's tough to sum up both the international struggles of women alongside the ones that are closer to home, which both still exist today (for some more examples I encourage you to check out Everyday Sexism). Many people fail to recognise that despite legislation in the UK, people who experience sexism are often not as protected as we would like to think. For example, if a woman is raped she is often asked about what she was wearing, drinking or doing and if it warranted the attack, even by the police. Plus, laws regarding rape do not legally recognise that the attacker could be any gender other than male, which of course is not true.

I like to think that in the future we will reach gender equality; look at the achievements of the last century. Women in the UK now have the right to vote, the right to fight for their country and the right to equal pay. As I keep mentioning though, I do not believe that this is solely a woman's battle. I believe that to reach gender equality we need to stop seeing gender as a 'man vs woman' affair. Men can be victims as well as women, and genders besides male/female exist too (e.g. transgender). Personally, I have found that feminism is the best way to sum up my beliefs.

Feminists come in all shapes and sizes with a range of beliefs, but this is the definition of feminism in its simplest form. I personally believe in a feminism where nobody is excluded, regardless of their gender. I do not hate men. I have been in a happy relationship with one of them for the past year and a half. However I do wear a bra and I do shave my legs, but if I meet somebody that chooses not to, that's OK too because it's their choice.

As far as I'm concerned that's what it really comes down to; we should all have the right to a choice. You can choose to wear a burka, bikini or basketball shorts. You can choose to be a housewife/husband, a high-flying businessperson or a fast-food server. You can have safe. consentual sex with a hundred people or remain a virgin until your death.
Everybody should have the ability to make that choice themselves. I know it's idealistic, but nobody ever got anywhere without an ideology.

This post hasn't been easy to write, but I think it's the most important one that I've written so far. I suppose I thought that it was time to use my voice for something that can really change the world. I don't know exactly how, and I don't have the answers, but if you have something worth saying then I think that it's important to shout it from the rooftops. Or computer screen.

What are your personal views on gender equality?
Please be kind to each other in the comments.

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Albertine said...

Well done you! This is so bloody well written, and basically sums up exactly how I feel about sexism too. xx

Emily said...

Thank you so much Albertine, you have no idea how much that means to me.
I was nervous about the post getting my point across properly so it's really nice to have some support :) xx

Suzie~The Xenca Way said...

Brilliant post, - sums it up beautifully and comes across perfectly - Not an easy topic - Well Done x

BigMummah said...

Great post xxx :)

Emily said...

Thank you, it is tricky getting your post across effectively on tough topics like this! x

Emily said...

Thanks :) xx

Naaj Rona said...

Emily, I applaud you, this post is beautifully written. I felt that you were actually talking to me face to face when i was reading the post, the tone of voice used is perfect, it shines through.

I have suffered abuse myself and to talk about it is the most difficult thing ever. I feel like my heart has been stabbed every time i talk about it. It is not easy for women but i completely agree how difficult it must be for men.

Every women should have the right to express themselves and do what makes them happy. It must have been so tough to write this post but you have done an excellent job and should be proud of yourself xx

Emily said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comment Naaj.
I think that talking about any sort of abuse can be extremely traumatic, and healing can be a life long process. You come across as a very confident woman, so I think that it's wonderful that you don't let it rule you.

Thanks for commenting :) x