This is a guest post written by Thomas from The Doubting Thomas. I love Tom’s writing style and the insight he has given us here! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments and check out his socials at the end.
Let’s be honest for a second.
We still live in a world where a lot of men out there in society think they pull rank over women.
It doesn’t matter whether that woman is successful or not, whether that woman is “famous” or not, a fair few men still seem to think that they have their place and women have theirs.
This is the sort of attitude that has been passed down from generation to generation and it’s not acceptable.
So off the back of that type of attitude, comes body shaming. Career-shaming. Personality–shaming.
It’s a horrible thing for any woman to have to go through.
Women can’t have cellulite without being told it’s unattractive or unappealing. Women can’t be police officers because some don’t think they’ll be able to handle it. Women can’t be sexually active or open about their sexual experiences without being ridiculed and labelled as a “slag”.
Women are defined by the size clothes they wear. How many times do we see a female celebrity on the cover of a trashy magazine being brandished as having put on weight as she’s gone into a size 12 or something similar? Why don’t we see male celebrities being scrutinised for going from a 32 to a 34 waist? Things just don’t work that way.
These are just some of the perceptions women are subjected to and let’s face it 99.9% of the time these perceptions are handed out by men.
Primarily, men who have lived through an era of knowing where they stand and where those around them stand.
We are somewhat more fortunate now to see so many great examples of women conquering so many different fields; but my knowledge suggests that hasn’t always been the case.
Typically, men used to be the ones to go out and win the bread, as it were, and have certain expectations when they came home. Kids bathed, house immaculate and dinner on the table. Already, with that, men have a feeling of superiority and I genuinely feel this is where this attitude is derived from. It gets passed down by people still living in the 20th century and the problem is with that nowadays is that there are so many more ways to voice your outdated “opinion”.
How often are women made the subject of sexist abuse or unwanted advances on social media?
How many times do we hear of cases of sexual harassment, stalking, even physical abuse?
I know it isn’t limited to only men being the aggressors, but let’s face the scales are very much leaning towards one direction.
I write like this and I rant like this because I am very wary of the future. I have two girls who will, unfortunately, be at risk of being subjected to behaviour like this; just because they’re girls. The kind of behaviour that is unwanted, unnecessary and uncalled for.
We live in a society where some areas are still worlds apart when it comes to gender equality. Whilst some companies make a conscious effort to promote women into powerful positions within their hierarchies, there’s an awful lot of work to do and so many are still potentially being left behind.
I want my daughters to know that almost anything is possible, as long as you are the one to make it happen. Sure, they are still young and they will still believe that there’s certain things that boys can do and certain things that girls can do. But I say quite nonchalantly to them that there are very few careers off limits for women, and I’m pleased to say that.
I just want them to feel like they can achieve it based on them.
NOT based on their gender.
NOT based on their size.
NOT based on their sexual preference.
Based on the person they will become.
I have no idea whether this ongoing issue will get better or worse. I just don’t know. You would hope that people’s eyes will be opened a bit more. People of my sort of age who have lived through such change and such transition will be able to pass on different kinds of views to their children, who will then pass them onto their children, and so the openness to equality expands.
I only hope it can go that way.
I hate reading about women being subjected to online abuse, derogatory sexist comments and physical violence.
We, as men, don’t have the right to do that.
We never did.
Men once upon a time might think they had the power, but they’ve never had the right. It’s time for us to keep changing and keep evolving.
I very much hope that change will come.
Visit The Doubting Thomas
Follow on Twitter