I've always been a feminist. I've mentioned this before and to me it's as natural as breathing. It's a part of me, it always has been.
But still I find myself shocked and appaled at the examples streaming in through the Everyday Sexism project's twitter account. It makes me realise that in spite of my firm belief in the need for feminism, in spite of gender studies and reading book after book on the subject I've become numb to the little things which happens everyday. Maybe it's because I used to work in a bar. Heck, maybe it's because I was once a teenage girl and the sexist, violent and often abusive comments raining down on you in the school corridors and at parties made me think that it was NORMAL.
It's not fucking normal guys. IT'S HORRENDOUS.
To be honest I'm so angry I can't even think straight.
When I was working as a barmaid I once had a customer advicing me that I should "earn my tips on my knees". And when I reacted with a death-stare he had the nerve to feel insulted. Apparently I should learn how to deal with the "banter".
I wish this was an isolated incident, but it's not. Working in the hospitality industry you have to develop thick skin, because you essentially turn into a piece of meat. I have had customers grab me, comment loudly on my boobs, slap my ass, try to pull me down onto their lap.
At this is just at work. Outside of work I've once had to physically KICK a drunk man out of a cab after he didn't appreciate that my friend turned down his advances. He spat at us, called us whores, threatened with violence. Funny, really, how NOT WANTING TO HAVE SEX WITH HIM turned us into whores.
No. It's not funny. It's sad. And why is it still like this? Why is there still people who claim that feministm isn't needed, that we live in an equal society? Who say that maybe women should just learn how to ignore it, laugh it off?
I don't want to laugh, I want to punch someone in the face.
I was raised to believe in myself. My parents did a prettty good job. But still, I was also told to ignore the comments, to avoid confrontation, no not walk home alone after dark, to not get too drunk around boys at parties.
How come we raise girls to avoid situations where they could get abused and raped, instead of raising boys who WON'T RAPE? I can't imagine any of my male friends or relatives ever doing anything as degrading, soul crushing, violent and horrid as that, but to be honest, the Steubenville trials really did decrease my faith in humanity.
I'm sick and tired of it. I'm fed up with being numb and with trying to laugh it off. It's not banter. It's sexism. I'm sick of a legal system which puts the rape victim on trial, and not the accused. I'm sick of it all. And I still, really, really, really want to punch someone in the face.
But I was raised bettert than that. So I suppose I will just have to channel my rage into something more productive than my right fist.