Our society has come so far in the subject of women’s rights, but sadly it’s 2016 and the issue of equality is not yet a thing of the past.
I firstly want to say that I believe in Equal rights for both woman AND men, and by no means think that one gender is more superior than the other. Nor am I saying that one person’s behaviour applies to the entire gender, it is merely a reflection on the person.
As a 22 year old girl, I have experienced degrading behaviour from young men recently on two separate occasions.
The first incident occurred when I driving with my mum on the free-way. Now I am a P plater, which other vehicles will assume that I am young. Another P plater drove past me, filled with young guys. As they drove past me they were making obscene gestures towards me, which not only was distracting as a driver and dangerous on the road, but made me feel extremely angry!
The second occurred when I went to the shop to pick something up for my dad. I parked out front of the shop, and a couple of cars down was a truck, with some guys sitting around. I didn’t think anything of it, so I got out of my car and made my way into the shop. As I was walking one of the guys called out to me to pull my skirt down (my dress wasn’t that short, plus I always check when I get out of the car and hold it when it’s windy). I ignored them and continued into the shop. I thought about saying something to the person in the shop, but felt silly. I kept glancing out of the store, feeling scared to go back out in case they did something. Eventually they left. I felt quite upset about this; these men had no idea how they made me feel. As a young woman, I couldn’t go into a local shop without feeling targeted.
These situations made realise what it’s like for woman in public, still in fear when walking past a group of men. Of course this doesn’t apply to every male; there are still decent guys out there! And of course this situation can easily be in reverse. I just don’t understand how this is still happening at this point in time.
As a young woman, I shouldn’t feel unsafe when getting into my car. Or that the clothing I am wearing is going to cause a reaction from some jerk. I should be able to enjoy going out without worrying that something could potentially happen to me.
It’s people like 2014 Nobel Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, who wants to empower young women through education, and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, who wants to educate the world on the true meaning of feminism, that I have so much respect for.
Something needs to be done about how we treat each other. Without a doubt there is a story every night on the news about a murder or assault; it’s scary that we live in a world like this!
As a collective, we need to be the ones to take a stand and start changing the principles of society.
A great place to start is Emma Watson’s website, Stand Together | HeForShe. This site is a fantastic way to pledge your belief in Equality, and be a part of working to make our world fairer. By clicking count me in, you will join billions of others in the movement, as well as express what you feel your country needs more equality in, and have the option to spread the world. This small task is already a big action amongst gender equality.
I firmly believe that feminism isn’t about saying that woman are better, it is about wanting fairness and equality for both genders. You don’t have to be a female to be a feminist!
I absolutely love and respect the speech that Emma made at the HeForShe Campaign for the United Nations in 2014; she states everything I feel about feminism. I feel so passionate and emotional when I watch it. I could write a response to this speech, but I would just be agreeing and repeating what Emma said, and I couldn’t say it better myself. So instead I’m going to leave you with a link below to Emma’s speech, as well as including some of the amazing words she said during it.
I think it’s incredible how Emma is using her public profile to bring a larger awareness to all all generations on such an important topic, and is the true definition of what it is to be an influential person.
I would love to know and discuss your opinions on the topic in the comments below.