Most girls are relentlessly told that we will be treated how we demand to be treated. If we want respect, we must respect ourselves.
This does three things. Firstly, it gets men off the hook for being held accountable for how they treat women. And secondly, it makes women feel that the mistreatment and sometimes outright violence they face due to their gender is primarily their fault. And thirdly, it positions women to be unable to speak out against sexism because we are made to believe any sexism we experience would not have happened if we had done something differently.
I cannot demand a man to respect me. No more than I can demand that anybody do anything. I can ask men to be nice to me. But chances are if I even have to ask he does not care to be nice. I can express displeasure when I’m not being respected. But that doesn’t solve the issue that I was disrespected in the first place.
I can choose to not deal with a man once he proves to be disrespectful and/or sexist. But even that does not solve the initial problem of the fact that I had to experience being disrespected in the first place.
As a young girl, I wish that instead of being told that I needed to demand respect from men that I had been told that when I am not respected by men that it’s his fault and not mine. But that would require that we quit having numerous arbitrary standards for what it means to be a “respectable” woman. It would mean that I am not judged as deserving violence based on how I speak, what I wear, what I do, and who I am.
Voltairine de Cleyre (via petitefeministe)
The best part of this essay is when she advocates for children to be brought up with no gender-role stereotyping, and gets in some not-so-subtle digs at heterocentricism and heterosexism in the process.
Did I mention this was written over a hundred years ago? Because it totally was.
"I think every woman at one point or another in their life has been called a bitch. For a long time I had a real problem with that word, I didn’t like it and I thought it was derogatory. But I’ve gotten to a place now where I’ve made a lot of peace with it. It’s been so overused and made to seem so derogatory towards woman that I’ve adapted it into an empowering feeling for myself. If I’m a bitch then I’m a bitch, if that’s what an assertive woman is to you. So I’ve sort of adapted it as a badge of honor."
Moto Hagio, from her interview with Matt Thorn
Hagio-sensei has expressed succinctly something I have felt for a long time—if you, as a female writer, create a male character who is cool and iconoclastic, then it is cool writing, and a cool character. But if that character is a female, you are self-aggrandizing, self-inserting, self-this, self-that, essentially, in that state of cardinal sin society finds most repellent in a female artist—a narcissist.
I think this sentiment is the reason many female writers make the iconoclastic, sarcastic, cool, etc, character male, even if they want it to be female—they might be accused of self-inserting and self-aggrandizing, or creating a Mary Sue—note, again, a feminine name in a society that defaults to masculine modifiers unless specified otherwise.
FUCK YOU if you think that street harassment is a “compliment” or “no big deal” or that it’s “irrational” of us to be afraid because “what’s actually gonna happen.” Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you some more.
This is terrorism.
I was asked in an interview once: You’re writing another book with a female lead? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to be pigeonholed? And I thought, I write a team superhero book, an uplifting solo hero book, I write a horror-western, and I write a ghost story. What am I gonna be pigeonholed as?
Has a man in the history of men ever been asked if he was going to be pigeonholed because he wrote two consecutive books with male leads? Half of the population is women. I lose my temper here. And it’s certainly not at you. It’s just this pervasive notion that “white male” is the default. And you have to justify any variation from it.
straight boys are weak and pathetic, queer girls walk into the ladies changing room and see ten women naked, do they stare? do they say something inappropriate? do they make them uncomfortable? no because they have the common fucking sense to recognise when a situation is sexual and that people deserve the most basic level of respect to not be harassed, yet here we are banning shorts and low cut tops in school because straight boys are weak and pathetic
okay i made this post this morning and it has since had eighty two thousand notes, it’s been featured on reddit, facebook, twitter i’ve been sent multiple death threats and messages that i don’t even want to describe
and i have to apologise
i’ve seen the error of my ways
straight boys are not ’weak and pathetic’
straight boys are weak, pathetic and fucking annoying
the stereotype that women talk more than men is infinitely amusing to me because men are literally incapable of shutting the fuck up
i hope this post gets popular enough that i hurt a man’s feelings
It’s not a stereotype it’s a proven fact you femanazi piece of shit.
lmao there it is
You wanna talk proven facts? This shit’s been done, son: researcher Dale Spencer in Australia used audio and video tape to independently evaluate who talked the most in mixed-gender university classroom discussions. Regardless of the gender ratio of the students, whether the instructor was deliberately trying to encourage female participation or not, men always talked more—whether the metric was minutes of talking or number of words spoken.
Moreover, men literally have no clue how much they talk. When Spencer asked students to evaluate their perception of who talked more in a given discussion, women were pretty accurate; but men perceived the discussion as being “equal” when women talked only 15% of the time, and the discussion as being dominated by women if they talked only 30% of the time.
Spencer’s conclusion, if I may parahprase: you only think we talk too much because you’d rather we were silent.
Don’t fuck with me, asshole, I’m a scientist.
As a sociologist, I think it is best to turn to the evidence: Do Asians face discrimination? The labor market is one of the best places to take this question because this is where many people believe Asians have reached parity with white Americans.
Asian Americans have among the highest earnings in the United States. In 2013, Asians’ median weekly earnings were $973, as compared to $799 for whites, $634 for blacks, and $572 for Latinos. It seems as if Asians do not experience discrimination. However, these aggregate numbers hide many disparities.
First of all, Asian men earned, on average, 40 percent more than Asian women. The gender gap between Asian men and women is the highest of any racial group. Secondly, these numbers hide the diversity within the Asian community: the 2000 U.S. Census reports Hmong women had an average weekly earnings of just $389 per week – putting them far below average. Whereas Chinese and Indian men earn more on average than white men, the opposite is true for Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Hmong men. In sum, some Asians earn more than whites, yet this is the case for only some nationalities – those that have, on average, higher levels of education.
Chinese and Indian Americans have higher educational attainment than their white male counterparts. This helps explain some of the earnings disparities.
Studies that take into account educational achievements find that Asian men earn less than their white male counterparts. Sociologists ChangHwan Kim and Arthur Sakamoto found that if you compare white men to Asian men with similar characteristics, the white men often earn more. In other words, if an Asian American man and a white man both live in New York, both went to selective universities, and both studied engineering, we could expect that the Asian American man would earn, on average, 8 percent less than the white man.
The fact that Asian Americans do not earn as much as white men with the same qualifications points to the fact that Asian Americans face labor market discrimination. In other words, there is a real monetary cost to being Asian American. Over the course of one’s career, this disparity can amount to significant amounts of money.
Labor market discrimination against Asians is not unique to the United States. A study conducted in Australia also uncovered labor market discrimination against Asians. Alison Booth and her colleagues conducted an audit study where they sent 4,000 fictitious job applications out for entry-level jobs, where they varied only the last name of the applicant – thereby signaling ethnicity.
The results were that the average callback rate for Anglo-Saxons was 35 percent. Applications with an Italian-sounding name received responses 32 percent of the time – with only a small statistically significant difference. The differences were starker for the other groups: indigenous applicants obtained an interview 26 percent of the time, Chinese applicants 21 percent of the time, and Middle Easterners 22 percent of the time. According to these findings, Anglo-Saxons would have to submit three job applications to have a decent shot at getting a callback whereas Chinese applicants can expect to submit five.
"Hashtag Sparks Discussion About Asian American Discrimination", Racism Review, 12/17/13
Besides the debunking of the “Asians don’t face discrimination in hiring, they show that Americans don’t see race and hire only by qualification” myth, note the massive wage gap between Asian men and women.
dear every white dude who has told me that “Asians have more power than white people” -
A girl in my creative writing class said this in response to a story we read about witnessing intimate partner violence and it really fucked with my head because I’ve never, ever, ever, thought of it that way. (via youngbadmanbrown)
yeah this is what my boyfriend doesnt get.
men and boys literally cannot seem to empathize with women (because i swear to god if melinda was a male character and everything else was the same the boys would not be asking that question)
not wearing makeup is one of the ways that psychologists determine if a woman is mentally healthy
Male police officers have arrested women for resisting their advances with no initial punishment (until activists spoke up)
and this is just what i can think of recently. There is so so so so so much more
A few months ago, I went to a big family gathering at my grandparents’s house and ran into a cousin of mine. She seemed much older than the last time I had seen her (oh, the passage of time), so I asked her what age she was. She replied, “Oh, I’m fifteen.” And my immediate reaction?
“Oh my god, I am so sorry.”
She laughed, which gives me a little bit of hope that maybe, for her, being fifteen isn’t a complete fucking nightmare. But I think she recognized what I was saying on some level. Fifteen is, without a shadow of a doubt, the worst age. Wait, maybe fourteen. Thirteen? Twelve was pretty bad, too. Fuck it, they all suck. Nothing summarizes being a young girl better than this simple quote from The Virgin Suicides: “You’re not even old enough to know how bad life gets.” “Obviously, Doctor, you’ve never been a thirteen-year-old girl.”
It’s amazing, really. I spent my entire childhood counting down the days until I could be a teenager. I planned everything out perfectly: I would go shopping with friends by myself downtown by fourteen, kissing cute boys by fifteen, losing my virginity by sixteen, driving a cute car by seventeen, and off to university to have even more amazing experiences at eighteen. My life would be a fucking commercial, starring me, my best friends, and Jordan Catalano. It was going to happen.
Until it didn’t.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually had a few of those things on my list. I drove a pretty bitchin’ baby blue VW Beetle and I did end up going to university. I’m luckier than most. But where were the boys? Where were the cute clothes? Who took my fantasy and dumped a steaming bag of hot garbage juice on it?
We sell this idea of what you’re life is going to be to young girls from the fucking get-go. To be fair, that’s advertising, right? Selling you the life you want, no matter the age? Well, unfortunately, little girls can’t see through the bullshit. We internalize all of it. And that’s what makes the hardships of being a teenage girl sting even more.
I was thrown into the pot of steaming dogshit pretty early. I was wearing a bra at nine, dealing with self loathing by ten, and by twelve, I was officially balls-deep in it. And it didn’t go away. Between twelve and (I’ll be generous and say) seventeen, all the garbage just kept circulating in my system. It would just evolve, or die down, only to flare up at the slightest irritation. That’s what being a teenage girl is: you’re full of poison. Mostly, you just poison yourself over and over again, but sometimes some of it leaks out of you and onto someone else.
At twelve, most girls understand real sadness. Twelve, though it seems so young to us now, felt really old at the time. By this point, you’ve already been told how to be, and realized that you’re not measuring up. By twelve, your skin is already shit, and your body is too flabby or your breasts haven’t come in yet. Worst of all, when you’re a girl, by twelve you’ve probably already been in a situation that made you feel threatened sexually. Let that sink in. From the top of my head, I can think of four moments in my life, before the age of twelve, when someone crossed a line with me. Four. This is not abnormal.
By thirteen, you’re already prepared to destroy yourself. When you’re a sad teenage girl, you try a lot of things out, see which ways work best for you. It’s like you can feel the poison bubbling under your skin, all the time. I recognized this in other girls. I could see them clawing at their skin, lashing out at others, trying everything they could possibly dream up. So they cut themselves, make themselves sick, scream at their mothers, smoke, drink, send pictures to the wrong person, do things they might not want to do. Because literally anything, anything that might make things go away for five minutes, is worth it.
By fourteen, I felt like a veteran. In my mind, I had seen some shit, man. I had felt some fucking feelings. And honestly, I thought things were getting better. I was still a bit broken from things that had happen in middle school, but hey, this is high school! I had been dreaming about this forever! It has to be better, right?
At fifteen, the optimism in me had died. I woke up every day with an anchor on my chest. I went from a solid B student to barely passing. I wouldn’t go out with friends, because suddenly they were branching out, meeting new people, and I didn’t know how to handle that. My lifelong fear of men really didn’t do me any favors with boys. When you flinch every time they move a hand too quickly, and find it nearly impossible to look them in the eye without wanting to throw up, you don’t get asked out much. My mother didn’t know what to do with me, so I would spend all day, every day, locked in my room. University? Fuck no, man. I could barely get my ass out of bed as a basic daily requirement, how could I possibly want to continue my education?
Sixteen was… different. Good and bad. I had woken up from the dead, but it’s not like things just go away. I was doing well in school, I started thinking about university again, and I even hung out with friends sometimes. But things were not great internally. I gave myself over to some extremely unhealthy behavior, which went completely unnoticed. Whatever. It’s still kind of a blur to me. What can I say? I’m an almost adult, I’m allowed to not have everything figured out.
And then, like the rising sun, seventeen happened. I got better. I worked harder. I had a goal, and I was rising to the challenge. I actually enjoyed school, and sometimes, I even went to parties (and had a little bit of fun!). I gained enough control over my unhealthier behavior to start healing, even if the process has been painfully slow. I finally understood what it was like to wake up and be okay. I graduated high school and went off to the university of my choice. Not happily ever after, but I’ll save that for another time.
Now, if you’re still reading, you might be confused. Why am I listing off all the crappy shit I felt between the ages of twelve and seventeen? If you hated being a teenage girl so much, why do you love them?
Because even with every single fucking thing a teenage girl has to deal with, they still manage to do something so mind blowing, yet completely simple: love, unabashedly.
You know those girls everyone loves to shit all over? The ones who really fucking love something? Those girls, man. They take all that energy, all that circulating fire in their veins, and instead of letting it destroy them, they choose to love, ferociously. Be it a band, or a book, or a series of films. They do it to keep themselves sane, and yet we mock them for it. Teenage girls find a buoy for themselves in the sea of emotional ruin, and they hold on tighter than anyone else.
One of the most popular ways people like to hate teenage girls is to complain about their “insane” crushes on boy band members. Now, let me fucking tell you something: those big dumb crushes are what helps a teenage girl develop her sexuality in a safe environment that she can control. In her world, she can listen to One Direction and hear all these songs about how great she is, and how much these cute non-threatening boys want to make her feel special. Why is this so important? Because no one is pushing them. There’s no fourteen year old boy shoving his clammy hands down your shirt without your consent. These fantasy boys are not convincing a girl to send naked pictures, only to show all their friends and call her a slut. In the fantasy land of boy bands, the girl has all the power. And we need to stop judging them for wanting to escape into that.
I love teenage girls because even if they hate themselves, they love other people. I remember how I felt, seeing other girls go through what I was going through. It ruined me. I wanted so desperately to help them out of the muck, but when you’re submerged yourself, there’s not a lot you can do. Teenage girls understand, and they want to make sure no one else feels the way they do. I see it on websites like Tumblr all the time. It’s fucking beautiful.
I love teenage girls because society loves to blame them for everything. The self-obsessed teenage girl is always the face of the “problem” with youth today. Apparently, these superficial teenage girls who love their iPhones too much are the issue. Not, you know, the people conditioning them to believe that their worth is tied to how many Likes they got on their last selfie. No, you’re right, let’s focus on the girls who post on Facebook too much. Great.
I’m in film school now, so often I get asked, “What kind of work do you want to make?” Usually, I don’t have an answer. Good work, I guess? But thinking about it, I know what I want to do: I want to make movies for teenage girls. Stories about teenage girls with agency, who rebel, who take all that energy and channel it into something, even if it’s not necessarily positive. I want to represent the girls I love so much. Because I have been one of those girls, and I will always carry a part of that with me.
So just try and talk shit about teenage girls around me. Just fucking try it.