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Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media

Men Carry All the Chairs

Why are women always told what they can and cannot do? What they can and cannot wear? What they can and cannot say? Why are women always treated as dolls that will get tossed in the trash the second that they do something “wrong?” People have always tried to control women. They want them to act a certain way and be a certain type of woman. There are millions of dos and don’ts that women are meant to follow for the sole fact that they are women. They do want us to look sexy, but they don’t want us to look too sexy because then we aren’t setting good examples for young girls. They do want us to have a big butt and big boobs, but they don’t want us to be fat. They tell us to find a rich man to marry in order to avoid becoming an old crazy cat lady. They don’t tell us to find a man who won’t cheat on or beat on you, because they don’t really care. The majority of society does not care about women. They just care about how they can best control us. All they want is a woman that will listen to whatever their opposing sex says. 

I have gone my entire life hearing people tell me how to be a girl, a woman. They told me to sit with my legs closed otherwise I’m inviting men in. They told me I was being bossy and loud when I was giving my opinion. They told me that I shouldn’t wear a tank top because my boobs were coming in. In third grade, they asked if there were any strong young men who could carry the chairs and I remember thinking, what about me? Why couldn’t there be strong little girls? What was really the difference? It has never made much sense as to why or how civilization decided that women were the lesser of the two. 

It all starts at such a young age. Girls and women are sexualized from the time they are born to the day that they die. It feels like as soon as they come out of the womb, people are telling them what to be. Parents and family members dress them in pinks and bows and ruffles because little girls are supposed to look adorable. I have seen countless examples of little girls being told to act more ladylike or to put on clothes because their uncles and male cousins are coming over. Why are they being looked at in a way that would make their outfits inappropriate? What is wrong with wearing a tank top and shorts around an uncle? Why was I sexualized at the age of nine while my brothers and male friends got to just live? My brothers were never told to put on shirts when our aunts came over. They were never told that they were being bossy or loud. My brothers could sit however they wanted in their chairs and never be told to close their legs. 

Time and time again I have seen examples of how much society loves to control women. Even in the media, women are often used as sex symbols. Civilization asserts their dominance over women by telling them what to look like when they are in public. In entertainment roles, they have on the smallest amount of clothing or the tightest outfits even when it has nothing to do with their role. They could be going on a hike through a dangerous jungle, and they will be put in tight shorts and high heels. The directors and producers know that that is what society expects to see when watching a movie or looking at a magazine. They expect women and young girls to be sexualized because it happens all of the time. Society wants to see weak women in tight clothing because that is what we have been conditioned to expect of them. Weak, submissive, and sexy (but not overly so) women are the expectation; They are what have been used to create the mold. We are being commanded and controlled.

Women are expected to be homemakers. They want us at home with the kids in a pristine household making dinner for our husbands who are the only ones deemed worthy of having a job. Society wants to force women to stay home instead of giving them any choice to make their own decisions. They want to take away our choices. Women are perceived as too stupid to make decisions for ourselves, so society decided to do it for us. They decide what we wear, what we say, how much we eat, how we can do our hair and so many other things that should be ours to decide. 

I should be able to walk out of my house in a white tank top with no bra and nipple piercings poking through without being labeled as a prostitute. I should be able to give my opinion in a room full of men without hearing a joke about how “the boobs” can speak. I should be considered for all of the same jobs as my male counterparts. I should be able to live in a world where I’m not scared that whatever I say will get me laughed at or killed. I should be able to be whatever type of woman I choose to be without society swooping in with their do and don’ts.

 I don’t want to have to put on a baggy shirt every time one of my brother’s friends comes over in fear of being looked at like a piece of meat. I don’t want to have watched as the boys in my class carry two chairs down the hallway because strong little girls don’t exist. I don’t want to have to settle with a man who does not make me happy simply because he has money. I don’t want to be a woman that has been created by society year after year. They are always changing their minds as to what they want from women. And it’s about time that society stops thinking that they have any control over us. Women have to get rid of the thinking that has been conditioned into them and be whoever they want. We can no longer be the playthings of society because we deserve more. We deserve whatever we want. I don’t know about other women, but I am tired of watching my male classmates carry all of the chairs.

Hi! My name is Nevaeh Saunders. I am currently a sophomore at Delaware State University. I am a pre- nursing major with hopes of becoming a registered nurse or a paramedic. In my free time, I like to write poems and short stories which is what attracted me to Hercampus!
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