Women are not here for you


(March To End Rape Culture, Philadelphia, PA. 27 Sept. 2014. By Lara M. Witt)

I am happy that there is global attention focused on the issues that affect women and have oppressed women for centuries. The discussions are challenging for some to engage in, and there has been a rupture in perception and in subjectivity for many whose gender or race allowed them the privilege of ignorance. 

Each human experience is unique. Every single being will be subjected to hardships, but some of us will be subjected to a specific set of disadvantages the second that we are born, simply because of the color of our skin or our sex. The dominant figure in our culture, the one who has the least barriers to success is the white, able-bodied, heterosexual male.  I will not go into the intricacies of economics or race, but no matter where you go in the world, the oppressed are the women. Women are not equal to men. This is a non-debatable fact.

Oh how freeing it must be to never worry about getting pregnant. It must be wonderful to never have anyone police your reproductive choices. It must be wonderful to not be the one responsible for taking a daily pill. It must be wonderful to not have your uterus clench in pain while blood leaks out of you and stains countless numbers of underpants. It must be wonderful to never worry about having your rights ripped away from you. It must be wonderful to walk around the city at night without being scared of having your autonomy torn to shreds. It must be wonderful to never be judged because you fucked around. Oh how nice it must be to be the universal, the one who isn’t questioned, the one who’s voice is the voice. You are the default, the center, the sun.

Then there are the rest of us who have seen you take “your” place in the world. You have raped, you have burned, colonized, enslaved, disenfranchised, destroyed, corrupted, beaten, tortured, exploited the world. Are you even happy?

We, as the oppressed, and we as women, have had our rights stripped away from us. The control of who we are, and the images disseminated of us, you hold those in your firm grasp. You decide who is virgin, and who is whore. Sometimes you make us believe that what you are doing is just, what you are doing is because we are weaker, less able. We have had to fight for all of our achievements twice as hard as you ever did. We are still fighting, we fight for our right to choose, our right to not be discriminated against, our right to be safe, simply because we are women.

There isn’t anything quite so frightening to me than the idea that some people think that they are entitled to my attention and my body because of the gender that I was assigned at birth. I had my personal right to freedom, safety and autonomy taken from me by a man who wanted to show me who was more powerful. I had my insides torn apart because I am weaker, more fragile. I know what it feels like to be shown that you are the oppressed.

It still shocks me to my very core that simply walking down a street is apparently an invitation to be stared at, leered at, yelled at, followed. It infuriates me that decrying it is met with resistance, hatred, vitriol by man-babies who want the right to spew out their idiotic, sexist comments simply because they are men and they think that we are here for them.

No woman was made for you.

I am not here for you. My body is mine. I am not here for your pleasure, for your penis. I exist for myself and for those who love me. I exist to write, adore, laugh, cry and live. But I am not your penis receptacle. No person is.

I am tired of having to be the one taking precautions against the threat of violence. Teach yourselves to not rape, teach yourselves to see women as your equals. Call each other out when you witness sexism, racism, misogyny, because we need your support, we have been fighting for a long, long time and you should be too.

Many of you think that this is not your problem, but you are THE problem. You are what we are most scared of, you are why we are shot, beaten, strangled, raped, hanged, killed. Start working to end toxic masculinity, start working to view femininity as a positive rather than an insult. Start participating more equally in the private spheres of life and let us participate more equally in the public ones.

Yes, we have come a long way, but we have longer to go.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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