I tire of it. I tire of feeling sick with it every night when I come home, my blood boiling with a pent up rage of injustice.
I am not a passive person – and yet, I am forced to be passive. Forced to do nothing but look away, ignore, keep my head down and survive.
As a child, I didn’t understand.
Growing up, I was told that when a boy calls you pretty, whistles as you pass, or slaps your butt, it meant he liked you. And as a naïve, innocent girl – head filled with stardust fantasies of forbidden boyfriends and young love – I believed society when they told me such attentions were a good thing.
And it grows on you, as you yourself grow. Slightly. In a twisted way; like a perfect sapling, battered by the elements, grows gnarled and crooked – still alive, but so far from it’s intended arrow-like shape.
As puberty turns to adolescence, and adolescence to womanhood, our hearts still skip a beat at the uncalled for attentions of a man – but this time in fear. Our eyes that once lit up in excitement, now hastily look away.
But this is all normal, we must remember. It is normal for a man to eye your figure, to smirk as you pass, to call you “baby”, “beautiful”, and “sexy”. It is normal, appreciated even, for a man to step into your personal space and bombard you with personal questions. After all, they flatter you with their obvious interest, don’t they? With their thinly veiled sexual innuendos?
To think it’s not normal – to be revolted, rude, or speak up – is ridiculous. Childish, even. To tell others about a man’s uncomfortable attentions, to ask them to please watch him or your back, is simply egotistical. An act of pride to think that a man could possibly desire you so much to force his attentions, and himself upon you.
We are told to keep quiet, to smile and ignore.
And if something does happen – if you suddenly find yourself categorized as a rape victim – it was your fault, right? Your fault for wearing revealing or too tight clothes, your fault for acting like a slut, and your fault for saying “yes” to sex by smiling and being polite…
I will no longer stand by, forced passive and silent.
To be objectified by men, abused, raped, and slandered – while we, as women, are expected to stand there and take it without complaint – is. not. normal.
To have our justice system give a slap on the wrist, or look the other way at a woman’s brutal rape, with a shrug and “boys will be boys” is. not. normal.
For women to live every day in fear, trying to stay small, avoid eye contact, and be polite but not encouraging – wondering if we’ll be attacked on our way out to the car or bathroom – is. not. normal.
Society must stop painting it as such, looking the other way.
Men must stop grooming a grotesque sense of pride and entitlement – thinking with only their penis’s – objectifying women to nothing but playthings to suit their pleasure.
Women must stop remaining silent and passive, maintaining low expectations of the opposite sex and their own self-worth.
Parents must stop raising children to have a gross disrespect for authority and the well-being of others beyond themselves.
The rampant objectification of women must stop.
I refuse to be silent. I refuse to be polite. I refuse to be passive. I refuse to be accepting. I refuse to be weak. I refuse to be a victim.
I will be loud. I will be bold. I will be firm. I will be assertive. I will be strong. And, darling, I will fight like hell.
What will you be?