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Lately I’ve been really tired and have had a lot of interactions with both friends and classmates in regards to gender that have left me feeling exhausted and disappointed to a level where I’ve struggled to talk back. Usually, I try and use my knowledge and experience in topics of gender and feminism to educate others in the best way that I can, but now I’ve been moreso understanding what the phrase “it’s not your job to be an educator,” means and why it exists.

It’s easy to become an accomplice to sexism in our environments, and it’s important to learn how to navigate these spaces and support trans and cis women as well as the non-binary community so that we can lessen the impact of an oppressive gender hierarchy together. As a cis feminist, it’s important to talk about and highlight that sexism is not something that exclusively targets cis women, and people of all genders can help defend each other against it. The trans community faces sexism as well as transphobia and the layers of discrimination based on gender go even further.

In any case, you can enjoy me angrily vent on subjects I’m tired of arguing about/explaining, while I recover the energy to continue speaking out and making these points on a daily basis.

 

1. Why can’t I say bitch?

I’m just not a fan of guys calling other people bithces. It doesn’t sit well with me, and I think it’s not okay because it’s usually used in a context where it’s putting down other women. It makes me feel disrespected even when it’s not aimed at me, and it makes me especially upset when men say it because they’re replicating a pattern that’s harmful. I will write a follow-up article on this topic and reclamatory terms because I could talk about it for hours!

“This girl in my class talks so much and she’s such a bitch I just hate how she looks so judgy all the time”

“Hey, can you not say that, I don’t like hearing guys talk about women like that.”

 

2. Slutshaming

What I choose to do or not do with my body is nobody else’s problem but my own. If this somehow breaks the person I’m talking to’s moral code, I feel like they are entitled to talk about it but need to prioritize that I am sharing a vulnerable and personal experience in which I have clearly followed my own set of moral judgements.

“So, I finally hooked up with Lara the other day and it was hella fun! Oh, and my neighbor asked me out on another date and who knows, I might go for it”

“Damn, you’ve been having a lot of one night stands though… Do you really think your neighbor’s gonna want to date you after all that?”

 

3. It’s just a joke

I think this excuse is really easy to use when offending someone and not being able to or having the desire to apologize. If something is offensive, it’s not just a joke, it will have an impact on the other person.

 

4. Unwanted advice

Sometimes I’m just venting. Sometimes I’m just frustrated about life and how it’s treated me on a particular day. If I’m venting about something that is specific to my demographic, and the person I’m venting to does not belong to this demographic I think it’s alright to say I probably don’t want to hear them arguing a counterpoint.

“I hate it when people call me ‘spicy’ just because I’m latinx. It just ruins my day.”

“Well, maybe it’s just because you get angry so quickly! Try talking to people more gently and I bet they won’t say that anymore.”

 

5. Justifying sexism

There are many subliminal ways people of any gender can justify sexism. We are all probably guilty of doing this in one way or another because we live in a society where there are socially constructed gender hierarchies. The problem here is to justify sexism when someone else calls you out on it. It’s easy to jump towards the defensive when someone tells you you’re doing something wrong. It’s a good exercise to listen to their critique of your language or behavior and to reflect and see how and why what you’re saying is bothering them.

 

6. “Chill out”

I’m tired of having to be calm and composed all the time when talking about feminism and expressing my disagreement towards statements that I find problematic or disrespectful. It’s always my priority to educate people about gender in the most constructive and unbiased way possible, but lately, in the words of Rico Nasty, “you pressin’ me”. I don’t like how feminists often feel like we have to be serene and unargumentative in order to be taken seriously and not written off as “feminazis” or “the radical left”. I have been giving myself more space to be upset in my own way, and stand up for my beliefs as well as other women in an effort to break a cycle of sexism in my own social circles.

 

 

Writer, student of Visual and Critical Studies, artist in various mediums. Representing (and missing) Ecuador from Chicago. Believes in feminism, social activism and taking care of our planet.
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