So women’s rights: What’s the big whoop in the U.S? I mean, don’t women already have all the rights they need? Short answer is nope. Things are pretty great for us here, but there are a lot of shortcomings too. When young girls are starving themselves to worship the unattainable “ideal” skinny body, something’s not right. When our society is shaming women for their sexual encounters and is perpetuating a culture that has become known as rape culture, we have a problem. When women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for the same work… hmm, that’s an issue. When laws are still getting passed trying to say what women can and cannot do with their own bodies (like forcing them to be mothers) we have a problem. This is scary stuff happening in our own country. We’re talking about women’s basic human rights being chipped away. And the United States is the main role model for the rest of the world. Think about the implications of that.
As I sit here writing this in the Barnes and Noble café, there is a mural of 11 famous writers and not one of them is a woman and only one is not white. There are plenty of great women writers (and non-white writers) that could be up there such as Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird or Jane Austen or Maya Angelou. But for whatever reason, this bookstore has no example of good female writers. It’s just one more example of the world we are surrounded by that hardly ever acknowledges the awesomeness of women. In a course I took in college, one of the theorists we studied had a good analogy for the subtle difficulties and discriminations that women face day to day. Sure, there are no female writers depicted in this mural. No big deal right? And sure, everything on TV represents women with having no interesting qualities except a hyper-sexualized body. No big deal right? And little girls play with big-boobed, skinny, white women barbies and cooking tools since there are few other options available. No big deal right? And there are way more derogatory terms in language to depict women than men and a plethora of words to put women down, but that’s big deal right? Well the analogy is this: A bird is not caged by one wire, but it is the multiplicity of wires that surrounds and encages the bird. Meaning, little things really add up.
I’m just so glad people world-wide are starting to take action, big and small. Women and men are standing up for women’s rights and saying things like, “look how messed up the media is.” Generally, I think people are becoming more aware of the issues. People are beginning to wake up and it is friggin’ exciting.