Where Has The Respect Towards Women Gone?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Apparently in the Twenty-First Century women have become just an object for amusement for the male population; do we really want our daughters and grand-daughters to be treated this way?

Submitted: August 04, 2014

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Submitted: August 04, 2014

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Respect, a word no longer common in our society today. It seems as though women today are seen as nothing more than an accessory for "Swag" men to seem more "swaggy" or an object for amusement for the common man who can't get anyone to join him in his night activities; and yet he wonders why.

There is nothing more obscene and disgusting than being catcalled in the middle of the street, even walking with your children is no longer a safe-place. I remember this one time when I was little and was walking across the street to enter a store with my mother and my older sister, we were around ten years old, and as we were about to cross a taxi drives by and the man driving blew my mom a kiss; though I was young I didn't understand why my mom got upset and muttered an insult, or why did I suddenly feel uncomfortable and unsafe. This was early in this century.

However, now, it seems like things keep getting worse and worse, and what bothers me the most is that us, women, are being blamed for it. Quite frankly, I hate sounding like a man-hating-feminist or blaming men for everything, but the problem here isn't us. I agree that some women do dress provocatively, but if we look at it from the artsy point of view, it's their way of expressing themselves or wanting to dress nicely for themselves. Recently, about two weeks ago, I was standing in line at a grocery store buying a pack mints, it was around nine-thirty on a Saturday night, and I admit that I was wearing a pretty short skirt- however, this wasn't one of those tube-skirts that barely cover anything, this one reached mid-thigh and it was flowy so it seemed longer- however my shirt did cover what needed coverage- and then just as I was giving the cashier some money this guy who was next to me was chatting with his friend something along the lines of "...women from here are very beautiful." I didn't pay much attention to it, however I did keep my distance, getting pretty freaked out. And then, just as I was retrieving my money, he leans in and whispers, "are you heading off to work now?" And I just left basically running, keeping a straight face on. And just like that first time with my mom and the taxi driver, I felt disguting. I felt, honestly, like a slut. He had just called me a whore, to my face, making it sound provocative, as if I'd somehow want to spend the night with him, to put it bluntly. At times like these, I hate being alone.

And that's the thing; why should I feel insecure without having a man by my side? Where has respect towards us, women, gone to? Why aren't we treated like men when they walk down the street? How come women should feel scared when walking down the street at night, fearing that they'll be raped by some guy or groped, or even catcalled, when any man can walk down the street happily as if nothing? And I know they get it too, believe me, I've seen a French documentary about it to know that it also happens, but it's way less frequent to hear of a man that's been raped rather than a woman who's been raped.

Why do I have to be afraid of walking alone, even if the middle of the day? Even if I wear a dress, I have to be afraid. They teach girls since they're of a young age to always be careful when they go out, to look out for their friends and their surroundings; in eigth grade I was reminded three times in the same car ride to be careful where I leave my glass and to never go back to it after leaving it unattended for a certain amount of time. It seems like we're not even safe in the comfort of a private party, because you never know what freak will try to drug you in the middle of a friend's birthday party.

I don't think anyone has ever paid much attention as to why these people want to do these things. They teach you to be careful, they teach you to take care of courself, but they never teach the other person not to do it; they just deal with it like it's a normal every-day happening. But it's not. It's absolutely not okay. And I apologize for going all "men are disgusting freaks..." and whatever, but the true reality is that most of the time the man is the offender: the drugger, the catcaller, the rapist. And, frankly, I hate and I don't think it's okay to live in a society where if a man does it it's cool but if a woman does it it's frowned upon on.

I know the whole world has a lot to deal with right now, I mean look at what's going in the Middle East, South America, Africa, you name it; the world is going through a rough patch right now, and even though there are bigger problems going on, this issue has been present ever since I can remember. And, sadly, it keeps happening everyday and I can't sit around ignoring it anymore.

Why?

Because I had an awakening this afternoon, just now actually, here's my story:

The neighborhood where I live has a gym, free to all who live here, and it just so happens that today I decided to go back and use it for a while; usually, several people use it at that time, which is late afternoon around four-thirty, and it just so happens that today I chose to wear tight pants. Before you even think about pointing the blame on me, consider this: have you ever seen women's gym clothes that are not made from a material that sticks to the skin? Probably sweat pants, but with the weather that I live in, that's absolutely not an option. Anyway, I was using the treadmill and jogging and suddenly this man appears- he probably was around his late-fourties- with the task of fixing the air conditioner or to check it, I'm not even sure. Then, instead of getting to work, he walks around for a little bit and sits down in one of the weight-lifting benches and I could feel his eyes on me. At first I tried to ignore it, not wanting to seem paranoid, especially because I didn't want to cause a scene and whatever, but I just couldn't ignore it. When I knew he was staring, I instinctively turned around and fixed my eyes on him, he smiled innocently at me and I turned back around. In my mind, all I could think about was the voice of a woman from a short documentary I watched last night about a man who, I think, masturbated behind her while groping her or something, and she said, "...And he looked at me with this smile that said, 'you can't do nothing about it.'" And I just felt that something was wrong. And while this thought was running through my head, he stood up and walked towards the air vent and looked at it for probably five seconds before going back to his spot behind me. I told myself that I was going to keep on running until the timer hit the fifteen-minutes, but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't hold myself to let this guy watch me and not do anything about it because, here's the deal; I do believe that women have power. Call me a feminist, call me a man-hater, I don't care. First of all, I don't hate men, and yeah, I may be a feminist, but are you seriously going to deny me the choice of standing up for myself, because I respect myself more than anything, and I don't think it's fair that I should be afraid of where i go or what I do, much less what I wear, because some guy will come and rape me. So I stopped the timer and left, and when I bent down to grab my umbrella, obviously having my face looking at him, he gave me that smirk; that infamous smirk that said, "what're you gonna do about it?" Because he knew that I couldn't do anything about it. What could I do? Stand up to him and tell him off? Not when I'm alone. So I walked home, basically power-walking having to get out as fast as possible because I couldn't stand there any longer and be visually-raped by some old-creep who was supposed to be working on something instead of staring at my ass-- excuse the language.

And that is the reason why I'm here, in my computer, ranting about the events of this afternoon. I want to take a stand against that, because I don't think it's fair for women to be afraid of walking and fearing for men. I honestly feel like Little Red Riding Hood fearing the wolf, and I think that I shouldn't be afraid of where I go or what I do. I'm young and if any guy my age can head to the club or walk down the street, or even head to the gym, at any hour of any day freely and fearless, then so should I.

Guys want fairness? Then let them take the first step, show how manly they are and stop using our bodies to amuse themselves. Unless, of course, all that manliness is only a facade because they can't really get a girl to like them back and so they stare at us becauseit's the closest thing to a woman they'll ever get- in which case, grow up; maybe that way you'll get at least someone to like you.


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