Libby Anne recently posted a short story on her blog. Long story short, she describes the way she felt when she met a man who was wearing a T-shirt with a pretty stupid and insulting anti-women message on it. When I scrolled down to the comment section, I was shocked. To echo a general idea of some of the comments “feminism has reached the goal of equality long ago – now feminism is all about pushing men into submission”. Yeah. Right.
The #aufschrei (=’crying out’) hashtag on twitter has addressed the very same issue in Germany about a year ago. Thousands on women have shared experiences with this hashtag, and many of these messages were met with disbelief by the public. “Is this really, really, true?”
Let me share some messages from the #aufschrei campaign (translated by me, taken from http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2014-01/sexismus-debatte-folgen and http://www.onlinejournalismus.de/2013/01/25/aufschrei-sexismus-debatte-bei-twitter/).
“That stranger who kissed me on the shoulder for no reason”
“The coworkers who I overheard whispering to each other ‘They are going to hire two women, what do you think about that?’”
“The math teacher who told me I didn’t need to understand something, I’d be a mom anyway”
“Sitting on the subway, hearing two guys discuss my body and what they’d like to do with me”
“The guy on the bus/train/XY public space who grabbed my butt” (multiple tweets)
“When coworkers play an explicitly sexual song and ask me if I like the music”
“The man who hired bigger women because they are less likely to get pregnant”
This is just a small selection. This is normal. This is daily life for women. This is not “freedom of speech”. When your coworkers play a song that describes sexual scenes in detail and ask you if you like that ‘song’, that is not normal behavior, or acceptable, and has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It targets women and pushes them into a position were they cannot be anything else but victims of further harassment. (IE. if you answer “yes”, you are a slut and you’re “up for grabs”, if your answer is “no” you’re an uptight, prudish feminist).
Feminism is also about equal pay, equal chances, and yes, improvements have been huge. But at the end of the day, we still have to deal with comments like this every single day. If you think feminists are trying to push men to the margins of society, read the tweets above again and seriously ask yourself if that is ‘normal’ behavior. Ask yourself how you would feel if your daughter was in that place if you have to. And if your answer is “my daughter wouldn’t dress/act/go places/hang out with people/etc like that, so she would never be in that situation”, well then… think again and pray that you will never have a daughter.
I also want to share this very recent (and very short) German commercial (it is brazilian-themed due to the football world cup in brazil coming up in a few weeks). The company advertising here sells HiFi, Tvs, cameras, computers, etc and is, to my knowledge, the biggest company of this sort in Germany. Here’s a word for word translation:
“Guys! Didn’t you want to marinate the chick(en)s?” (small note: in German, the same word can be used for ‘chick’ and ‘chicken’)
Now, knowing that, take a look at this commercial:
Now tell me, don’t you feel appreciated in your femininity? No? Weird. Me either.
Finally, I don’t know if this has been shared before, but I want to share it. This video pretty much sums up a bunch of very important reason why feminism is still important: