The charming words in the title are the result of a rant my sister had tonight. A rant because of the main story that has been taking up a majority of news time locally, recently. If you’re Australian, you have most likely already heard of the tragic case of Jill Meagher. If not Australian, and unaware, type her name into Google, it won’t take you long to figure out what happened. I’ve walked on Sydney Road, quite a few times, during the day and a couple of times during the night. It is not a place you expect to find yourself threatened. Then again, a place that makes you feel unsafe and on edge shouldn’t even exist. I will never understand how anybody could ever think it’s ok to murder another individual. What right do any of us have to take life away from somebody else? No right, is the answer, nobody has that right. No one.
About a week and a half ago, Madeline posted this. Madeline, is a smart cookie and she’s correct when she tells us that we still need feminism. To be blunt, and very Australian here (if ya know what I mean) fuck oath we do. Madeline’s post made me begin to think about all of the times, I have been treated differently, because of my gender. Because, I happen to be a female. Do you know how many times people tell me to fucking smile? Do you? I’ll tell you, A LOT. Most of the time, I just shrug it off, because I’ve heard it on so many occasions that I’ve become used to it, but sometimes, it really angers me. Why is it so important that I constantly smile? Once, an old man, basically ordered me to smile more. For what fucking reason? I don’t see anybody approaching any men, ordering that they smile more. Why, do we, as women, have to constantly exude this overtly polite, nice, warm, friendly, nature? If a man doesn’t smile, no one thinks anything of it, if a man looks pissed off… still, no one thinks much of it, in fact, many even find this attractive. You know, the whole… ‘bad boy’ image. If a woman doesn’t have a huge smile on her face 24/7, there are those who will assume she’s a bitch. I know this, because people have told me. I don’t smile very often, it’s not that I’m constantly miserable, but my natural facial expression doesn’t position itself into a fucking smile. I have no control over the way my face naturally looks without expression, yet people feel the need to constantly tell me to smile. Why the hell do I have to look friendly and welcoming all the time anyway? I actually like the fact that I happen to look unapproachable most of the time, perhaps it will deter freaks from approaching me when I’m alone. So yeah, there is that whole smile problem.
Another thing. A few weeks ago when I was working, I mentioned how awesome I was (because you know, in some ways, I am pretty awesome), my colleague (a male) made fun of me and mocked my confidence. At that moment, it was like there was a lightbulb in my head that suddenly turned on. Why should I not have confidence? I thought to myself. I explained to him that I find it bizarre that female confidence is often questioned and perceived as bitchy, especially if the confidence is displayed frequently, (unless it’s the social sort of confidence, the type of confidence that makes it easy for a woman to approach a man and strike up a flirty conversation, that’s the type of confidence men love) while male confidence and sometimes even arrogance is seen as a positive or merely laughed off.
Back to the whole smiling issue now. Have you ever been approached by a creep and spoken to? Have you ever looked back and given them the fuck off look? Have you ever told a bunch of boys to leave you alone? I have, and the response I most often remember is something along the lines of:
Why are you such a bitch?
I just wanted to talk!
You’re a slut!!!!!!!!!!!
All of these are always said in a frightening, aggressive tone
So you know, because I don’t want to engage in a boring conversation with some seedy dude, I’m a slut. Uh huh. You know what’s fucked up? Men don’t even really have an equivalent word to describe assumed promiscuity. It’s only us women that get the whole slut card shoved in our faces. I find the whole slut calling thing, when you’ve told a guy to get lost, really messed up. Firstly, because… well, what the fuck is a slut anyway? That is such a stupid, pathetic, oppressive insult. You know what I’m saying girls? Secondly, somebody randomly calling me a slut, is assuming that I happen to have sex with a lot of people, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I find it rude that somebody would make assumptions about my sexual activity and attempt to degrade me for it, just because I don’t want to speak to them. As if I have some obligation to speak to them, just because they happen to be a man.
I think what a lot of men have to realise, is that we are not pieces of fucking meat. Yes, even if I’m wearing a short skirt and a crop top, even if my thighs are exposed, even if I have decided to expose cleavage, whatever. That does NOT IN ANY WAY OR FORM GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO TREAT ME LIKE ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT I AM, A FUCKING HUMAN BEING. When I’m driving, I don’t appreciate being stared at by older men in their cars or trucks, like a bloody object. I’m not a toy in a fucking department store, show some god damn basic respect. The whistles, the cat calling, the blatant stares, no, I don’t find them flattering, I find them insulting and guess what?! That doesn’t make me a bitch.
Jill Meagher did not deserve what happened to her because she was walking alone, she didn’t deserve it because she had been drinking, she didn’t deserve it because she was pretty, what happened to her was not okay because she wasn’t some douche bag’s idea of what ‘hot’ is. It is never, ever, EVER, EVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER, okay to rape someone. EVEEER!! I don’t care if the girl is fucking naked and drunk, it is NEVER OK. Okay. Good. There is nothing a woman can do that makes rape justifiable. It is always wrong and it’s never the victim’s fault. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise, because that is the biggest load of bullshit that could possibly exist.