Monday, 6 April 2015

Let's Talk About Oppression

In the world, there are, of course, many different types of oppression. To be oppressed is to be limited- probably by a "stronger" force. In slavery, black people were oppressed by white people. Yet, this oppression has not been obliterated yet. Gay people have been historically oppressed- they still are experiencing this. Women have experienced having a lack of opportunity and other such horrible things because of their gender. Once again, this hasn't yet disappeared (although I could never deny its improvement- not that we should be thankful for something that should not exist anyway).

Equality is an issue very close to my heart. An issue I have often spoken about in relation to gay rights, but today, I am going to talk about it in the way of feminism. I'm not sure about what kind of things yet- it's one of those, "let's let out all of my thoughts" posts.

Everyday we experience different things- whether that's from going to work or school, or staying at home or popping to the shops. We encounter different situations and maybe people with views or expressions that create ugly scenarios. And they may not even be caught out on it.

The word feminism, I have spoken about before, has some connotations that infuriate me. I have been guilty of these connotations myself. And I had no reason why. Some hear feminism and immediately the word is tuned out by unjust and wrong views of anyone who considers themselves a "feminist." This is naturally something that needs to improve about this gender equality thing- we can try, but a lot of equality is going to be held back if we can't approve of the basics. The basics being: Feminism is cool.

I was thinking about how I personally have come across sexism. Sometimes it's not immediately obvious. And this is bad. These sexist moments aren't immediately named as "sexist" because it's a little forgotten- old-fashioned. At least, I believe that. After all, all throughout my school years, a boy (or a girl) saying "Make me a sandwich" when implying a women's place is in the kitchen, was acceptable. We assumed (and I'm sure most of the time, we assumed correctly) that this phrase was used without prejudice. We laughed along. And although it isn't my strongest argument, this is a bit silly, isn't it? I can't quite fathom my thoughts on this phrase, but I do seek to.

Back to my sexist experiences.I think there are still assumptions about what makes one "feminine" or "masculine." I really do know that the person I encountered that made me think this thought again had no sexist implications when he said what he said. Not even accidentally. It's just what was implied with what he said. We were talking about exercise and a friend was surprised to hear I could run as far as I could run after he asked. He wasn't surprised in a harsh way, but it struck a chord with me. In a speech Emma Watson made (which you can read more about HERE), she spoke of how her female friends would stop certain sports they loved in fear of having "masculine" appearances. Running is something I have always been proud to be good at- and it's not something I intend to give up. It's not something that should define my gender.

When I hit eighteen and I would go out at night to a club, I witnessed sexism even more. One moment I experienced recently. A guy was obviously "interested" in my friend. She made it clear - very politely - that she was not "interested." The guy was persistent and it was uncomfortable. The message my friend was sending was clear- and even if it wasn't, it doesn't excuse such ugly persistence. My friend moved herself closer to her boyfriend, trying to make the point clearer, while her boyfriend was naturally uncomfortable too. This guy finally got the message when the girl moved so far away from the guy in such a panic that she fell. Not cool.

Girls aren't necessarily out to impress guys. We're not necessarily at nightclubs trying to get the attention of guys or anything of the sort. A girl dancing could just be that: A girl dancing.

Gender equality very much so needs to focus on the inequality relating to girls and boys. This post is focused on girls and women, but the issue of inequality in relation to boys must not be ignored!

Fairy Dust & Parma Violets,

The Girl in the Moonlight.


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