I am going to write today about an issue that is very personal to me. It's very personal to me because, like a little more than half of the population in the United States, I happened to be born female.
I am a little nervous even posting a blog on this topic because it might come across as too "feminist". But then, isn't that the issue? That I literally feel fear that readers will disregard this because it seems too "feminist"?
For several years, I've been aware of how women are discriminated against in our culture. The obvious result, and one that sociologist most commonly refer to, is wage. The info-graphic below shows you how much less woman are paid (on the average) than men, per dollar, per state.
I didn't realize how passionate I was on the topic until I realized just how bad it was. First, you have Alyssa Funke. A brief synopsis is that she was a struggling college student who was having a hard time paying her tuition. She chose to participate in a pornographic film under a pseudonym. Shortly after, classmates discovered her identity. She was heavily bullied and, as a result, took her own life.
Many are aware of the horrendous event that took place just last Friday in Isla Vista, California. A 22-year old male murdered 6 people. Days and hours prior to this, he posted videos to YouTube where he blamed women not wanting to be intimate with him for his deep seeded anger and disturbed mind. Here is just one quote from his "retribution" video:
"Girls, all I’ve ever wanted was to love you and to be loved by you. I’ve wanted sex. I’ve wanted love, affection, adoration. You think I’m unworthy of it. That’s a crime that can never be forgiven. If I can’t have you girls, I will destroy you."
What I failed to understand was that even though we aren't stoned for not covering our bodies, we are stoned in other ways. (tweet this)
We are stoned with words like "prude" and "slut", by the pornography industry, by men, and by other women. The overall thinking is that women are either the temptress or the prude. Both are shamed. Both are deemed unworthy. No matter the role, there is one assigned.
It's blaming the woman who was raped because she was drunk or because she wore revealing clothing, rather than blaming the man whose thinking told him his actions were excusable and justifiable some way or another.
It's parent's telling their teens and 20-something children to guard their drinks, instead of society teaching that it's wrong to put something in the drink in the first place.
Suddenly I realized, this isn't about "Women's Rights", it's about the overall wellbeing of humanity. (tweet this)
The murderer of Isla Vista, Elliot Rodgers, and Alyssa Funke were both victims of this ideology and what it does to our society, culture, and community. It isn't one person's tragedy or another's mental breakdown; this is a direct reflection on the overall emotional, mental, physical, and sexual health of our society.
How does one fight this? How do we band together, respect one another, and put an end to this blatant discrimination?
It starts in the home. It starts with men being father's who love and respect their wives and children. It's women working together instead of competing with one another. It's young men calling out other's when degrading comments or actions are made. It's young women having strong boundaries and confidence to be who they are. It's destroying those derogatory terms like "prude" and "whore".
We fight this by getting healthy.
It's not a simple answer, and that only scratches the surface. What do you think we can do to put an end to this?