strong as a suffragette

I am grateful for campaigns that aim to teach the masses that it’s wrong to prey on other people simply because you can, be it because of social status, mental capacity and reasoning or physical ability. However, the message is still too slow to spread. As I was reading the blog of this very brave woman who has chosen not to remain silent, I am struck by the fact that we women (and girls) have to constantly have a recording running through our heads, and that is, “What can I do to not be attacked?” With what happened to the suffragettes, they had to be aware that simply demanding the right to vote would result in verbal slander, humiliation, beatings and rapes. It was their punishment for being female and wanting to vote. In the present day, we women still have to think about what we can “handle” when we go out into the world – can we handle being verbally assaulted, humiliated, raped or beaten?

Really, the question should be, “Why do we teach men and women that it’s a woman’s fault for being verbally and/or physically assaulted?” If she just would have stayed silent, if she just would have found a man to walk with her, if she just would have stayed inside when it started getting dark, if she just would have had water to drink instead of a cocktail, if she just would have smiled at that man, if she just would have NOT smiled at that man, if she just would have carried a gun, if she would have just taken self-defense classes, if she would just not gone to school…well, the list goes on and on. But where is the recording for those that carry out these acts of violence against women?

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3 thoughts on “strong as a suffragette

  1. The weirdest part of being constantly aware of physical vulnerability in public places is that you get used to it. We aren’t even aware that its bizarro until someone points it out.

    I was in my thirties when I read an article about it – about how women are always thinking in a parking garage about keeping a key between our fingers, about the man getting out of his car, about how we will cross an empty street to avoid a strange looking man approaching us. We think that is normal. I was TAUGHT to do those things. I was proud of being proactively DEFENSIVE.

    It never once crossed my mind that we have created a society where victimized women is normal. Where no one was chastising the men for harassment but telling the women to wear less revealing clothing. Where a woman who considers calling the police after her rape is facing months or years of defending her own behavior in the rape.

    It never even occurred to me that this situation was wrong. It was just normal so I didn’t really question it. But sometimes normal isn’t good or right. Its just crazy. And we need people to shout that out so we can recognize it. So it changes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!! It’s exhausting to always be on the defensive. I often have to explain to male counterparts why I do or don’t do certain things, just to avoid being assaulted. Men can still move freely through society much more than women can. It’s also deeply disturbing to me that there’s this “meninist” movement with boys age 13-24 who claim that they oppose being “discriminated against” simply because they are male, when in actuality they simply don’t like being called out on their bad behavior. Already we have failed them. Their parents and their peers have worshiped them for being little assholes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly! I find the the most exhausting part is having to fight to make the change. To have to point out to men that this state of normal is NOT good. That the unconscious privilege they carry around does ACTUALLY EXIST.

        So many of them just can’t see it. Because to them its normal so its right. And our attempt to point out that its NOT right makes them feel discriminated against. That right there is just a BIZARRE situation and they don’t even see that.

        Liked by 1 person

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