I’m tired of seeing half naked women on television displayed as strippers and/or hookers. I’m tired of hearing women described as sluts, skanks and whores. I’m tired of feeling annoyed when the media tells me this is normal. This doesn’t have to be our normal.
From a very young age most girls get described as sweet, pretty or nice. While boys will often be labeled with strong, funny and brave. There is lots of pressure put on men and women telling them what traits they should have, today I am focusing on the pressures put on women. In hopes that it could help make everyone more aware of the messages we are bombarded with.
There is an underlying belief that women always have to be ‘all things nice’ which can be frustrating. As a woman if you are assertive or if you do not accept a man’s unwanted advances, you may be called bitch. Especially by men who may not grasp how uncomfortable they can make us feel. However, being nice all the time can often mean you are labeled as a pushover. How can you win?
A lot of this seems to be systematically ingrained into our culture, so what can be done? It starts at the individual level, we need to show kindness and empathy to one another. We need to watch our thoughts, as they lead to behaviours. Pay attention to the assumptions that you make about others. My guess is the less negative thinking you have about women, the more aware you will be of the the negative way the world around you can portray them.
Let’s stop accepting what has been taught to us as ‘normal’ and make a new, better standard.
“I raise up my voice-not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai