How Women are Raised

All my life I have been known for my confidence, courage, and strength. However, these qualities have also been called assertive, bossy, loud, or aggressive. But when regarded as the later, it has been done so by the opposite sex. My confidence and lack of fear of taking care of myself, something every individual is entitled to without question, is unfortunately against the norm for the female gender. This is so because women have been raised to be without, which is a grave injustice and has only continued women enslaving themselves.

“The greatest systems of oppression are that which convince the people to oppress themselves. The walls are built by the people, voluntarily boxing themselves in; staking brick by brick of their own accord.”

This is what we have done to the female gender. True enslavement, is self enslavement. Our society is in great need of feminism, not only because of the men who act outrageously, or the men who act against their own good will and contribute to oppression in subtle and accidental ways. Our society needs feminism because women have been raised to oppress themselves. Let me explain with some examples.

  1. Women have been raised to be concerned more with men’s feelings, than their own comfort.

I have been often told I was “too harsh” on a guy, or cold hearted or just “a bitch”. When really, here’s what happened.

A man stepped in my path while I was walking along, or sat in front of me, both while I was minding my own business. In other words, he unfairly asserted himself in a manor which was very dominant. No one has the right to corner you or stop you in your path because of their assumption that their agenda is more important than your right to be left alone. I AM NOT SAYING MEN CANNOT STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION WITH A WOMEN HE DOES NOT KNOW IN AN INNOCENT AND APPROPRIATE WAY. I am speaking about the majority, who do NOT do so in an innocent and appropriate way. Cutting me off in the street is INAPPROPRIATE and takes advantage of the physical advantage he is born with.

Then he spoke to me.

“What’s your name?” Or “you’re so beautiful, what’s your number?”

He did not ask “can I ask you name”? No ma’am, sir or ze. He asked a question in a way which showed he felt entitled to the answer. He wasn’t. He isn’t.

Whenever this happens, the man could be very ignorant, cocky and aware of what he is doing, or perhaps he isn’t. Maybe no one ever showed him there is a better way to approach a woman that does not make her feel so defenseless. Maybe he is not trying to be unkind and is only trying to talk to a young woman. That’s okay too, and your response may very well open his eyes to the reality of what he’s doing, and he will know better how to approach the situation next time. This is a very good thing and the overall goal.

When I have been stopped, and asked my name (and or number), I tell them “I am not comfortable giving you my name” or “it’s my business”. Looking at this innocently, I can see where people think I am being harsh. But let’s break it down.

The fact is it’s true. I DON’T feel comfortable giving him my name, which is my business only and my right to control who knows it. Just because he asked, I am not obligated to answer. Is it right to compromise MY comfort for his FEELINGS BEING HURT, or better yet, break the social rule that it’s “rude” of me? No. I am not afraid of offending him because he has offended ME. If he does not care to be considerate of how his body language and verbal language affect me, then I will not worry about protecting HIM over protecting ME. He is an undesired unwelcome guest in my presence, and I am entitled to get rid of such guest in order to protect myself.

JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE ASKS YOU A QUESTION DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO ANSWER.

Some have said, “why not just give him a fake name?” Let me explain why this is also not the answer to this situation.

Although it is a diversion from your discomfort, it teaches him nothing and then he will continue to put other women in this uncomfortable situation.

By saying “I’m not comfortable telling you my name” shows him first and foremost, that you are uncomfortable. Secondly, that he is not entitled to the answer like he thought he was. Third, it gives you power over what is yours. He wants something that is yours, and you are under NO obligation to give it to him. When you respond as instructed, it shows him the reality of the situation that he did not realize before.

Saying “it’s my business” is again, just being truthful and holding onto what belongs to YOU.

I know I’m making this sound easier than it is. When these situations happen, they come out of nowhere like a truck hitting you off guard. We panic because we’re forced into an unwanted situation and have to think on our feet. Practice makes perfect. Rehearsing in your head what to say in these scenarios will help you change the outcome when they come along. I know it’s not easy, but each time you flex your muscle makes the next one stronger.

Opening the reality of the situation to the eyes of this male when it is happening, will hopefully help him consider his actions in the future. This is important because to change a mass culture, we must start with individuals and how they see and interact with one another.

Now to step back a little, what does this all stand for? The idea is that catering to your rights, to comfort, to safety and to control over your own person, are all more important than a man’s individual dignity and emotions in the present moment. When you stand up for yourself in this way, you are not being “rude” or “a bitch”. You are not only standing up for yourself, but for all women, who have been trapped in uncomfortable situations and were made to feel to guilty and embarrassed to stand up for themselves. For yourself, and for all women, defend your rights.

Now as a second example, I’m gonna regard something more personal, not the stranger on the street.

         2. No matter what he’s “done for you”, you owe him nothing.

He’d taken me on a few dates, bought me a few meals, and drove to come see me. Yeah he did...but so what? I wasn’t trying to use him, and at no point did I ask him to do any of those things specifically, for me. However, he certainly felt entitled to affection in return.

One night I had bottled up my discomfort and replaced it with what I thought was gratitude as he held my hand or put his arm around me when I truly didn’t want him to. After paying for a nice dinner and activity, we drove to his apartment. While hanging out on bed, he was trying to be romantic with me but I just remember staring at the wall in utter discomfort. Finally, I stood up and said “I’m leaving. I need to go home.”

If you’re expecting him to be a jerk about it, truth is he wasn’t. He was concerned and asked if I was sick and if I needed water or a snack. “No thank you. I just need to go home.” Notice. I didn’t say I was sorry, and I didn’t give him an explanation. YOU DON’T OWE HIM ONE. Against popular belief, after buying you dinner and taking you out, you owe him nothing. His comments the next morning proved he certainly thought I did though. But I didn’t, and neither do you.

NOTHING HE CAN DO COULD MAKE YOU OWE HIM ANYTHING YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO. And do not feel bad when you exercise your right to this. He renounced protection of his emotions and “dignity” when he thought, even for a second, that a dollar or moment he could spend on you constituted a reaction you’re not voluntarily willing to give.

Let me backtrack a little. I know I’m making this sound easy, when I know it’s not. Often times people will ask about your situation, “why didn’t you just get up and leave”? Because it’s not that easy. Factors all around have been pressuring you. They were pressuring me too.

  • The build up of the night

  • The affection

  • The closed door

  • The single room

  • The dim lighting

  • The feelings of guilt and embarrassment

  • Debt

  • The fear of rejection and disappointment

  • Even how attractive he is

All of these thing are sucking the confidence out of your mouth, making it too dry to yell NO.

I was there, staring at the wall, vibrating with discomfort, and you know what empowered me to stand up?

You.

I stood up and said “I’m leaving” because of you. Because of all you. I spoke up not for me but for all women. I remember saying in my head “for everyone woman who’s felt too pressured to leave. To say no. For everyone woman who was forced to stay. I will stand up.”

Remembering that too many have been forced out of their freedom, I flexed mine. Flexed it into a clean hard first into the air in the name of feminism. In the name of equality. In the name of justice.

Let these things empower you. For you and for all women, let it push through the moment of pressure from a man feeling entitled to what is not his; to what you do not owe him. Society may tell us otherwise but it is society which you are changing by the smallest of interactions. No matter what he’s “spent” on you, you’re leaving, you’re going home, for you and all your sisters. Especially those who could not.

Gentlemen I beg you to remember than an expenditure, whether it be time or money, should be spent out of free will and given as gifts are intended, without anything in return. If this it is your method to attain affection, you are violating her rights and perpetuating a system of rape and violence. I’m sure many of you didn’t mean it like that, but it’s true. In the slightest ways, in the smallest words and actions, it’s true. She’ll never owe you a thing, so don’t waste your money or time. Nothing gets you affection but clear consent. That’s all.

So ladies, gentlemen and ze it is the work of both men and women which calls for feminism. It’s not an uncommon saying that we cannot control others, only ourselves. Let’s start there. Let’s take our own initiative to changing the world around us starting with individuals. We must raise our daughters and sons to no longer speak with compliance, but rather to stand up and speak out.

 

 

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