Most people have heard of "mansplaining" but what about "womansplaining"? Is that a thing?
A few weeks ago I was sitting with a couple of friends and discussing our culture's expectation of women needing to be married by 23, and we ended up going into a discussion of how guys our age are just not worth considering for marriage. Now I could go on a rampage on everything that is wrong with men (which I probably will sneak in throughout this blog to to all the male readers—get out your notebook and pen, and pay attention please), but the more important factor here is the lack of equality and the gender bias that appears here.
I could taste the sunscreen I had dedicatedly smeared on my face that morning as the sweat streamed down from my forehead.
As a Hispanic-American woman of Immigrants, there are expectations and mindsets that are put upon me that I have no control over. It has taken a while to understand but I understand that now. On July 26th 2019, I was on my way to an interview when an older gentleman from the Dominican Republic kept eyeing me. I had my headphones on, but something told me to take the off when he asked me if I was Dominican.
"There's a quite type of violence in the way women's talents are devalued and brushed aside in favor of bullying them into "traditional" roles that ultimately don't fulfill what they wanted for their lives. We’ve lost so much art, music, writing, science, and happiness to misogyny."
"There are bugs that are literally split down the middle, half male and half female, worms and snails that have both sets of genitalia, fish that just up and switch sexes when there’s a male or female space in their group that needs filling and you want me to believe that God hates all sorts of gender-bending in his children. I think you need to take a better look at God’s creations."
"Denounce gender roles but respect gender identity."
"I used to cringe so hard at my “I’m not like other girls” phase until I realized that most girls have this phase and what we actually mean is “I’m not a thoughtless one-dimensional caricature of makeup and boobs” which is what girls have been taught to think. How can women be viewed so poorly that little girls everywhere all think they’re unique just for having independent thoughts and interests?"
"Throughout history it has been a man’s job to provide... no throughout history men have actively prevented the independence of women, they have actively prevented our mobility, rights to an education, and livable income. They’ve abused our reproductive capability and passed us around like properties, they’ve used religion to rationalize their hatred of us, and to put us in place of subordination. So y’all can stop saying men are providers like it was some benevolent gesture in an attempt to rationalize sexism."
"Your hurt feelings do not override my right to say no"
"Women are not in charge of your feelings. If you can’t handle your emotions, that’s not our problem. It’s yours."
"Notice how ‘“girls mature faster’” is never stated as a reason why girls should be given more positions of power and authority? It only works to hold girls to greater accountability than boys and to justify men’s attraction to them"
"I disagree with the notion that women can’t handle the truth. Women handle the truth just fine. The problem is that you expect women to handle the truth in a way that still benefits you at her expense."
"You can’t act like women are inherently suited for child care and should focus on being a stay-at-home-mom and then turn around and get mad about women being prioritized in custody. This is a system of misogyny upheld by men. You guys decided women exist to birth children and care for children. You don’t get to then blame these women for the laws based on a culture of misogyny that you men create and perpetuate."
"‘Slut’ is attacking women for their right to say yes ‘Friend zone’ is attacking women for their right to say no And ‘Bitch’ is attacking women for their right to call you out on it"
"Going out doesn’t make you a bad person just like going to church doesn’t make you a good person" - Miley Cyrus
"Me addressing racism and violence against women shouldn’t make you uncomfortable" Racism and violence against women should make you uncomfortable”
"Dressing older isn’t an excuse for older men to prey on younger girls"
"Being socialized female is easily recognized as abuse the moment it is done to a male child"
"We don’t want men to lower themselves, we just want them to make room for us"
"You can’t demand a service while simultaneously degrading those who provide it for you"
"Women are expected to change for men. If you don’t want to have children ever then someone is bound to say to you well what if your husband wants children? We’re expected to lose weight, to dress a certain way to appeal to men, we’re expected to be less opinionated, less assertive, less talented when competing against a man."
"When a women is violent, men use that to discredit the whole feminist movement and paint us as aggressive and abusive but when millions of men are violent we cant make generalizations"
"There is female violence but do you know what sets it apart from male violence? It’s not a pandemic, it’s a rarity You cannot compare the entire history of men raping and pillaging and murdering and enslaving women to the minor blips on the scale that is female violence"
" I think what bothers me so much about the “feminist are ugly” “ feminist are hairy” or “feminist are lesbians” stereotype is the so fucking what some of us are ugly some of us are hair some of us are lesbians and it shouldn’t invalidate anything we’re telling you."
"Men get raped and molested” should be a whole sentence. If you have to tack on the word ‘too,’ then you’re using the experience of male victims to silence female instead of giving them their own space"
"Not all men!’” - yes but enough men that every girl is terrified of smiling to that guy on the bus or talking with the boy in the coffee shop. Every girl has been walking late at night at one point and been afraid of who might be following her. Every girl has referred to someone as a “creep” and every girl has refused a drink from someone she doesn’t know. But enough men that all women are now afraid of most men it’s gotten so bad that we have to be afraid of even telling you we are afraid. We can’t ask you to please stop talking to us because if we do we run the risk if being labeled a “stuck up bitch” and blamed for murders and rapes in which we are the victims so we speaker to you with body language that we hope you’ll understand but you insist on ignoring those signs because you have it in your head that our body language doesn’t mean anything and that our bodies aren’t our bodies."
I once despised the color pink, trampled anything labeled 'girly' with unforgiving black until my feminine side was washed in darkness. The day my body began to shift and the innocence of childhood melted away, I became uncomfortably aware of the male gaze piercing the backs of my legs, sweeping my broadening chest, gnawing on my widening hips like starved dogs. So I clipped my hair to the scalp and changed my appearance to look more like them and less like me. On that day, my wings were clipped too. I left them on the side of the road, torn and bloody, oozing with the desire to be accepted for all of their soft, gentle beauty, all their delicacy, all their wild strength. But they were pink, and where the world spotted pink, the world spotted weakness. I ran from pink and dove into black. The parts of me they told were too boyish, too wild, not pretty enough, not good enough, grew fangs and talons and attacked anyone who came just a little too close. The gossamer of my existence morphed into glass spears and drilled holes in every road I tread. The violence and aggression I despised, I became. I grew battered walls to protect myself from battered masculinity. I threw away the woman in me and got lost inside a monster no human soul was ever meant to see—the illusion of power. The loneliness of invulnerability. The lioness inside my soul grew a protective mane and disguised herself as a ferocious lion. And then, the stars intervened.
Living in 2018 should be a lot easier than was fifty years ago. Women have equal rights as men. We have the right to vote and the right to freedom of speech. The last time I checked we were no longer slaves. Right? Well, I thought so. I thought that living in 2018 would mean women empowerment and that I would not have to relive what women used to put up with. Now, let me explain.
I work in an office of fifteen people, and nine of us are women. Two of the men are part-time only, so this leaves four men that work in my office full-time. All four of these men are my bosses. There is only one woman in a position of power.
From a very young age, I remember being highly aware of EVERYTHING. Including the way people spoke about women. It seems as though everyone has their own idea of what the "perfect" woman consists of. Unfortunately, it was in my nature from day one to try and comply.
Chidera Eggerue, also known as the Slumflower, is an author and blogger who is commonly known for her controversial tweets about destructing patriarchy and for starting the "Saggyboobsmatter" hashtag.