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Female? You May Be Entitled To Discrimination

by Leonora Watkins 9 months ago in activism

And intimidation, harassment, and rage.

I need to start by saying that I’m talking about anyone who identifies as a woman. Nobody is being excluded here.

I’ve worked hard to get to a position in life where I can help people who have been through trauma. It hasn’t been easy because if I’m totally honest with you I’m a very slow learner. I struggle to retain information and it takes me ages to really get it into my tiny brain.

But against all odds I did it. I got my diploma, my experience, and even my degree. It was hard, I studied all day, every day. Every second I wasn’t studying, I was working to support my studies.

So I don’t appreciate it when some slimy tool sends me a message on a professional freelancing site asking if I “like great sex?”

First of all, what a smooth talker! Secondly, has anyone ever thought “Nah, you know what? Great sex just ain’t for me.” So I bit my tongue, told him I wasn’t interested and not to message me again. His response was that I was a “stuck-up slut,” and “an ugly bitch anyway.”

I wonder if he asked any men whether they like great sex? You know, for equality. Or was it just the women? I’ll always wonder. And if he was the first one I wouldn’t be quite so pissed off. But he wasn’t, he was the third in a month. And I’d only been on it for, guess how long? A month.

But hey, they’re just messages, right? No harm done. You can delete them and move on. And technically, yeah I can. But harm is still done for 2 reasons. Reason number one is that it reminds me how little women are valued for our brains. And how we have to do twice the work to get a quarter of the respect.

Reason number two is that it isn’t always just a message. You can’t always delete it and move on. Sometimes it’s a colleague standing right there in front of you, blocking the doorway. Or sliding his arm around your waist.

And they don’t always plan on doing anything more than that, but it’s their special little way of telling you that they could. If they felt like it. It’s not just a form of harassment, it’s a direct form of intimidation.

And if you’re a woman who god forbid is proud of their body and likes to wear outfits that showcase how hard you’ve worked to get the said body. You’re clearly asking for everything that comes your way. It’s your fault if you’re cat-called, name-called, or even assaulted. It’s not the guy’s fault, he just couldn’t help himself. He’s only a human male. And if there are any male humans reading this, does it piss you off when people say stuff like that? They imply that if a woman is attractive enough to you that raping them is totally inevitable.

Like you’re some kind of animal who has no control over what they do?

And we’re the ones who have to watch out. Nobody says “okay guys have fun, don’t be sexually aggressive!” But they do say “have fun girls, be safe, watch your drinks!”

Most women in the western world are luckier than those in a lot of places and other time periods. But we still live in a world where taking a weapon when you go for a run is as normal as breathing. In fact, if you tell someone you don’t carry a weapon for protection then you’re taking a massive risk. The normalized fear is so deeply ingrained that other women who aren’t scared seem weird to us.

We’re trampled on and treated like crap, and when we decide that we don’t want to be trampled on and treated like crap anymore. We’re called “crazy.” It’s not crazy to know what you’re worth and accept nothing less than you deserve, it’s called self-respect. It doesn’t make you a bad girlfriend/wife/partner. People always say that you have to earn respect. But there are people who, no matter how hard you work will never respect you. So you have to demand it and enforce it.

I think women all over the world should be given compensation for all the shit we have to put up with. Because we have to deal with it every single day with “nice guys” constantly telling us that women have equality. And like I said, it’s better than it was, but until we’re safe it isn’t enough. And on second thoughts, there isn’t enough money in the world.


Leonora Watkins

A qualified counsellor and an even more qualified queer. I specialise in victims of rape and sexual assault. I also have a degree in behaviour analysis.

Read next: Changing Perspective

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