Please read to understand what it means to be female in this society…
I often encounter men who have NO CLUE why I am as cautious, questioning, a bit anxious about certain topics, or hesitant to progress with them. There are many reasons why. I promise you, I am not alone in my female experience
“Modern men” need to gain an understanding about what the female life experience is.
What is this experience? Let me sum it up for you…I will try to be brief…
I have beauty standards, motherhood, and domesticity pushed upon in at an early age of 2-3 years old in the form of gender based toys…fake makeup, dolls, toy kitchens, barbies…
I will be made fun of by peers if I want anything that boys would want (microscopes, chemistry sets, lasers, anything not girl).
I am told to smile because it makes my face prettier.
I am dressed in clothing that would make me a pretty girl.
I am sexualized by the time I am 12…because my body changes into more of a shape that makes me “attractive” to men…larger breasts…hips widen.
I have boys offer sexual favors by the time I am 13.
Street harassment starts and is consistent throughout my life.
Once I become a teenager in high school, I have already been called various derogatory terms for a sexual woman because my body looks like a woman.
Family members tell me how I’m all grown up…How pretty I am…Boys are evil and should keep away or grandpa will shoot them with his rifle. Grown men at church pay more attention to me and find reasons to hug me.
Boys at school start false rumors about my sexuality because they are attracted to me and “boys will be boys.”
I start college and am required to take a defense course because women in this trade are assaulted regularly.
I am stalked 3 times by boys. A few family members tell me it’s because I’m so pretty.
One of the boys sexually assaults me at a club when I am 19…not raped, fortunately.
One stalker forced me to move in with my grandparents so he could no longer find me.
I do not report anything because I am afraid and think this is my fault because I must have given off the wrong signals. Shame on me.
I say nothing to my family because I can’t bear to be blamed for this.
I’ve been conditioned to self loathe my body because I am not a supermodel. Eating disorders start as well as reckless exercise.
Street harassment as well as sexist and misogynistic comments do not cease.
At 21, I work for a man who keeps porn on his computer and magazines in his desk. He has business ties with local strip club owners. He encourages me to sell to them (I do as it’s my job) as well as work for them (I decline). Even received phone calls from the head of all the chains asking me to join him.
I later become a DJ and play at fraternity parties getting regularly harassed by drunk men.
My agent wants to engage in sexual relations with me. I decline. He takes a bigger cut than what he takes from the males.
I could give endless examples of more of the same…
Fast forward to re entering university…I am regularly harassed by a boy in my science classes. He tells me the sexual things he wants to do to me. It took me humiliating him to get hi to leave me alone. I saw him on campus the other day…he had found my dating profile as well as my FB. Tried to get me to go out with him again. I had to block him across the board to get him to leave me alone.
I get told science is hard and that I am girl…then denied letter of recommendation to enter grad school by a male professor of whom I did a year’s worth of undergrad research with.
Dating sites, I get bombarded by messages from men who want to take from me. They are explicit in nature…few are actually well thought out and polite. They hide behind the cloak of anonymity that the internet provides.
Social media, I get unsolicited penis pics sent to me. I have rude and explicit direct messages as well as public mentions. I am slut shamed. Yet if I don’t comply, I am a prude.
Street harassment does not stop…sometimes wearing headphones doesn’t work either, because some men ignore this subtle cue of a request to leave me alone.
I am once again sexually assaulted by a different man I trusted.
I am stalked again…this time digitally on social media and harassed via email and phone. It affects my work, and I have to notify my boss about it. Fortunately he is understanding and gives support.
Why am I telling you this? Because every 109 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. 90% of those people are female. 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted. Only 6 in 1,000 people will serve time for sexual assault. This is based on those who reported…I did not report. I can not fathom how much larger this number is.
So again, why am I telling you this? Because I am not the only woman this happens to. When you are at a party/work/bar, take a look around…1 in 6 women are me…but truthfully? That number is likely much larger. When you talk to women, you need to realize the scope of their possible life. I promise you, my story is a common one for many women.
They don’t speak out…why?
- They don’t see the point. (No one really goes to prison)
- They’ve been conditioned not to and to self blame.
- They don’t want to be shamed.
- They don’t want you to judge them.
- They don’t want to hurt others (family, current partner).
Men…remember this when speaking to women. They’ve been at battle their whole lives for just being female. Do not take things personally.
Read to understand…speak out against those who harm us…give us a space so we can be vocal without fear.
Thank you for reading