I am not a member of the She Woman Man Haters Club.
I am quite the opposite actually. I am a feminist if that means that I believe women and men are each entitled to all-around equal treatment in the workplace and society. Which just so happens to justify me as a flaming Feminist in the male dominated society in which we live.
I am a feminist because I know what it is like to have my opinions and thoughts completely disregarded simply because I don’t have a spare appendage hanging between my legs.
Mostly, I am a feminist because when I have daughters someday, I don’t want them to grow up believing that they are the inferior sex. That they are genetically weaker. I don’t want to see them enter into a workforce that still has the glass ceiling intact.
What some men fail to understand is that we do not want or expect any special treatment because we are women—not all of us are falsely entitled because of the simple fact that we have breasts. We don’t want an easy ride to the the top, we just want to be seen as an equal.
1. The Impossible Standard of Beauty.
From the time little girls begin taking interest in anything entertainment related, we experience having an impossible standard of beauty thrust upon us. From age three when our heroes are beautiful, slim, and perfectly sculpted Disney characters, to our preteen years where all the girls starring in our favorite TV shows somehow found a way to accelerate themselves straight through the awkward middle school stage. To becoming a grown woman and having to accept that society already has a grading rubric for what can be considered beautiful.
Everywhere women go, we are constantly reminded of what society considers beauty to be. We live in a society where we have sadly become accustomed to seeing the men in our lives worshiping other women’s bodies—and as a result, having unachievable ideals expected of us.
Don’t we deserve to live in a society where we can find the beauty in each woman’s individuality? A society that doesn’t need pounds of makeup and photoshop to make a magazine cover? A society where men and women are free to believe any woman is beautiful without having their imaginations constantly filled with photoshopped and airbrushed images that are unachievable to the everyday woman?
We deserve a society that supports individuality and realness.
2. Outer Beauty Overtaking Inner Beauty and Intelligence.
Understandably so—if a woman is aesthetically beautiful, that is the first attribute that will be noticed and appreciated. However, it seems that beauty tends to remain the only attribute that matters. Her intelligence and thoughtfulness take a passenger seat to her outward appearance. We deserve to live in a society that does not assume that we are stupid or vapid because someone finds us attractive, one where our intelligence is appreciated more than our bra size.
3. The Ideal That Intelligence is Dorky.
It is cliché, but beauty fades and society needs to realize this and urge women to push themselves intellectually. Why aren’t smart women recognized as being sexy? Why can’t many Americans tell us who Sappho, Marie Curie, Emily Dickinson, and Margaret Hamilton were? Because what they contributed to society did not involve sexualization. They didn’t do groundbreaking things like show their breasts or balance wine glasses on their asses—they just did things like writing Apollo 11’s source codes that got man to the moon.
Women and men deserve to live in a better society. A society that pushes women to push themselves. A society that admires intellectual women instead of scolding them by labeling them “dorks.”
4. Tirelessly Apologizing for Being Strong.
We are tired of apologizing for our strong qualities. If a man corrects another man, it is generally taken with a certain level of respect. However, when a woman corrects a man she is often labeled as a “bitch.” Just because we are smart and powerful does not make us bitchy. It does not make us “know-it-alls.” It makes us equals.
Women shouldn’t have to question their right to speak up in fear of the labels that will be cast. We are just as human and have just as much right to an opinion as men. We aren’t bitches—we are smart and opinionated women, and society desperately needs to learn the difference.
I resent aspects of womanhood in modern society because if I have children one day, I want them to grow up in a different kind of society, with different ideals than I have.
If I have a daughter I don’t want her to ever think that being pretty is enough. I want her to grow up in a society where she can choose any career field that she wants without fear of judgment. A society that promotes women’s intelligence rather than their bodies. I want my daughter to look up to women who are different than the ones I looked up to in my childhood. For her to be exposed to intelligent and driven women in power and women trying to make a difference rather than the new, Brittany Spears as an ideal, kind of society. A society that doesn’t support catcalling or derogatory forms of picking up women.
If I have a son I want him to live in a society where he respects women and does not gauge their worth on a “one to 10” scale based on aesthetic beauty. A society where he doesn’t have over-sexualized and photoshopped women shoved in his face—giving him impossible standards for his future wife.
I want to live in a society where, if I had a son and daughter, they would both grow up with the same opportunities and same level of respect.
Author: Emily Cutshaw
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: Wikimedia/Public Domain